Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Elizabeth Norton Trust Fund Supports Many District Initiatives

A number of school district programs and initiatives are underway this year thanks to several grants received from the local Elizabeth Norton Trust Fund. Beginning with early childhood education, the Plainville Family Resource Network recently completed another successful workshop series entitled "Conscious Discipline" thanks to the grant funding, which will also allow for the PFRN to offer an additional workshop series in the fall of 2012. The series, for parents, teachers, and childcare providers, draws on current brain research in child development and the effects of neurochemistry on behavior and learning. The program helps participants learn how to respond rather than react to challenging situations, foster connections, develop empathy and build strong relationships with children.

At the elementary school level, Elizabeth Norton Trust grants funded a variety of programs and equipment, including Family Math and Science nights at Wheeler Elementary School, and binoculars for third graders to use in their studies and visit to the Tomasso Nature Park. Louis Toffolon School received a grant to enhance items used for the Alternative Recess Program and for community service projects. The Alternative Recess Program provides students with an opportunity to develop social skills and strategies for cooperative and safe play in a structured environment with the goal to implement these skills independently during recess. Toffolon students are also given several opportunities throughout the year to work on community service projects such as placemats, cards, centerpieces and more for the Plainville Senior Center and other local organizations. The students donate their time to work on these projects and show their commitment and concern for the community. The grant funding supports the purchase of supplies for these projects. The Toffolon Parent Teacher Organization also received a grant from the Elizabeth Norton Trust Fund enabling the group to offer a wide variety of classes as part of the school's enrichment program. The PTO will also invite an author to visit the school with the grant funding. Linden Street School faculty member Melissa Dodenhoff received a grant to support a field trip to The Dinosaur Place where students will "mine" for rocks and minerals as part of the second grade unit of study.

Thanks to the support of the Elizabeth Norton Trust, the Middle School of Plainville received a $1,000.00 grant for ongoing bullying prevention activities of the Positive Behavior Support Program. Specifically, the funds were used to support "From Bystander to Ally" student leadership training provided by the Anti-Defamation League in January. Twenty-nine students at the middle school participated in the training workshops designed to provide students with strategies for how they can make a difference and be an ally.

Plainville High School Principal Steven LePage received a grant to support the Super Senior Program that he initiated in 2011 at the high school. The program recognizes seniors who successfully complete four years of high school with no disciplinary infractions. The students are recognized at a banquet with their families and receive a plaque with the words "Leadership Through Character." Technology Education Instructor Dean Esposti also received a grant to continue a bicycle restoration project in collaboration with the Plainville Police Department. Through this initiative, abandoned bicycles recovered by the police force are turned over to Esposti and high school students, who rebuild the bikes and donate them back to youth in the community.

The Elizabeth Norton Trust also reached the Plainville Adult and Continuing Education program, which received a grant to support the Effective Teens Program. The funds will enable the purchase of Sean Covey's,"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" books and companion workbooks, and fund a "completion incentive" scholarship.

"Funding provided by the Elizabeth Norton Trust has been phenomenal. Thanks to their generosity across the school district, we have been able to enrich and expand learning, programming, and opportunities for students at every level. We greatly appreciate this critical financial support," said Superintendent of Schools, Jeffrey Kitching.

-Posted on March 1, 2012 at 01:45 PM

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