Mini Grants

Classroom Minigrant Program – Provides Financial Support for faculty to support innovative and exciting special classroom projects for students not funded through the school budget.

Teacher Grant Application Form link can be found at the bottom of this page

Fiction writing workshop with Kim Kovach

Author Kim Kovach came to PRES’s 2nd grade class to give a workshop on fiction writing.


PRES Garden

The PRES fifth grade was able to carry out a special project in their school garden due to a grant from Bedford FAME. They were able to learn about the importance of naturally occurring plant species in North America by creating a Native Species Garden.

The students were educated about the importance of native plants; teaching them about the plants ecological and environmental importance.  The students then created the new garden space, planted over 40 native plants and have maintained the space.  In addition, the students have recorded data on different bird species that they have observed while in the garden.  They continue to visit the garden regularly to observe butterflies, bees and birds as the new visitors find homes and food in the new garden.

While carrying out this project, the students studied measurement, mapping and garden design.  Lessons were conducted in the classroom, the computer lab, the garden, and around the PRES campus.


Creating an Outdoor Classroom

Due to funding by Bedford FAME, students from the Hillside Program were able to join a master carpenter in constructing a handicapped-accessible potting bench that will be donated to MKES and a bench that will be placed in the school’s garden along with a lighting system to aid the growth of plants. The students were also able to decorate bird houses and bee homes that will be used to pollinate the garden.

Students were able to work cooperatively and develop skills with tools such as the circular saw.


Author Jack Gantos visits Pound Ridge Elementary School

It’s not every day that a Newbery Medal-winning author visits a local school—which made Wednesday, December 12, 2012 a very special day at Pound Ridge Elementary School.

Jack Gantos was named the 2012 Newbery Medal winner for Dead End in Norvelt, a semiautobiographical middle-grade novel that takes place during the summer of 1962, when narrator Jack Gantos turns 12 and spends most of his days grounded until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore. Mr. Gantos has written book favorites, such as the Rotten Ralph and Joey Pigza series and many other novels and picture books. His books reach all ages, which made him a perfect fit for this K-5 school visit. Mr. Gantos appropriately matched his presentation to the captivated audience.

During the grade 3-5 presentation, Mr. Gantos worked with the children on journaling—how to set up a journal, map out and brainstorm ideas, and then pull ideas from a journal to work on a short story. Students and staff were impressed as the author held up his journal from when he was a child.

Jack Gantos gave the students the sense of how to get started in writing. He displayed a “story map” on a projection screen that showed rooms in a house with various details from his childhood like “sister’s room,” “mean dog,” and “exploding hot dogs.” His goal was to help students realize that they also have great things in their lives to write about. Then he told them how to take that content and give it structure and form. He held the attention of all students while he narrated portions of his story map, recalling funny childhood experiences, including the time he ate too much spaghetti to get out of doing the dishes. Gantos encouraged the students to get a journal and write in it for 10 minutes a day so that in a short time they would have a story to write and its readers would be able to see, feel and experience the same story.

During the grade K-2 presentation, the author focused on the development of a picture book. Using Rotten Ralph as the main character, Jack took the children through the literary elements of storyboarding.

Jack Gantos lit up the room at Pound Ridge Elementary School with his storytelling expertise and enthusiasm for writing. Teachers were given copies of his story map and writing process ideas so that they could do follow up lessons with students in the classroom.

Students were able to purchase books autographed by the author as a reminder of this special visit. Also, the school library purchased Jack Gantos books (even those out of print) for students to check out. These books have been in high demand and hard to keep on the library shelves!

It is obvious that Jack Gantos made writing exciting and motivating for students. After his visit, one parent spoke about the new journal her daughter received. In it she wrote an inscription thanking Jack Gantos for inspiring her new journal. This visit was planned by the school Reading Committee, made up of the school librarian, Mrs. Baldo, and several parents.






Funding by Bedford FAME enabled Italian students at the middle school to enjoy Carnevale. They made masks, learned about the origin of Carnevale, and watched videos, learning about the long held traditions, of mask making contests, and the Piazza San Marco Angel flight. They were able to learn all about the different ways Italians celebrate during this great festival.


Teacher Minigrant Application