Humanities Grants

The humanities are academic disciplines that study human culture – the study of language, literature, history and the social sciences. A strong foundation in the humanities is at the core of a well-educated student. In this ever-changing and increasingly digital age, SEF has supported teacher grants that explore new technologies and curricula that engage students and provide instruction that is relevant and inspiring.

Humanities Grants
Humanities Grants
Humanities Grants
Humanities Grants


Through generous support from over 400 households, foundations and businesses in the Skaneateles community, the following grants have been provided under Humanities For more information on an individual grant, please click on the grant title.

Literacy For All
Amount funded: $1,000.00
September 2013
Everyone understands the importance of obtaining literacy skills in primary school and the use of early intervention programs if students need help. Staying current with new and effective strategies and techniques is important to all teachers who are responsible for this critical developmental skill. This grant provided partial funding for four Waterman reading teachers to attend the 24th Annual Literacy for All Conference. Participants attended workshops covering a wide variety of topics including Common Core Standards, Kindergarten Literacy, Technology and Literacy, Literacy Coaching, Guided Reading, Comprehension and others.
Haiku Seed Project
Amount funded: $5,140.00
September 2013
A new and powerful paradigm shift is being tested with great success around the country. It involves “flipping” the classroom to provide the “lecture” at home and the “homework” in the classroom. By allowing teachers to focus on the hands-on learning and practice, they can provide superior individualized instruction. Along with this new approach comes an increased use of technology and social media style tools to communicate between teacher and student. This grant will purchase 500 subscriptions ($5000) to Haiku, the powerful online learning environment. An additional up to 200 subscriptions ($2000) may be tested in Phase 2. If the seed project is successful, the school district will budget for the annual student subscriptions after the initial one year seed period.
Mariachi Music for Fiesta
Amount funded: $600.00
September 2013
Every year, the fifth grade has a social studies unit of study covering Latin America and Mexico, which culminates in a “Fiesta Day Celebration”. During “Fiesta” students are exposed to the culture and traditions of Mexico. This grant will fund the Marcos Santiago and Los Arpegios; a Mariachi Trio from Rochester, New York to participate in the fiesta celebration by providing music during the fiesta luncheon, classroom workshops and a formal concert at the end of the day. This opportunity will enrich the experience of our students by bringing them in direct contact with the work of traditional Latin American musicians and instruments.
National Kindergarten Conference
Amount funded: $1,988.00
March 2013
In the 2013-14 school year, Skaneateles moved from a half-day to full-day program. New state core curriculum changes further changed the landscape for teachers and students in the classroom. Kindergarten teacher Bridget Patterson attended the 4-day 2013 National Kindergarten Teacher Conference to research innovative instructional practices and tried and true practices for full-day Kindergarten students. She attended classes and networked with other participants, and will share with all grade level faculty.
Constructing the Erie Canal
Amount funded: $500.00
February 2013
New York State history is the focal point of 4th grade Social Studies instruction. A key topic that is covered is the construction of the Erie Canal. This grant funded an hour long live program by professor and National Geographic author Martha Kendall. The use of instruments and songs to bring this time-period to life showed the children firsthand the key role that the canal played throughout history.
Rachel Billmeyer Returns
Amount funded: $4,500.00
February 2013
Building on instruction delivered during a Fall 2012 workshop, Dr. Billmeyer will return for two days of workshops to meet in small grade level groups. This more intimate format will facilitate greater targeted content-area literacy techniques and strategies. The school district has committed to fund ½ of this $9000 program.
Shakespeare Comes to Life at Syracuse Stage
Amount funded: $1,750.00
February 2013
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the play featured in the 8th grade English/Language Arts curriculum, which serves to provide students with an introduction to the works of William Shakespeare. There is no better way to introduce Shakespeare than through a live professional quality production. This grant funded a field-trip to Syracuse Stage for a performance. This opportunity also allowed students who have never seen a live theater production to experience one.
Family History Project
Amount funded: $971.00
September 2012
An interdisciplinary project in the 7th grade involves students researching and reporting on their family history. This project incorporates social studies and language arts, while also teaching research skills. This grant would fund a pilot program which utilizes a new software program, Proquest, to help students research ancestry.
Odyssey of the Mind 2013
Amount funded: $400.00
April 2012
Assistance provided for travel expenses to OOTM Worlds.
Lynne Cox Presentation
Amount funded: $2,000.00
February 2012
Lynne Cox is a speaker and author of “Swimming to Antarctica”. In her book, she recounts her years of preparation and the experiences associated with swimming most of the major “open water venues” like the English Channel, Alaska to Russia and other famous bodies of water around the world, all leading up to her world record swim to Antarctica. Her experiences are lessons in geography, diplomacy and life skills which she will share during an assembly with middle school students. She will also present at a community event later in the evening.
Strategic Reading Instruction with Dr. Rachel Billmeyer
Amount funded: $4,000.00
February 2012
Developing strategic readers who “think about their thinking” and strategic reading in the content areas (such as social studies, science, math and health) is the central focus for this grant. Dr. Rachel Billmeyer is a renowned expert on this subject and will present a workshop for teachers on strategies and teaching methods to accomplish this goal.
Building Literacy Through Poetry
Amount funded: $900.00
February 2012
Teaching poetry as performance art in the classroom and performing it on stage helps improve children’s reading, writing, listening, content knowledge and speaking skills. This grant provided funding to create and implement strategies for incorporation of poetry into the third-grade curriculum.