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.

7th Grade Philadelphia Day Trip
Amount funded: $2,500.00
March 2017
Grant Recipients - Julie Spinelli and Lori Usifer // Provides supplemental funding for 7th grade student field trip on Friday, April 28, 2017, to Philadelphia, National Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, Franklin Institute and Rocky Statue.

Digital Textbook Part II
Amount funded: $12,860.00
March 2015
Grant Recipients - Sharon O'Connell, Keri O'Connor, Jim Ryan & Joann Trice // This project is an expansion of a project involving Haiku and digital resources to enrich curriculum. Building on the framework created, the classroom will rely entirely on creation of a custom created digital textbook. This pilot will test the blended learning model and differentiated instruction in all 8th grade social studies classes. Objectives include providing social studies material at three different lexile levels, providing content for both visual and auditory learners, and linking “real world” digital content to US history. The grant will fund curriculum development time and 30 Chromebook computers.

Enterprise America Cross Curricular Experience
Amount funded: $312.00
March 2015
Grant Recipients - Gary Gerst and Colleen O'Hara // Enterprise America is a 10,000 sq. ft. education facility that features hands-on, real-life experiences for middle school students allowing them to practice decision making, analytics, inquisition and evaluation. The program focuses on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, consumerism and civic literacy. Upon return students will discuss and evaluate job performances and business operations and calculate and chart their survey data. This grant will fund participation by 101 students. SCSD will provide transportation.

Mexican Sugar Skulls: A Culture Tradition
Amount funded: $639.00
November 2014
Grant Recipients - Seth Benjamin, Heather Buff, Peggy Charles, Kelley McQuiggan & Ellen Wolford // Sugar Skulls are a traditional folk art from Southern Mexico. In conjunction with the annual 5th Grade Fiesta Day, which is the culminating activity for the Social Studies unit on the history, government and culture of Mexico, the grant would fund a unit to create sugar skulls. This enrichment activity will provide students with the opportunity to experience a unique and rich cultural tradition of Mexico. As part of the project, a photo essay will be created of the step-by-step process and the final products. Within this photo essay, we will include student quotes reflecting the connections and content understandings they gain from the experience.

The Puppet People’s “A Christmas Carol” Performance
Amount funded: $900.00
October 2014
Grant Recipients - Lauren Pohl and Joshua Williams // The study of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is part of the 7th grade NYS Common Core Curriculum. Students will gain an additional level of understanding by experiencing the classic piece of literature in a live performance. Students will analyze the extent to which the production stays faithful or departs from the text, evaluating choices made by the performers. This program will provide an opportunity for all students to experience a professional dramatic production. The performance will be conducted in the high school auditorium in December.

Flamenco Ballet
Amount funded: $2,375.00
October 2014
Grant Recipients -Nina Morel, Kate Webster, Susan Welch & Lauren Wiese // The study of culture is an important unit of any successful foreign language curriculum. Exposing students to rich cultural experience is the basis for this grant. Students will attend two shows: the first demonstrating dances from multiple countries and the second a Spanish Flamenco. SCSD will pay for teacher substitutes and transportation.

Poetry Out Loud
Amount funded: $200.00
February 2014
Grant Recipient - Deb Covell // Event registration for qualifying student to represent the District.

Digital Textbook Creation
Amount funded: $2,890.00
February 2014
Grant Recipients - Mitch Major, Sharon O'Connell, Jim Ryan, Julie Spinelli & Lori Usifer // The Middle School social studies department worked with the library media specialist to create a digital social studies textbook. In this digital age, it seems natural that students and teachers would want digital textbooks to enable them not only to read pages of descriptive text but to access multimedia, to receive announcements from teachers and learning partners and to create interactive learning experiences. This allows students to have access to textbooks on a tablet either at home or at school.

Literacy For All
Amount funded: $1,000.00
September 2013
Grant Recipients - Diane Stellmack and Sue Vanderpool // 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
Grant Recipients - Mitch Major and Lori Usifer // 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
Grant Recipient - Heather Buff // 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
Grant Recipient - Bridget Patterson // 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.