The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 7, 2002


CSA grants enrich school with books, music, sports equipment

In the 2001-02 school year, grants totalling $7,849 were awarded by the Carlisle School Association (CSA) to enrich a variety of school programs.

Mentoring texts

for grades 1 and 2

Reading specialist Sue Helenius-LaPorte and the first - and - second -grade teams were awarded a grant to purchase approximately thirty-five books. She explained the books are by well-known children's authors, and are used as "mentoring texts" in the writing program. The books are studied for examples of style and structure, and the students use them as a basis for their own writing. "We can actually pull out examples and show the children the moods the authors create, and have the children try it," she said. The teams purchased books by authors such as Cynthia Rylant (The Relatives Came), Donald Crews (Night at the Fair), Patricia Polacco (The Keeping Quilt), Karen Hesse (Juice), and Jane Yolen (Letting Swift River Go).

CDs for the fine arts department

The fine arts department was thrilled to receive a grant for the purchase of music CDs. It will be used to build a CD library for use in music class, as well as by the classroom teachers. "Every unit we teach includes listening examples," explains music teacher Angela DiPace. According to DiPace, the purchase of the new CDs has "enhanced curriculum concepts with a richer scope of music," allowing the teachers to provide exposure to different styles of music. "For example," continued DiPace, "instead of just listening to Beethoven or Mozart from my own CD collection, the first-grade students last week were able to experience the music of Monteverdi's Renaissance madrigals and Debussy's impressionist works." Music teacher Catherine Pringle teaches a unit on medieval chant. In the past she was limited to examples of music in her own or other staff members' personal collection. "With the grant money, we were able to purchase an entire collection of chant," DiPace explains. The fine arts team expects the new collection to become an integral part of their teaching and be used on a daily basis. "I've got to tell you," concludes DiPace, "I'm not sure how our music department has survived for so long without a collection of listening examples."

Library books on cultures

of the world

The Carlisle School library received a grant to replace older books that are out of date and contain inaccurate information on cultures of the world. The books being purchased, according to head librarian Sandy Kelly, will be used primarily for grades four through eight for research projects, including the sixth- grade Olympics project, the fifth grade's RAP on culture project, and French class studies of French-speaking countries. "We try to support the curriculum and what the teachers need for teaching," said Kelly. Some of the older volumes had inaccurate or almost insulting depictions of other cultures. "We need realistic depictions," noted Kelly, and the bulk of the purchases would be for non-fiction books. "Carlisle people travel a lot," and their children come in requesting books on the countries they are visiting, she explained. She feels it is important the books reflect the reality of the country today and not of thirty years ago, as the older books do.

Physical education grants

The Carlisle School physical education department received two CSA grants. The department used the first grant to replace the field hockey goals with new goals with bottom boards, which meet the safety and interscholastic regulations and guidelines set by Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, and Federation of State Middle and High Schools Association. Carlisle offers an interscholastic field hockey program in the fall for students in grades six to eight.

The second grant allowed the physical education department to purchase two new sound systems. Both systems have CD, tape and radio capability and the speakers are powerful enough to be heard in both the Corey gym and the exercise room. All students in grades kindergarten through six participate in a formal dance program as part of the physical education curriculum and the new systems are used to enhance the classes. The dance curriculum includes country, western line, folk, and square dancing along with creative dance. The sound system is also used during classes for grades seven and eight while performing exercises, Tae Bo and step aerobics. "Students find music to be motivating and inspirational as well as calming," explained physical education teacher Margaret Heigl. "The P.E. Department would like to thank the CSA grant committee for their time and consideration," she concluded.

The CSA grant committee includes members Debbie Dawson, Sharron Kenney, Nancy Forte, Terry McElligott, Davida Fox-Melanson, Donna Clapp, and Peter Darasz.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito