The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 14, 2006


Carlisle teachers and superintendent travel to China

This April vacation, a $6,000 grant from the Carlisle Education Foundation (CEF) is enabling four teachers to visit homes and schools in China, along with other Massachusetts educators in a trip organized by Primary Source, Inc. of Watertown, Mass.

CEF also donated the $6,000 fee for the Carlisle School's one-year membership in Primary Source, which allows any Carlisle School teacher access to educational enrichment programs at Primary Source. To be eligible to participate in a study tour, Primary Source requires that teachers first take their classes on China. CEF president Laura Snowdon said that additional funding for the trip was provided by the Freeman Foundation, which supports the mission of Primary Source to increase understanding of China.

The four teachers who are traveling to China are: second-grade teacher Peter Darasz, art teacher Courtney Graham Hadley, reading specialist Susan LaPorte, and fifth-grade teacher Jennifer Reinhard. According to www., the trip left April 8 and will return April 22. Superintendent Marie Doyle is also in China for two weeks. She is participating in a Massachusetts-China principal/superintendent shadowing project, partly financed by the Freeman Foundation and Doyle's professional development funds. As part of the shadowing project, Huang Zhuozian, vice-principal of the Jiangsu Provincial Qianhuang Senior Middle School visited the Carlisle School during October of 2004.

This is the second year that CEF has helped send four teachers to China. Those who went last year include Technology specialist Cynthia McCann, middle school art teacher Beth Sherman (who has since left the Carlisle School,) and sixth-grade teachers Erin Mc Auley and Carolyn Platt. Snowdon said that teachers are selected who are "committed to the school" and for whom "it makes sense for them to go," making sure that teachers over a variety of grade levels have an opportunity to participate.

CEF has also provided financial support for the expansion of the world language program at the school. A two-year grant is bringing Spanish to the elementary grades, starting in the fall. In fifth-grade, students will be able to choose between Spanish, French and Chinese and continue to study the language through eighth-grade. The CEF gave $10,800 to fund middle school Chinese instruction this year.

The CEF was formed in 1990 to support public education in Carlisle, after a failed override resulted in large cuts to the school budget. Their primary fundraiser is a yearly auction, held in conjuction with the Carlisle School Association (CSA). This year, the it raised $80,000 and Snowdon said that a total of about $280,000 has been raised by the auction over the four years it has been held. Snowdon believes that, including the auctions with CSA, CEF has raised over $1 million for the school since 1990.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito