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Grant awards included balance ball chairs; keyboard and tuners; 

Future Ready classroom; Brainology ® and Zoo On Wheels 

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ, December 17, 2015 – Millstone Township Foundation for Educational Excellence (MTFEE) awarded 5 grants today totaling $11,651.47 to its schools. The grant awards included balance ball chairs; keyboard and tuners; Future Ready classroom; Brainology ® ; and Zoo On Wheels. MTFEE is a non-profit organization devoted to funding grants for items that nurture extraordinary educational experiences for every student in Millstone Township Public Schools and are beyond the scope of the general school budget. Through the creativity of the teaching staff’s grant applications and the fundraising efforts of MTFEE, the foundation is proud to have awarded more than $527,200 in grants to Millstone Township schools, since 2002. 

Following is a listing of the grants and recipients: 

Bounce, Focus and Learn! ($3,498.72) (Stephanie Dunk, reading specialist; Peggy Schaneman, reading specialist; Christine Smith, remedial math; and Jason Suleski) (Grades K-2) - The grant consists of 45 balance ball chairs. The chair features a large balance ball to sit on and a back support. The use of these chairs will help students achieve greater success, as well as support better posture and health. There is a body of research that indicates the positive learning outcomes for balance ball chairs. Studies show when students use these chairs, they are able to sit still by moving allowing them to focus better, write more words clearly and be more engaged. The balance ball may also reduce obesity and improve students' overall health. These chairs will be implemented for all students in a small group setting. In addition, each classroom teacher will have one balance ball chair and can implement it based on the needs of their class and students. 

Keyboard and Tuners ($3,433.35) (Heather Philhower, music teacher and Gwen Parker, instrumental music teacher) (Grades 6-8) - The grant consists of an 88 key electronic piano, piano stand and 30 electronic tuners. The electronic piano and stand will be used by the entire music department. The electronic tuners will be used by all three middle school bands and will allow student autonomy when tuning their instruments. This will enable continued improvement of students to create, perform and critique a wide variety of musical styles. 

Future Ready Classroom ($2,564.40) (Jaime Golizio, social studies teacher) (Grade 6) - The grant consists of a "Future Ready" classroom, which will include stand-up desks, cushioned stools, portable rocking chairs, rugs and bean bag lap desks. This type of classroom is designed with a functionality to enhance student learning, while creating an environment where students form interpersonal spaces that facilitate cooperative, out of the box learning. Classroom design is an integral part of student learning. Studies have proven that the design and function of a classroom can affect the way students learn and perform. Seating arrangements and small pods dedicated to a specific function all contribute to the idea of the "Future Ready" classroom. It is in these types of classrooms, where students of all learning abilities have access to furniture that meet their needs while given the opportunities to collaborate with their peers. 

Brainology ® ($1,680) (Cathleene George, science teacher; Jacyln Morrison, special education teacher; and Karen Shaffer, special education teacher) (Grade 6) - The grant consists of a research-based method for teaching students a 

"growth mindset," along with tools to put into practice. Positive academic mindsets motivate students to persist at schoolwork (i.e. facilitate academic perseverance), which manifests itself through better academic behaviors and lead to improved performance. This curriculum combines online, interactive animation with classroom-based activities to teach students how the brain changes with learning, and how they can use brain-based study strategies to accelerate their progress. The Brainology ® curriculum closely aligns with the concepts taught during a sixth grade science unit and will be implemented during that time in the classroom. 

Zoo On Wheels ($475) (Brittani Adams, pre-school teacher) (Pre-K) - The grant consists of a visit from the Philadelphia Zoo On Wheels Program. This interactive program will engage students for 45 minutes through live animals, role play, songs and touchable biofacts. It will go along with the classroom themes of animals and the five senses, as well as meet critical early childhood curriculum standards. 

There are currently more than 60 MTFEE-funded grant programs running. Every child that matriculates through the school district will in some way benefit from an MTFEE-funded grant. MTFEE is a member of New Jersey Education Foundation Partnership and The National Consortium of State and Local Education Foundations (NCEFS). 

For more information about donating to MTFEE, becoming a trustee or its fundraising programs and events, please e-mail, visit and like us on Facebook. 


MTFEE Trustees Nicole Pyhel – President & Information Officer 

Beth Cotler – Vice President & Grant Chairperson 

Coleen Raccuglia – Treasurer & "180 Day Club" Chairperson 

Kristin Schloss – Corresponding Secretary 

Jennifer Pratt – Recording Secretary 

Tori Sikkema – Recording Secretary 

Kristin Morris – Website Administrator 

Aimee Duffy – "Fundraising" Chairperson 

Natalie Biello -– "Family Movie Day" Co-Chairperson 

Melissa DeRose -– "Family Movie Day" Chairperson 

Linda Kay Griggs 

Dr. Amy Jacobson – "MOA" Chairperson 

Christina Baldino 

Sarah DelGuercio 

Anita Hahn 

Jennifer Hyer 

Lisa Pado 

Kirsten Jansen