The Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation is proud to fund the creative and innovative ideas of the Cape faculty, staff, and students. Since 2002, CEEF has worked with the district to enhance and support the education of Cape students with projects that would otherwise fall outside of the school budget.
By contributing to CEEF, you can directly impact grants for Cape students and help fund exciting, cutting-edge projects. Click here to donate, and help CEEF support every school and every Cape student.
Read about some of our most recent grants below, or scroll to see our full grant history.
2022 – 2023 School Year
Biofuel Rocket Senior Ben Collelo will establish a rocket club at CEHS to launch a rocket that will utilize a carbon-neutral biofuel. Students will delve into hands-on research and development roles, as well as actual fabrication and coordination of the launch with the National Guard. The rocket will be able to collect atmospheric data to be used by other classes, and further scientific experiments at the high school.
Student Senate CEHS Principal John Springer was awarded a grant to establish a Student Senate at CEHS. Looking to expand student involvement at the high school, the Student Senate will give the student body a larger voice to organize initiatives, student assemblies, bring forth issues to administration, and self-establish and govern student clubs. The Senate will be distinct from class officers and the student council and allows students to build leadership skills and a voice within CEHS. Modeled after local high school senates, it will begin with two faculty advisors for guidance in the initial year, and students representing each class.
First-grade Decodable, Diverse Books Looking to incorporate updated teaching models in classroom books, First Grade teacher Sarah Hollowell also wanted to ensure that the books incorporated more diversity for her students. A CEEF grant will bring over 1000 new books across the first-grade classrooms, strengthening reading skills by incorporating high-frequency words, decodability, and meaningfulness. Equally as important, these books better reflect more diverse characters, families, and stories than current classroom offerings.
GaGa Ball Pit CEEF granted Pond Cove’s David Shields funds to help secure a new, permanent GaGa Ball Pit for the Pond Cove Playground. The game is taught in P.E. class at Pond Cove and is a popular playground sport as well. Mr. Shields noted that the game lets students continue skills they learn in class, and also is an activity that attracts a variety of students when played. Students have fun while learning to cooperate, practice skills and getting physical exercise.
Collaboration Benches at CEHS History teacher Kevin St. Jarre submitted a grant in December 2023 to bring collaboration benches to the CEHS hallways. Noting a lack of communal spaces for students to meet, and the need for student meeting space both during and in between classes, St. Jarre proposed seven benches throughout the high school. Local Cape business The Lumbery collaborated with St. Jarre on the building of the benches. St. Jarre noted the success of the space in his previous work at Noble High School, and had the benches placed on all three floors at CEHS. As noted by Grant Chair Sheri Bragg “CEEF continues to be so impressed with the quality and diversity of grants presented to us by both students and staff within the district. The Collaboration Benches …adds flexible and shared spaces for students to collaborate and encourages cross curricular engagement.” Read more from St. Jarre on page 8 of this Courier edition!
Creating a Safer Climate: Reducing Gender Biases and Gender-based Violence Senior Anya Offit, with advisor Vice Principal Nate Carpenter, applied for a grant to help stem the sexism and sexual pressure and violence she saw happening. Noting that previous programs focused primarily on Juniors and Seniors, Offit wanted to work across the grades and intends to bring in training from Boys to Men to CEHS for 25-30 student leaders. By learning to recognize signs of gender discrimination and bias, as well as red flags in relationships and situations, students of any gender can feel empowered to combat discrimination. Offit plans to have student leaders help train others and, by including all grade levels, help enhance the climate across CEHS.
Age Appropriate Books to Address Reading Gaps Pond Cove’s Special Education Teacher Michael Adrian often addresses reading gaps for students who are 1 -3 years behind their peers. Adrian applied for a CEEF grant for updated books, noting the importance to have more reading level, but age-appropriate books for his students. Those working on reading gaps were more likely to be interested in reading, and feel comfortable working on skills around peers when the books were age and grade level appropriate, eliminating awkwardness for struggling students. This grant will bring hundreds of new, high-quality books to Pond Cove which can be used across the grades and for years to come.
Place-Based Education in CEHS 11th Grade Remarking on the wealth of historical places and experiences open to students in Southern Maine, 11th Grade History teachers Michael Flaim and Michael Young wanted to allow their students to explore history up close. This grant allows students to train as historians through Story Corp and then participate in primary source research and create oral histories around Cape Elizabeth and Greater Portland. Flaim and Young hope that the skills will interest students in local issues and events, and possibly serve as a starting point for the Junior Research paper. Collected and shared stories not only benefit current students but will also create a library for use by and inspiration to future classes.
Gender Diversity in CPR Training Each student at CEHS completes and is certified in CPR training through their physical education class. Student Sophia Toon noticed, however that all of the training mannequins were male which left a bias in training and response. Toon noted that less women receive CPR in a public setting than men, contributing to lower survival rates. By purchasing four new female training mannequins, Toon hopes to address this issue, training students to become familiar and comfortable with CPR on female bodies. CEHS Physical Education teacher Scott Shea noted that this training is truly important, and he annually receives emails from students who put their skills to use in public and have saved lives.
Spanish Language Classroom Books World Language teacher Christopher Sutherland was awarded a grant to supplement his classroom library with an additional 30 Spanish language books. The grant will bring varied level readers into the program, allowing students more diversity for classroom and free reading use.
Local Heroes: Recording the History of Cape Elizabeth Veterans As part of the 11th Grade US History curriculum, students will research and interview Cape Elizabeth veterans to not only learn but preserve their history. CEHS’ Michael Young will lead the grant to help connect students to vital local history and help them understand the role and tools of historians. Students will conduct interviews with local veterans, beginning with WWII, and each year produce a “Hometown Heroes” book highlighting those veetrans from a specifc era. Sales from the books at local businesses will help support publishing in subsequent years, and help continue important community connections.
World Computer Exchange A grant led by students Luc Francis, Sebastian Francis and Thomas Emery, the CEHS chapter of this organization will work to teach basic computer repair skills at CEHS, and then use those skills to refurbish computers to send to communities around the world. Noting that computers, and access to them, drive education around the world, the club will seek to empower students to help change the world by making computers accessible.
Podcasting Workshop: World Trade and Climate Change As part of CEMS’ experiential learning program, 7th graders will practice interviewing, writing and podcasting skills to synthesize what they studied about climate change and trade. The 7th grade curriculum involves studying historical trade routes, the economics of trade, supply, demand and scarcity. The middle schoolers will visit local business who rely on imported resources, and discuss how climate change has impacted those resources. Professional audio/podcast producer Caroline Losneck will then meet with each 7th grade class for three sessions to teach and record the students podcasts.
Visiting Artists: Anika Aldemuy Denise and Christopher Denise A grant by Pond Cove Media Specialist Cameron Rosenblum will bring this award-winning husband and wife team for a two day workshop with students. Ademuy-Denise has a special focus on Latino culture and her work of award-winning biographical picture books includes those focusing on dancer Rita Moreno and Pura Belpré, the first Latina children’s librarian at the New York Public Library. Denise is an celebrated illustrator and writer whose most recent release, Knight Owl is not only a Pond Cove favorite, but also a NYT Bestseller and a contender for a 2023 Caldecott Medal.
Afterthought – A Musical Having taken an interest in songwriting and studying over the summer at Berklee, student Hadley Johnson ’24 began composing a new musical which she will score, write, produce, and direct. To be performed in September 2023 by Johnson and other Cape High School students, the musical will follow two classmates as they make their way after graduation and meet several years later in New York City. Johnson, who plays violin, trumpet, guitar and piano, is particularly excited about writing and recording the original score.
StudyState – Online Study Guide CEHS student Luc Francis ’24 developed and wrote a online study guide which will be implemented throughout CEHS in Spring ’23. Francis’ set out to develop the program after noticing the cost to the school of the current online program used by many classes. The language department test the program and feedback from students and teachers helped Francis refine the guide before a roll out to the full student body.
Making Connections Through Basketweaving Helping to continue a long-standing Pond Cove tradition, this CEEF grant, together with funding from the PCPA, will bring Towanda Brown from Long Island, Maine back to Pond Cove for a two day workshop with each 4th grade class. Towanda will focus her attention on the basket history of the Maine Wabanaki people. Students will learn about master weavers in Maine and where to visit to see demonstrations. She will show a fantastically well-done slide show entitled, “Making Connections”, a visual presentation of Towanda’s knowledge and experience as a basket
weaver since 1985. Each student will then produce a functional basket based on traditional weaving techniques.
2021 – 2022 School Year
8th Grade Experiential Learning Opportunities – Returning from a sabbatical during which she created a new 8th-grade humanities class, teacher Laura Briggs sought opportunities to focus on both historical and current immigration in the US. Through this class, students will learn about policies towards and individual experiences of traditional immigration, forced migration, and internal migration within the US. A capstone project is a 6-week unit where pairs of students interview a New Mainer to learn about his or her immigration experiences and then create an ethnographic essay and multi-media project to share with the community. To bring the immigrant story to life, Briggs will weave ten experiential learning opportunities throughout the year-long curriculum. This grant application is for funding towards 5 of those 10 opportunities:
1) Wabanaki Nations guest story-teller
2) Lewiston-Auburn walking tour, historic textile mill tour, and visit to Rancort & Co. (current employer)
3) Black History walking tour (Portsmouth or Portland)
4) True story of a Jewish Russian immigrant: a dramatic presentation and story-telling workshop
5) Portland’s immigrant history workshop (Maine Historical Society) and walking tour (Greater Portland Landmarks)
Telescope for Moon Viewing When first grade teacher Sarah Howell saw how excited her students were after a “moon viewing” event last year, she knew she needed a better telescope to make the event an even bigger success. Howell’s grant will give her a more powerful, portable telescope that will allow her students to explore more of the moon during their viewing event for parents and students. Access to the telescope will also be available to all teachers who want to incorporate similar curriculum.
Visiting Artists and Mural at CEMS Awarded to Students Oliver Adams ’26 & Addison Young ’26, along with advisor Marguerite Lawler-Rohner (Art Teacher), this grant will allow students to collaborate with artists Rachael and Ryan Adams in the conception and execution of murals inside the CEMS building. This experiential learning experience will encompass the complete mural-making process from visual brainstorming, budgeting and ordering supplies, wall preparation, mathematical layout, design, and surface creation to completion. Their work will be informed by the collaboration with students about the message the artwork will convey.
3D Design and Printing Leesa Joiner, new PC Technology Integration Coordinator, uses 3D printing and design in her work with classrooms at Pond Cove, but needed an update for equipment. Design process skills are an important step in a PC education, and with updated and faster technology, students will be able to see tangible results of their design projects.
CEHS Experiential Discovery and Leadership Learning Drawing on the leadership and collaboration skills learned and practiced in three different CEHS classes, a Discovery and Leadership Program will allow students to push their skills and learn from each other. CEHS’ Boys’ Freshman Academy, Girls’ Freshman Academy, and Women’s Leadership Academy will combine for a day at LL Bean’s Outdoor Discovery and Ropes Course. The day will grant students the opportunity to exercise and adopt new collaboration and team-building skills
Multi Touch Smartboard for CEHS Life Skills Classroom Hoping to expand learning opportunities and models for Life Skills students, educators Beth Mylorie, Tom Farmer and Hilary Roberts received a grant to bring an advanced smart board to the classroom. This technology will allow education to become portable and tangible to their students, recognizing that “learning becomes meaningful when it has value and significance for students, matches their cognitive abilities, and shapes students’ reality, personality, skills, development, and future.” This pilot program, based on use of these boards in other Maine schools, will potentially allow educators to expand learning models across the district.
Cape Robotics Raised Platform Raised platforms have become increasingly common among VEX Robotics teams in the region, and are a standard component of higher level competitions such as the Maine State Championship and VEX Worlds. The teams currently practice on the floor of their lab and this grant will bring the field up to current standards and help alleviate storage issues. Seniors Evan Gebhart, Marcella Hesser and Matthew Zimmerman will design and build the platform in the CEHS wood shop, under supervision of Jim Ray. Evan said “Seeing such a project through from inception to completion will be an invaluable learning experience for us, and the platform will be the legacy of this year’s eight, highly accomplished, senior Robotics Club members.”
Jazz Cabaret and Visiting Artist CEHS Band Director Rob Wheeler will bring to CEHS and CEMS the Brian Thomas/Alex Lee Clark Big Band as visiting artists. Comprised of 18 professional musicians/educators from the Boston Metro area who specialize in teaching and performing contemporary styles of music and improvisation, the group will work with students over the course of several days during interactive clinics including new and original music. Their visit will culminate with a performance during the CEHS Jazz Cabaret in the Spring.
Place-based Education at Turkey Hill Farm An exciting collaboration between CEEF and the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust at Cape’s own historic Turkey Hill Farm. CEMS’ Joanna Payne, along with teachers Steven Price, Kristina Moniz, and Aaron Fileo, will develop curriculum and hands-on opportunities through a new, place-based model of learning for eighty 7th and 8th-grade students. This model of learning immerses students in a local landscape which then becomes the focal point for the traditional core subjects of language arts, math, and sciences. Projects involve the team, school, and community, bringing an innovative approach to classic studies.
Cape Underground A repurposing of unused space at CEMS, Counselor Kim Sturgeon’s grant will expand classroom and meeting opportunities for Middle School students. Although once classrooms, the lower level at CEMS had long been used as storage. Sturgeon’s grant will see much of the space cleared, and revitalized with new furniture giving it a renewed purpose. The furnishings will be moveable and allow the space to adapt to the needs of teachers and groups using the area. In need of space for students and teachers to meet, the new “Cape Underground” revitalizes and reimagines the resources in place at CEMS.
SOS The SOS program is an evidence-based program for grades 6-12 that gives students and teachers the knowledge to better understand how to handle incidents of peer suicidal ideation and better understand their own thoughts and feelings with regard to suicide. CEMS’ Psychologist Kaite Haaland and the counseling team brought the grant to CEEF with the hope of not only increasing awareness of the issue in CEMS but also giving students the tools to better help themselves and their peers. Haaland believes the knowledge and awareness can guide students not only in Middle School but into High School and beyond. More information on the program itself can be found here and information will be sent home to parents as well.
Decomposers in the Classroom The fourth-grade earth science curriculum studies ecosystems, including an exploration of life cycles, producers, consumers, and decomposers. To support and enhance learning around these standards, teacher Julie Merriam will be including a worm composting unit in her classroom. Merriam noted that students often learn and retain more if they participate in hands-on experiences, and including vermicomposting bin would allow students to compost organic food waste generated at school. The composting process results in worm castings, a fertilizer for growing new plants. Lessons will be included that directly relate to learning standards that allow students to observe the process in action as the class works with its friendly earthworms. Finally, as the compost is harvested, the class will connect with the gardening group that works in the raised vegetable beds at the lower playground to supply them with compost.
Plastic Shredder CEHS student Nora Lane came to CEEF with the goal of building a plastic shredder to recycle plastic into reusable utensils for the CEHS cafeteria. Once built, plastic can be collected from sources in the community and around the school, shredded, and then molded to generate into reusable plastic silverware. The silverware produced would be washable, and in the event that the cafeteria runsout of silverware, it would be cheaply and easily replaced by simply making more. By creating this closed loop system to become and stay plastic waste-free, Lane is bringing CEHS one step closer to sustainability.
2020 – 2021 School Year
Willow Brook Outdoor Classroom Student Hope Taylor applied for her second CEEF grant to help expand the district’s outdoor learning opportunities. The grant will establish an outdoor classroom for 24 students on CELT property, complete with benches, tables, and outdoor whiteboards, all of which Taylor and volunteers will build. The classroom is a short walk from all three schools, and affords the opportunity for students and teachers to enrich their study of the environment, as well as explore learning in a new setting.
CEMS Mindfulness Director Expanding on the successful mindfulness program established in 2019, Principal Troy Eastman, Counselor Stephanie Royal, and Social Worker Sarah Hasson, applied for a grant to establish the position of Mindfulness Director for the Middle School. Erica Marcus will continue and expand her work with teacher training, drop-in sessions for parents and students, and collaboration within the Middle School. Students and faculty benefit from learning to recognize emotions and safely express them, and how they fit into the Middle School community as a whole.
Community Read for Mental Health Focusing on Pond Cove librarian Cameron Rosenblum’s book The Stepping Off Place, CEHS will host a read-along and discussion in conjunction with Thomas Memorial Library. The book addresses many aspects of mental health, and the project will incorporate both classroom and community discussions about the book and how to address and improve mental health.
Coder Express Pond Cove students were able to carry on this beloved tradition remotely thanks to a grant to Mr. Charltray and the 4th-grade eTeam. The grant allowed each participant could have an at-home bag with supplies, a cookie, and of course, hot chocolate!
New England Aquarium Virtual Programs Fourth Grade teachers, Julie Merriam and Mary Jane Ham, came together to build a grant that will allowed the entire fourth grade to participate in the New England Aquarium Climate Change Virtual Field Trip. The CEEF grant allowed students to continue the tradition of field trips in a new way, and Merriam and Ham strove to find a way to still experience the thrill of hands on learning. They shared that it was “imperative to teach our young learners about our sacred oceans” and found that the New England Aquarium (NEA) offered programming that brought the oceans and experts to students. Each class studied and participated in activities exploring STEM skills and climate change, and then interacted with an expert from NEA via Zoom. Ham and Merriam noted that this interaction with NEA was key to a student’s understanding and connection, and that “anytime a student interacts with a real scientist or someone deep in the field – they benefit.”
Natural Helpers/Peer to Peer Space Creation Hoping to provide a safe space for HS students to talk, de-escalate their feelings, receive peer-to-peer counseling, or even engage in meditation. The creation of the space will provide a home base for the Natural Helpers, and Peer -to-Peer group already established at the High School. Providing a space for students to help others offers a unique experience and perspective for the entire high school community.
Persona Dolls Pond Cove Kindergarten teacher Amanda Marsden and Counselor Bri Gallagher were awarded a grant to bring Persona Dolls to early childhood learners. These child-size dolls have diverse backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and families and engage students in powerful dialogue. The dolls help introduce conversation around bias and bullying for young learners by becoming part of the classroom community. “We have an opportunity to create a climate and culture that rejects racism and embeds anti-racist teaching and learning into our early childhood classrooms when it is most impactful and will make real change.
Cape Snowshoes Like many educators, 8th Grade Experiential Learning Teacher Morgan Kerr had to be creative to keep his students engaged and safe during the pandemic. Kerr crafted an innovative solution to expand nature-based education for his middle-schoolers: snowshoes. “Winter is a very unique time to really explore the world around us. The snow and loss of foliage allows us to explore areas where we might not be able to in the summer, spring, or fall. For the experiential program in particular, we will use [snowshoes] to further expand our study of the importance of salt marshes and its importance to Cape Elizabeth’s and Maine’s coastal ecology.”
Thanks to the generous support of CEEF and CELT, Kerr was able to purchase 25 sets of snowshoes for CEMS. With small cohort classes, 2-3 classes of students are able to use them at a time. Long term, Kerr is hoping teachers will take advantage of the new equipment and incorporate snowshoe excursions into their winter curriculum.
2019 – 2020 School Year
Helping At-Risk Readers The Pond Cove Literacy Team (Becky Swift, Mary Dulac and Rosemary Ginn) applied for a grant to assist Pond Cove’s most vulnerable readers over the Summer. The change from in-person to remote learning meant these readers weren’t getting as many “new-to-them” books for frequent reading practice, and the team was concerned that reading wouldn’t continue over the Summer. With a CEEF grant, twenty-four book bags, consisting of twelve books each, were assembled and distributed to students for Summer reading. Making sure these students had multiple, “just right” books to practice with over the summer meant better preparation for the Fall. An innovative and adaptive solution to help Pond Cove students!
Naturalization Ceremony Ted Jordan received a grant to fund a naturalization ceremony hosted by CEHS Government students for 50 new citizens as they take the oath of US citizenship. The ceremony will be held at the CEHS auditorium. Students will plan a breakfast, interview participants, and make connections between the event and curriculum topics around immigration and policy-making.
Mindfulness Practice for Emotional Regulation in the Classroom Louise Lynch and Maria Rinaldi received a grant to fund mindfulness training for teachers at CEMS. As part of the CEEF/Thompson Mental Health Initiative, participating teachers will receive practical training from an expert at “Wise Minds, Big Hearts” to integrate mindfulness practices in their classrooms. Teachers and students will learn skills to manage stress, increase empathy and self-awareness, and monitor their own levels of worry and anxiety. Check out this update for information and mindfulness tips: Mindfulness Update
BLACK KID JOY Performance Ensemble. Christine Marshall received a grant to bring the BLACK KID JOY (BKJ) Performance Ensemble to CEHS. Through songs, dance, and acting, BKJ is the work of an ensemble of 40 artists from Philadelphia that expresses the joy, power, and ongoing challenges of the African American community. Students were able to not only see the performance but also meet the performers and try out their singing/acting skills during in-school workshops.
Peaceful Pond Cove – 4th-grade Helpers Presented by Tara Bucci, this grant will provide opportunities for 4th-grade students to be responsible leaders for their peers and mentors for younger classmates. Through trainings led by teachers, staff members, and community helpers, students will develop leadership skills with a focus on responsible student behavior. Helpers will be trained around issues of safety, being a buddy for those in need, technology assistance, playground safety, and building a healthy school community.
Artist in Residence Mike Scarpone and Caitlin Ramsey received a grant to bring musician Trent Austin to CEHS and CEMS. Trent is a celebrated artist, musician, and entrepreneur who is dedicated to music and jazz education. CEHS and CEMS jazz bands and trumpet sections will work with Scarpone in three days of clinics to improve style, technique, and musicianship. Students will apply these skills and perform alongside Scarpone in their annual Jazz Cabaret.
Raising Trout in 6th Grade A grant was awarded to Hannah Rohner, Josh Chase and Allison Caruso at CEMS for students to participate in the Portland Water District’s TroutKids program. This grant will fund the supplies needed to raise brook trout in the classroom and test water quality for their release. This experiential learning opportunity will benefit current and future 6th-grade students through authentic learning experiences around anatomy and physiology, ecology, human impacts, water quality, watershed protection, and Maine’s economy.
A Celebration of Maine Authors and Illustrators – Audio Library Aligning with Maine’s Bicentennial in March 2020, a grant was awarded to Ingrid Whitaker, Cameron Rosenblum, and Tom Charltray at PCES for a community project to promote literacy for Pond Cove students. Cape Elizabeth community members will be recorded while reading picture books by Maine authors and illustrators. The goal is to create a library of 200 narrated books by members of the community that will be a resource for teachers and students at Pond Cove now and in the future.
World Map for Pond Cove Kate Zellers received a grant for the purchase and installation of a large world map at PCES. The map will be matte mounted so students can explore as they walk down the hall. The map will be used for interactive lessons in geography and map reading, and promote an understanding of our place in the community, country, and the world.
Sexual Assault Awareness For Everyone Event (SAAFE) CEHS students Ella Briman, Hannah Johnson, and Genevieve Rodda received a grant to help fund a full-day event promoting sexual assault awareness at CEHS. Through a variety of discussions and speakers, this event will advance the community’s knowledge around sexual assault. Discussions will focus on education, prevention, strategies, and coping, and will contribute to creating a safe environment at CEHS.
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