SEF recognizes award winners

The Southington Education Foundation recognized grant and program awardees at a Dec. 5 reception at Southington Community Cultural Arts. Above, three Plantsville Elementary School teachers were recognized for their “flexible seating in the classroom” project. From left, Gina Krar, Jessica Fletcher, and Adrianna Chiappelli. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

The Southington Education Foundation (SEF) recognized their most recent grant and program awardees at a reception at the Southington Community Cultural Arts Center (SoCCA) on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

The SEF provides these educational grants and program funding to educators in the Southington Public schools. The grants and programs allow educators to improve the quality of public education above and beyond the conventional curriculum, identifying and addressing needs, challenges, and concerns unique to their students.

The grant awardees include Jennifer Shields, Southington High School, for her “Beehives – Apiculture in Agriculture” program, and Jessica Fletcher and Adriana Chiappelli at Plantsville Elementary School for their “Flexible Seating in the Classroom” initiative.

SHS student Bobby Adamo accepts the award on behalf of his teacher, Jennifer Shields.  (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

Beehives – Apiculture in Agriculture

Beekeeping is becoming a very popular hobby and farm crop. “Beehives – Apiculture in Agriculture” will fill the gap in the curriculum for apiculture and beekeeping where there was none before.

Students will not only learn about bees in the classroom but they will then be able to apply their skills by maintaining a beehive and performing hands-on work and skills. The project will benefit the Southington community because of the accessibility of the hive location for educational purposes.

It will be maintained by students, it will provide pollinating service to those nearby, and it will produce products to be sold to the public.


Flexible Seating in the Classroom

Research shows that students struggle with anxiety more now than ever. Part of the cause is that we are asking more of them than they are developmentally ready to handle. This includes sitting in a chair for long periods of time.

With “flexible seating” in first grade classrooms, students are able to move throughout the day, which in turn helps them engage in their learning, increase their productivity, instill a love for learning, and it will do a small part to help combat childhood obesity.

Mark Pooler accepts the award for the science program at YMCA Camp Sloper. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

Other programs

The SEF also highlighted two program initiatives: Science at Sloper, and the CCSU Technology and Engineering Partnership with the Southington Public Schools.

With Science at Sloper, fourth graders from across the district travel to Camp Sloper twice during the academic year for a day of innovative learning. Students collect pond specimens and perform on-site experiments thanks to the many natural resources that are abundant at Camp Sloper.

Asst. superintendent of schools Steve Madancy accepts an award for the Technology Engineering Partnership. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

The CCSU Technology and Engineering Partnership will enhance educational opportunities available to students by developing a greater understanding of STEM and its significance within the global marketplace. This partnership will advance both teaching and learning by providing students with activities and outreach programs that will allow students to access CCSU’s STEM resources.


About the SEF

The SEF was established in 2009 as 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Since its inception the Foundation has provided over $200,000 in grants to educators in all schools and at all grade levels.

The SEF is committed to instilling a life-long love of learning in all children through innovative, creative learning experiences that expand upon existing educational opportunities. The Foundation will partner with the community to secure resources, inspire excellence, and enrich student achievement.

More information is available at


About The Southington Public Schools

The mission of the Southington Public Schools is to have students engage in a range of educational experiences to become informed, adaptive problem solvers who effectively communicate, rise to challenges, and are committed to improve themselves and their communities.

More information is available at

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