The Gloucester Education
Foundation (GEF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making Gloucester one of the five best school districts in Massachusetts.
Getting to the Best
it mean to be “the best”? First, we share the District’s mission of helping students become successful,
engaged, life-long learners. Along these lines, we seek to help the schools create a “Culture of Excellence: that provides
healthy supportive learning environments, set high expectations for all students, builds on the learning strengths of each
child, and promotes a philosophy that everyone in our community benefits from excellent schools.
“the best”, we mean helping students achieve more academically, with higher test scores serving as one measure.
By “the best”, we mean helping to offer a growing set of enrichment activities during and
after school, such as world languages, applied math and science activities, and an expanded arts program including visual
and performing arts.
By “the best”, we mean to continually review and improve our efforts.
In 2005 a small group of parents decided to form the Gloucester
Education Foundation (GEF) to supplement the Gloucester Public School District (GPSD) budget in order to help students become
successful, engaged, life-long learners. Since then, GEF has raised more than $1.5 million in donations and grants, has sponsored
new and innovative programs as well as providing support for programs that had been eliminated or significantly curtailed
due to financial cutbacks.
YEAR 1 2006-2007
- GEF raised $100,000 in
donations and grants
- For the first time in decades, elementary and middle school students were
able to learn string instrument. Elementary band school children had the opportunity to take district-wide music lessons together.
- Students in grades 6-8 were able to study Italian, German and Spanish after school.
- GEF sponsored the 5th Grade ballroom dance program that helps build social and movement skills.
- At O’Maley Middle School, students became involved in a hands-on robotics program where they applied
their math, science and technology lessons.
- At the High School, an expanded robotics program
culminated in Gloucester’s first entry into the prestigious US FIRST Robotics Competition.
stipends were provided for many extended-day programs including music, drama and school magazines
YEAR 2 2007-2008
- Donations from individuals, families and local businesses comprised more
than $120,000 of the $400,000 raised.
- Programs sponsored in Year 1 were funded again.
- Funding from an anonymous Foundation enabled the Sea Initiative, a collaboration between Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT), GPSD and GEF. Focusing on the marine environment in Gloucester, the initiative proposed to
develop a curriculum in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) which could be exportable to other schools
across the country.
- A full-time Science, Technology and Engineering Specialist was hired.
- Math program Investigations upgrades and math books with Internet links for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.
- Hands-on science programs expanded: a 5th grade Robotics fair was held as well as a continuation
of the programs sponsored during Year 1.
- We were excited that the GHS Robotics program
won the prestigious Judges’ Award at the US FIRST competition.
- Annual Appeal generated approximately $130,000
of the programs from previous years were funded.
- Funding for the Sea Initiative program
was secured for the remainder of the three-year proposal. This will provide a total of more than $1 million for the partnership
between MIT, GPSD and GEF. Teachers and students participated in several programs at MIT.
began to focus on expanding the Arts Programs; May 2008 saw a GEF-sponsored GPSD Arts Festival in several downtown locations
and the initiation of an Arts Video program at the Middle School.
- Robotics – from
extended day programs to the curriculum. GEF, via an anonymous donation, has enabled the use of robotics to teach physics
in the High School.
YEAR 4 2009-2010
- The Birdseye
Hammond Science, Technology and Engineering Center opened in the O'Maley Middle School.
- A volunteer
coordinator was hired.
- Annual Appeal generated approximately the same amount as in 2008-2009
- The 2009 Arts Festival was a huge success with much increased visibility in the community. The
presence of a Downtown GHS Art Gallery during the Arts Festival brought more admiration for the arts programs in the GPSD.
- With funds from the Sea Initiative grant the number of Middle School students (40) attending
the Summer Science program was doubled.
- A Summer Reading pilot program for elementary school
students provided basic reading skills.
YEAR 5 2010-2011
Summer Literacy program was expanded to include all elementary schools
- The 2010 Arts Festival took place on May 8th
and was a huge success.
- Middle school students (40) participated in the summer MIT/GHMC summer science program.
grant writer was hired.
Gloucester Education Foundation 122 Main Street, Gloucester, MA 01930