Recent Grants Approved by the Somerset Elementary School Foundation

Updated: August 27, 2018

  • July 2018: $375 for attendance incentives for summer reading/math/science program at Title 1 Bel-Pre elementary school where Ms. Turner taught over the summer
  • May 2018: $11,000 to provide groceries for families within the Somerset school community needing support over the summer ($9,000 of this is newly approved funding; $2,000 is redirected from surplus funds remaining from a Somerset Pantry grant approved at our March 2018 meeting)
  • May 2018: $1,400 for Title I school, Watkins Mill Elementary, to fund two cultural arts assemblies during the 2018-19 school year
  • May 2018: Disbursement of up to $3,324 for Title I elementary school, Georgian Forest, to conduct a literacy intervention program for 40 students reading at least one year below MCPS benchmarks. Somerset Foundation paid $1649 and Bradley Hills Foundation paid $1675.
  • May 2018: $1,829 for new Somerset Elementary classroom tables in the fourth grade to promote collaborative learning in mathematics.
  • May 2018 — $1,020 for SES kindergarten teachers to run a summer reading intervention group for rising 1st graders who ended school year below recommended reading level.
  • May 2018 — $923 for Rolling Terrace Elementary School, a Takoma Park 72% FARMS and 59% Hispanic school, to help pay for a Spanish-English language summer immersion curriculum.
  • April 2018 – $1,113 to pay for Tracy Jeffcott and Brooke Flores to attend Common Ground conference focused on digital learning.
  • March 2018 – Up to $2,000 for the Somerset Elementary School pantry, which provides food and essentials to Somerset families in need.
  • March 2018 – Up to $4,000 in grants to Title I elementary schools within Montgomery County.
  • January 2018 – $1,000 to help fund educational field trips for students at Daly Elementary School, a Title I school in Montgomery County, and to help replenish the school’s “Neediest Kids Fund” which enables students from low-income families to attend field trips with the rest of their class.
  • January 2018 – $3,750 to pay Somerset Elementary School staff members who lead after-school professional training groups at the school, including funds to help support Somerset’s popular STEM Night and Reading Night. This proposal has been funded in previous years as well.

2017

  • September 2017 — $11,240 to fund the After School Clubs that provide remedial assistance to Somerset students in need of math, reading, and writing assistance. This proposal has been funded in previous years as well.
  • September 2017 — $2,395 to fund a subscription to BrainPOP, an interactive educational website focusing on STEM education and used by all grades at Somerset Elementary School. This proposal has been funded in previous years as well.
  • September 2017 — $933 to fund a subscription to Junior Scholastic magazine for the fifth grade students at Somerset. This proposal has been funded in previous years as well.
  • May 2017 — $2,089 for Rolling Terrace Elementary School, a Title I school in Montgomery County, to purchase Chromebook computers, software, and a laptop cart.
  • January 2017 — $856 to fund travel for Kelly Morris and Maureen Turner to attend the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development national conference in California, which included topics such as the whole child, transformational leadership, global engagement, and poverty and equity issues.

2016

  • November 2016 — $590 to fund the purchase of headphones for Sequoyah Elementary School, a Montgomery County school that, while not a Title I designee, has a 61% FARMS eligibility rate (for free and reduced priced meals).
  • May 2016 — $1,000 to help fund the cost of an educational field trip taken by fourth grade students at Viers Mill Elementary School, another Montgomery County school that, while not a Title I designee, is a high-FARMS school. This proposal has been funded in previous years as well.
  • April 2016 — $2,165 to fund a Social Thinking training conference for Somerset’s two full-time special education teachers and the school counselor to attend.

2015

  • November 2015 – $2,200 to approve the purchase of an Apple MacBook Pro computer and software for the Somerset instrumental music teacher to train students and staff on creating and sharing interactive music videos.

You Can Make the New Field a Reality–Help Us Get to the End Zone!

  • FIELD DONATIONS NOW TOTAL 80%. Thanks to the generosity of current and past Somerset Elementary families, neighborhood associations, local realtors and businesses, 80% of the target $550k has now been pledged or donated! But in order to break ground this summer, YOUR DONATION is needed by December 31.
  • SPECIAL PTA FUNDRAISING MATCH: To help us get us to the end zone, the Somerset PTA is pledging an additional $25,000 — for a December donor match.  Every new dollar that is given, up to $25,000, will be matched by PTA funds. Every donor and every dollar matters. Give any amount and get matched.
  • DECEMBER 1, 2015 – #givingTuesday – is the BEST day to donate to the Play It Forward field campaign! On this day ONLY, all online donations to the campaign will be topped up by our online processing company, Network for Good. All you need to do to take advantage of this special bonus is to click on the DONATE NOW button on your right and donate on December 1st!
  • COME TO AN EVENT:
    – Personal Finance Session for Kids and Adults on Saturday, December 5th from 4-6:30pm. Buy your tickets now.
    – Plan to have dinner at Chipotle on Monday, December 7th and present this flyer.

THANK YOU to all families who have contributed, hosted events, attended events or shown your support in any and every way!    HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!

Update on the Field Campaign

June 5, 2015

Dear Somerset Community,

For the past decade, there has been a great deal of concern within our school community over the unsafe conditions of the field, which have caused dust inhalation, injuries and greatly reduced recreation time. Our students have limited opportunities to play outside. This affects not just physical health, but socialization and learning. Principal Morris estimates that our children lost 30 days of full outdoor recess since January 2015 alone due to field conditions.

There have been many attempts to address this problem. The field was closed for approximately six months in 2010 to allow for re-seeding, but as soon as it was back in regular use, the grass disappeared. New sod was laid down twice, at a cost to MCPS of around $50,000-$60,000 each time. These attempts also were unsuccessful. It has become clear that due to the field’s small size (smallest of all MCPS schools) and the large student population using it, as well as its hard-packed composition, it simply cannot support grass.

The MCPS Facilities Director and many Somerset teachers and parents have come to the realization that the only viable option is to install synthetic turf (with plant-based infill). MCPS is facing a budget shortfall and severe overcrowding, and cannot commit funds to this. The estimate to renovate the field, including extensive storm water management work to comply with new regulations, is $550,000. We are prepared to raise this money from within our community.

Last week, the Montgomery County Board of Education unanimously voted to approve our request to raise money for a field renovation. One council member who had visited Somerset said that she was “shocked” at the field’s condition and small size. Another praised us for our willingness to work in partnership with MCPS. In addition, the PTA has pledged $54,321 from its reserves to jump start this critical initiative. The tax-exempt Somerset Foundation recently established a separate Field Capital Campaign Account and Field Capital Campaign Committee to lead the effort.

We are now closer than we have ever been to making the dream of a usable field a reality. We will launch an official capital campaign in the fall, and will need all the help we can get. We have a very ambitious goal: to break ground in Spring 2016, so that we could have a new field in the Fall of 2016 (it is expected to take about six months). We want to get our kids outside and moving as soon as possible!

Feel free to contact any of us for more information and to get involved.

Warmly,

Katherine Coleman, Field Campaign Chair

Caroline Cooper, Field Campaign Co-Chair

Erica Brown, Field Campaign Co-Chair

For more information on the Field Campaign, please click on the Field Campaign tab above, or click here: Play It Forward Field Campaign

If you wish to send a check to support the Play It Forward campaign, please write it out to the Somerset Elementary School Educational Foundation, note Field Campaign in the memo line, and mail it P.O. Box 30764, Bethesda, MD 20824-0764.

Join Us on April 25 for Foundation’s Annual Party

Please join the Somerset Elementary School Educational Foundation for our Countdown to Summer Party on April 25th, from 6-8 pm.  It’s your chance to have fun with other Somerset ES parents and school staff, and to support our school and community. And, as you can see from the silent auction catalog, it’s also your opportunity to bid on exciting events you’ll only find there!

The Foundation would like to thank the lead sponsor for the party, Phyllis Wiesenfelder, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., and all of our contributors.

To purchase tickets or make a donation, please visit http://www.somerset-foundation.org/spring-party/.