New Grant Allows Teachers and Students to Develop Ideas, Create, And Share Interactive Videos

In addition to the Play It Forward Field Campaign, the Somerset Foundation continues to review grant proposals submitted by teachers and staff, primarily at Somerset Elementary School. At the November 4th, 2015 Board Meeting, the members approved a grant to purchase updated software and equipment to allow staff and students at Somerset Elementary to develop ideas, and create and share interactive videos. The new capability represents an effective form of communication for capturing and sharing experiences amongst staff members, as well as an opportunity to introduce students to the video editing software, preparing them for what they will see in middle school.

Play it Forward Campaign formally launches, Sports Raffle a success!

The Somerset Foundation launched its largest ever capital campaign – the Play It Forward Campaign to renovate the Somerset Elementary School field – at the school’s Fall Picnic on Sunday, September 27th. The formal launch builds off a fantastic pre-launch phase that raised more than $350,000 in donations and pledges, thanks to the PTA’s kick-off allocation of $54,321; the generous support of more than 60 families and friends of the school; and the proceeds from the Field of Dreams Baseball Game fundraiser that took place September 19th. We look forward to watching these numbers grow as our school community comes together to get us to the $550,000 finish line for this much-needed new field!

To make a donation to the Play it Forward Field Campaign, and to learn specifics about the new turf field, click here.

A special thanks to Jeff and Deb Nussbaum who donated the Play it Forward key chains that were handed out at the picnic (if your child didn’t get one, they’ll also be given away at the Somerset Race next month); to Jeff Mascott who designed our fabulous logo; and to Brian Pilot who provided the computer rendering of the new field.

The Sports Raffle at the picnic was a success, and we would like to thank the many Somerset families who purchased raffle tickets. We raised $754 which will go straight to the Field Campaign.  Big thanks to Sarah Cooper who stepped up and obtained prizes from these great corporate sponsors: Child’s Play, City Sports, Modell’s, Next Level Fitness, Racquet and Jog, Sports Extra, and the Travel Channel; and to Liz O’Donnell who pulled together the Ultimate Sports Bucket. And congratulations to the raffle winners: Erika Meddin (winner of the Ultimate Sports Bucket!), Lisa Banks, David Barron, Liam Bryce, Jordan Engel, Eliza Fox, Derek Fromson, Sedona Hawkins, Laith Khreisat, Emmett O’Donnell, David Satloff, the Terbush Family, Amy Wrona, and the Zalubas Family.

Please watch this space for more information on upcoming Campaign events.  If you have an idea for a fundraiser, please contact Campaign Co-Chairs Katherine Coleman, Caroline Cooper or Erica Brown.

And “Like” us on the Somerset Foundation Facebook page!

Board Approves Grant for After School Clubs

The Somerset Foundation Board held their first meeting of the 2015-2016 school year in early September and approved a grant to fund After School Clubs that provide additional support and/or enrichment in the areas of reading, phonemic awareness, writing, math, and research/public speaking for grades K-5.  Based on teacher recommendations, students will be invited to participate in clubs once a week for 8 weeks.  There will be two rounds of these 8 week sessions, one in the fall and one in the early spring.  The Foundation has been supporting Somerset Elementary’s After School Clubs initiative since 2006.  Over the years, the clubs and specific target areas have evolved but the purpose and outcomes have remained the same: to help students achieve academic success.  By providing support for an average of 80 students each year, this program has serviced approximately 720 students since its conception.  In keeping with the curriculum 2.0, both game and digital resources are used to provide students with additional opportunities to strengthen their academic skills in a format that is both academically rewarding and fun.

Somerset “Field of Dreams” Baseball Game is a Home Run!

Somerset Baseball Fall 2015 4 pm team Somerset Baseball Fall 2015 7 pm

On Saturday, September 19th, 40 Somerset dads suited up in uniform, dusted off their cleats, bats, and gloves, and took the field, all to support Somerset’s “Play It Forward” Field Campaign!  The double header, with games played at 4pm and 7pm, took place at Shirley Povich Field in Cabin John.  In between the games, all had a chance to take the field, measure their pitching speed with a radar gun, release their inner Ryan Zimmerman at the Home Run Derby, and run the bases.  Ticket sales to over 150 spectators together with generous contributions from the ball players raised over $6,000, all going directly to the Somerset Field Campaign.   Special thanks to Jim Kambouris who organized the whole event (down to the walk-up music and nicknames!), Perry Smith for basically playing the role of Somerset Baseball GM, and Jon Budington for providing the printing of the program booklets.   Thank you to all who played and came to watch!