Save the Dates:
Thank you to all who have donated to our Annual Appeal!
Teacher Mini- Grants: Applications are now available
Shark Tank : Applications are coming soon…
Giving Day- March 1st 2018
Excellence in Education- April 26
The Norwalk Education Foundation in partnership with the Norwalk Federation of Teachers and the Norwalk Board of Education recognize Norwalk educators and excellence in education in each school in our district.
Visit from Tracy Smith,U.S. Poet Laureate– May 3
Born on April 16, 1972, Tracy K. Smith was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and raised in Fairfield, California. She is the youngest of five children. She studied at Harvard, where she joined the Dark Room Collective, a reading series for writers of color. She went on to receive her MFA from Columbia University.
Smith’s first collection, The Body’s Question (Graywolf Press, 2003), won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize in 2002. Her second book, Duende (Graywolf Press, 2007), won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her most recent collection, Life on Mars (Graywolf Press, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In April 2018, Graywolf Press will publish her book Wade in the Water.
A starred review of Smith’s work in Publisher’s Weekly noted her “lyric brilliance and political impulses.” A review of Duende in The New York Times Book Review stated, “The most persuasively haunted poems here are those where [Smith] casts herself not simply as a dutiful curator of personal history but a canny medium of fellow feeling and the stirrings of the collective unconscious…it’s this charged air of rapt apprehension that gives her spare, fluid lines their coolly incantatory tenor.”
Smith is the recipient of the 2014 Academy of American Poets Fellowship. About Tracy K. Smith, Academy of American Poets Chancellor Toi Derricotte said: “The surfaces of a Tracy K. Smith poem are beautiful and serene, but underneath, there is always a sense of an unknown vastness. Her poems take the risk of inviting us to imagine, as the poet does, what it is to travel in another person’s shoes. The Academy is fortunate to be able to confer this fitting recognition on one of the most important poets of our time.”
In 2017, Smith was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States. Her other awards and honors include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, a 2004 Rona Jaffe Writers Award, a 2008 Essence Literary Award, a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, a fellowship from the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, and a 2005 Whiting Award. She is the director of Princeton University’s creative writing program and lives in New Jersey.
Congratulations to our 3rd Annual Shark Tank Winners:
Norwalk Education Foundation
The Norwalk Education Foundation is committed to providing support for student learning experiences and enriching teacher practices. Our mission is accomplished by collaborating with community partners to fund programs that enhance student learning, promote student well-being, and expand teacher resources and innovation.
- Teacher Resources and Innovation
NEF offers teacher mini-grants to develop and implement instructional projects that motivate and challenge students to learn. Proposals must support unique classroom projects that enliven and enrich the curriculum.
- Enhance Student Learning
The Shark Tank competition requires students to “sell” a proposal to enhance their school. In the past, ideas have addressed academics, extra-curricular activities, social-emotional well being, physical health/nutrition and safety. We awarded several thousand dollars to support 30 student proposals in the past 2 years.
- Community Collaboration
The College Essay Mentor program began in 2015. Teachers, administrators and volunteers from the community, were trained by a college essay consultant to coach high school seniors. After the first year, an admissions officer from UCONN contacted Norwalk High School to say she has never read such great essays from Norwalk.
NEF partners with community organizations to host community outreach workshops. This fall, we are hosting a College Admission Workshop and a Stress Management panel for teens and parents.
- Student Social and Emotional Health
NEF’s newest initiative addresses the high levels of stress that research has identified as a major difficulty for adolescents. In 2015, we piloted a program to teach kids stress-reduction techniques like meditation. Based on the positive data collected through this pilot program, NEF plans to offer such workshops to all middle and high school students in the fall. NEF also partners with Norwalk ACTS working with the Health and Wellness workgroup to bring mindful meditation to the high school students.