By LeslieKrowchenko

SPIRIT correspondent

Presenting funds to enhance student experience is an annual highlight for Ridley Education Foundation (REF) president and school board member Beverly Kapanjie. The October meeting was the time to distribute checks and award recipients.

The non-profit organization presented nearly $18,000 in new and renewed grants for the 2016-2017 school year. REF raises private dollars through tax-deductible contributions to enrich educational opportunities and support innovation in the classroom.

Its mission notes it awards the grants “to supplement, but not replace, regular school district funds,” adding “the primary beneficiaries of the funds raised by the foundation are the Ridley students who are afforded the opportunities to experience these programs and activities.”

“It is a great pleasure to work with the applicants,” said Kapanjie. “We worked hard to raise the money and now I am excited to give it to them.”

New grants were presented to Paul Louth, Kristin Milewski, Kristina Rosato and Jack Signor – Ridley High School (school store – $5,000); Jeanette McGough – Ridley Middle School (It’s Time – $975); Brad String – RHS (modeling cell division – $800); Traci Budman and Joan Manhardt – Lakeview Elementary School (improving student behavior – $800); Leonora Hutt and Christina Wilson – RHS (art and science painting in heirloom garden – $500); Kathleen Monte and Kristen Schaffer – RHS (geopolitics – $495); Sue Kulp – Eddystone Elementary School (little free library – $370;) and Megan Cini and Casey Hall – Leedom Elementary School (running club – $300).

Ridley Education Foundation members (from leftt) Linda Hosbach, Christine McMenamin and Dana Pinketti greeted grant recipient Paul Louth during the recent school board meeting. Louth and three other Ridley High School staff members received $5,000 toward the school store.

Ridley Education Foundation members (from leftt) Linda Hosbach, Christine McMenamin and Dana Pinketti greeted grant recipient Paul Louth during the recent school board meeting. Louth and three other Ridley High School staff members received $5,000 toward the school store.

Renewal grants were given to Kristy Lemieux, Justin McQuaid and Julie Ruth – RHS (Ridley Winter Games – $2,000), Allen Lawrence – RHS (Hi-Q Team – $1,800), Jamie Pena – RHS (welcome walk – $1,665); Audrie Tichenell – RHS (sensory – $1,200;, Daniel Arrison and Michael Pagano – Grace Park Elementary School (regulating for success – $825); D. J. Wagner – RMS (sixth grade transition camp – $600); Eva Signor – Woodlyn Elementary School (“W.E. Can” improving attendance initiative – $540); Joann Reese – RMS (Cape Cod whale watching trip – $400; Jennifer Sterling – Woodlyn (“W.E. Can” – $300); and Crystal Brooks and Eva Signor – Eddystone (running club – $225).

Kapanjie also announced a $2,000 gift in memory of Evelyn McCall, a school nurse at Eddystone, Lakeview and Ridley Middle School.

REF’s first fundraiser of the year will be a volleyball tournament pitting the staff from the seven elementary schools against each other for the Raider Cup. The competition will be held Oct. 13 at Ridley High School gym, 901 Morton Ave., Folsom. Doors will open at 6 p.m., small fee admission and all students must be accompanied by a parent. Snacks, beverages and 50/50 tickets will be available for purchase.

The school board also welcomed Dr. Brandon Cooley as director of Data Quality and Assessment. He is replacing Deena Cellini, who has been reassigned. Cooley formerly worked in the William Penn School District and his pro-rated salary will be $144,886.

The board also announced the $100,000 award of a competitive grant from Boeing Corporation to be used to provide equipment and resources for elementary maker spaces, broaden the curriculum in the RMS innovation center and think tank and provide additional STEM resources at Ridley High School to develop a digital design lab.

It also offered congratulations to RHS seniors Brian Felter and Dylan Mason who have been recognized as semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

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