Issue: 3
December 2015

In This Issue
Questions, comments or creative fundraising ideas? Email:


Melanie Bowers
EFMP Newsletter Editor
Happy Holidays! We value the part you play in "Funding the Way Forward" by supporting educational innovation in the Morris Plains School District. Your efforts help enrich the future for our students, our town and the wider community. Enjoy our EFMP December 2015 e-newsletter of recent updates and plans for the future!
EFMP 5K race logo
2016 "Strides for Education" 5K
SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, May 5th
The 2nd annual "Strides for Education" 5K will be  T hursday, May 5th so put it in your calendar and dust off your running shoes! Last year, over 200 runners and 30 sponsors from the community joined together, raising nearly $7,000 for educational innovation in the Morris Plains School District.  

Look out in January for online registration and our new Strides for Education "Couch to 5K" training program! Become a "Sponsor" and support our efforts for "funding the way forward" in Morris Plains.
"Stories Abound in the Community of Caring"
Mrs. Hussey/Ms. Wilczak help 3rd and 5th graders write history
The EFMP is proud to support this exciting inaugural project spearheaded by Borough School teachers Mrs. Ginny Hussey and Ms. Larissa Wilczak.The project will serve as a collaborative writing experience between 3rd and 5th grade students in a Writer's Workshop style process.  

S tudents have been paired (3rd grader with 5th grader) and connected with a Morris Plains community member (seniors, business owners, former educators, political leaders, police/fireman, etc) to learn about stories that the person has to share about their experiences within the community. Students will then work collaboratively to retell the story of the community member, which will then be published in a magazine-style format.  The publications will be shared with classmates, the community, and school stakeholders in a celebration to be held at the end of the school year. We will be sharing more details and photos as the project progresses. What an enriching experience for the students and the community members!
3-D Printer joins Mountain Way STEM/iLab
"Ms. Dem" teaches problem solving through technology
Thanks to a $3,800 EFMP grant, a CubePro 3-D printer was part of the innovative STEM/iLab that opened at Mountain Way School this year. STEM/iLab teacher Elizabeth Demetrician (also known as "Ms. Dem") is very excited about what the future holds as she incorporates the new printer into her curriculum.

In November, Ms. Dem and Christine Lion-Bailey, the district's Supervisor of Enrichment and Technology, took  training and learned to print using tem plate designs on Yeggi, a search engine for 3-D printable models.  An airplane and a die were the first of many printing projects to come. Print times are rather lengthy--f or instance, the plane printed in 2 ½ hours and the die took about 1 ½ hours-- so print projects will be started in the morning and monitored throughout the day. Initially, the printer is using a white, paintable filament, which melts at 200 degrees, to make a design uploaded onto the printer. This spring, Ms. Dem plans to design a printing project with K-2 classes. All children will work on designs in class with one design voted on for bringing to life with the 3-D printer.  Good luck, Ms. Dem!
Science Lab Renovation Success
Science teacher Casey Devlin gives facelift "thumbs up"
Last year, thanks to a generous grant from the Ann E. Clark Foundation, the EFMP was able to donate $15,000 to renovate the Borough Middle School Science lab. We checked in with Mrs. Devlin for an update on how both she and he r students have enjoyed the facelift, which included everything from new microscopes to roomy new lab tables to comfy "Zenergy" chairs (pictured below).
Throu gh h er own advanced studies, Mrs. Devlin came up with the idea to transform t he Science Lab into a state-of-the-art learning environment. 
"I decided that I wanted to learn more about how the brain learns and it turns out that it loves comfort! Neurotransmitters are released when students are comfortable and this opens the doors to deeper learning and even retrieval. The new science lab contains updated furniture and many 21st century components su ch as a collaborative and brain-friendly environment, student choice and differentiated spaces for learning."

By mid-school year, Mrs. Devlin says, "Data and surveys show that s tudents are happier and have begun to discover who they are as learners and where they can work best. For example, success for some means the ability to stay on task longer.  My heartfelt thanks is extended to Superintendent Mark Maire and the entire Education Foundation for supporting me and providing the resources to make my vision a reality."
Planting the Seeds of Learning
The EFMP provided start-up supply money for after-school  Enriching Minds classes headed by Morris Plains teachers this fall. Classes included  Kids Can Draw, Cooking for Mini Chefs, Group Voice Lessons, and Transforming Robots. Created by Christine Lion-Bailey, Supervisor of Enrichment and Technology, the Enriching Minds program will be expanded and enhanced for winter and spring sessions.
What's Next for the EFMP in 2016?
  • February 24: Educational Technology Night for parents/community
  • May 5th: 2nd Annual "Strides for Education" 5K
  • June: "Stories Abound in the Community of Caring" event
  • Fall:  Fundraiser TBA
We are a volunteer group of engaged citizens who support excellence in education in the Morris Plains School District. Join us by sharing your talents and time in whatever amount you are able!

Sincerely,
Lee Lusardi Connor, President
Education Foundation of Morris Plains