The Chatham Education Foundation’s (CEF) vision is to be the leading partner for the School District of the Chathams for collaborating on innovative ideas to enrich education, support future-focused initiatives, and establish a sustainable source of funding through an endowment.


Mr. Miller and Ms. Cafaro are current CHS science teachers with a combined 11 years in the district. Mr. Miller and Ms. Cafaro applied for a grant to elevate their environmental science courses.


Their Farm to School grant enhances the environmental science classes by having students grow food with a hydroponic system in the greenhouse and raised beds in the courtyards. The students will be responsible for designing the planting schedule, types of plants, the actual planting, and maintenance of the gardens. Students and cafeteria personnel will participate in harvesting at appropriate times, and the produce will be incorporated into the CHS menu.


Mr. Miller shared, “This grant is to increase the capability of our greenhouse and outdoor gardens to produce food for the cafeteria and to give students the opportunity to work with state of the art agricultural equipment. Further the grant expands upon a grant I received years ago to upgrade and expand our food production systems.”


When discussing the goals of the grant Ms. Cofaro remarked, “Students will learn advanced technologies in food production and have the opportunity to monitor the systems for consistent productivity. Feeding a growing world population will be a challenge, and additional technology may be important for a food secure future.”


Both educators expressed the importance for students to recognize that the technologies are real and “exist beyond a textbook, PBS special or website. This grant enhances the classroom for students, because this goes beyond just the idea or concept and brings the technology here as a reality.”


When asked how does the District collaboration with CEF help them as educators they had this to say, “CEF most certainly has created opportunity where none would have existed. The funding is easy to access, reimbursement and POs are processed immediately, and we never felt as though the process was not worth the trouble as with other grants. The CEF and district personnel who helped us complete orders and take deliveries were outstanding, including Leslie Chapman, and the entire custodial staff at CHS to be specific.”


The students are excited to have their hard work available for all CHS students to taste and enjoy!


*The featured grant is in part funded by the Endowment Fund for Environmental Sustainability (Abbott Family)


28  years of services

270  grants funded

$1.6M  total awards

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