OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince school year 2008-2009, The Arc of Greater Plymouth in partnership with The United Way of Greater Plymouth has awarded six Inspired Teacher grants of $500.00 to teachers who promote inclusion in their classrooms in creative ways. The enthusiastic response and depth of creativity of the projects proposed in previous years, has empowered our agency to continue this program and expand it each year to include more school systems. Because of the increased number of applicants and the quality of the projects they proposed, The Arc is pleased to announce eight grant winners for 2015. In 2015 , grants were offered in Plymouth, Kingston/Silver Lake, Pembroke, Marshfield, Hanover, Carver, Duxbury and Rising Tide Charter School. Grants may be used for classroom supplies, classroom programs which promote inclusion- in school or the local community, or professional development to improve inclusive education practices.

From the towns of Plymouth, Hanover , Kingston, and Marshfield; the 2015 winners are:

  • Geraldine Thissell, Speech/Language Pathologist , Autism Spectrum Disorder Program, Federal Furnace Elementary School, Plymouth , for purchase of the “MindWing Concepts’Autism Collection” curriculum to be used in small groups within regular education classrooms K-5.
  •  Rachel Bates, School Psychologist, Federal Furnace Elementary School, Plymouth,for purchase of materials for Zones of Regulation” curriculum to be used in regular education classroom centers K-5.
  •  Susan Carey, Grade 4,English Language Arts , and Jennifer Mulvaney, Technology Integration Specialist, Manomet Elementary School, for two grants to purchase a subscription to the Storia eBook Program for students K-5.
  • Pamela Borgeson, engineering teacher, Hanover High School , for purchase of EV3 Lego Robotics for inclusive first year engineering students.
  • Alice Boyle, Special Education Teacher , Hanover High School, to fund a coordinator and supplies for “The Friendship Connection” , an after school club designed to promote social integration of students with/without disabilities.
  • Courtney Kelley Viveiros, Grade 3 teacher, Kingston Intermediate School , to purchase multiple copies of   “The Brain Gym Book” to share with classrooms Grade 3-6.
  •  Nicole Schiro , integrated pre-school teacher, Martinson Elementary School, Marshfield, to purchase toys and games to promote social skills development.

Congratulations to all the winners and our grateful appreciation to the twenty other applicants we could not honor this year. The excellent proposals presented by all who applied confirm our pride in the quality of Inclusive Education being offered to all students in the Greater Plymouth area and we applaud your continued efforts to enhance that quality.

The awards represent many things for our agency. Primarily, it is a way to honor and support our commitment to Inclusive Education and Post Graduate Life Skills Education. Equally important, is the recognition of how inclusive classroom education enhances the mission of our agency to change attitudes, build partnerships that increase the social value of individuals with and without intellectual challenges, and allow them to realize their goals of where and how to learn, live, work and play. Finally, recognizing the essential role community plays in the lives of those we serve, it is an opportunity for our agency to give back.

We look forward to future applications for our 2016 grant cycle , and encourage all those who did not receive awards this year, to reapply.