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Spring CPEF 2022 Grants Awarded

The Cortland Public Education Foundation (CPEF) has awarded seven grants totaling $3,963 to Cortland teachers. Recipients come from the High School, Junior High and Smith Intermediate School.

CPEF is an independent, community-based, nonprofit organization that looks to enrich and broaden the educational experience for our young people in the Cortland Enlarged City School District. CPEF allocates funds for educational opportunities that fall outside the scope of the district’s operating budget. The grants CPEF funds support innovative classroom and curriculum projects that promote educational excellence. Teachers apply for the grants to create programs or projects that will enhance the learning experience for their students.

CPEF Award Spring 2022 Winners

Drums Alive ($1,000)
Grant writer: Heidi Shelley and Ilona Ryon, supported by Angela Wanish
School: Smith Intermediate School
Drums Alive is a Whole Brain and Whole Body Workout with innovative cross-curriculum partnership between music and physical education. Created for students in grades 3 and 4.

Near–Space Balloon Launch ($850)
Grant writer: Jonathan Herr, supported by Kevin Cafararo
School: Junior High School
The near-space balloon launch at the end of the academic year will utilize skills that students have developed throughout the year. The goal of the launch will be to engage students across grades 7-12 in a comprehensive STEAM activity.

Literature for Classroom Libraries (funded $584, part 2 of grant submitted for Fall 2021 cycle.
Grant writer: Samantha Gifford, supported by John Zarcone
School: Cortland Senior High School
A more diverse collection of literature will be purchased with these funds and used by English classrooms in grades 9-12 for classroom libraries, independent reading, literature circles and in conjunction with whole-class readings.

Rural Map of the World (funded $369)
Grant writer: Shannon King, supported by Jeremy Milligan
School: Junior High School
This grant will purchase a wall map for the grade 8 Social Studies classroom to stimulate the visual learners and serves as an in-the-moment teaching tool as U.S. and world topics are discussed.

Wobble Stools (funded $170)
Grant writer: Bridget Dutcher, supported by Katherine Swanson
School: Cortland High School
Wobble stools are adjustable stools that allow a student to sit and rock in their assigned space for grade 9 ELA Special Education classes.

Wobble Stools and Fidget Toys (funded $320)
Grant writer: Lauren Faessler, supported by Joseph Mack
School: Cortland High School
Flexible seating and fidget toys will provide a quiet and immediate option for students who need to be moving or doing something in order to concentrate in class. Use will be in English 9 integrated co-teaching classes.

Play at Home Project (funded $670)
Grant writer: Jonathan Keefner, supported by Kevin Caffararo
School: Junior High School
An electric guitar, electric piano and headphone amp will be purchased so students can be loaned musical equipment in order to “play at home”, this increases our students' access to musical expression.

CPEF raises money throughout the year. Donations are also accepted with all contributions being tax deductible. For further information visit



Mr. Robert J. Edwards, Superintendent

1 Valley View Drive
Cortland, NY 13045

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