Elizabeth H. Norton Trust Fund Grants Support District Initiatives
Posted on 01/08/2024
Several school district programs and initiatives received a boost this year, thanks to grants received from the local Elizabeth H. Norton Trust Fund.

Volunteer Coordinator Sue Bradley received a grant to support the district’s Reading Partners Program. Specifically, the grant funding supports the purchase of  individual holiday books for the program’s student participants to keep and bring home.  “The students enjoyed listening to a guest reader share the story of Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas at school and then they were able to take the book home to keep and continue to read it with their family members,” said Bradley. “The added hope of providing the gift of a book is that the students have books of their own to support them in becoming more confident readers, which will help them in any career pathway they choose after high school.”

The district’s Music Department received a grant to fund the commissioning of a new piece of music for the upcoming All-Town Band Concert. Each year the All-Town Concert features either the bands or the choirs from the school district. This year, the bands will present their work, and at the end of the concert, all of the school bands will combine to play a single piece. “This grant has allowed us to work closely with a composer who created a custom piece of music designed specifically for this  performance,” explained Music Department Faculty Member, Todd Helming. “With approximately 450 musicians playing collectively, it is a very unique experience for both the performers and the audience members.”

Adult and Continuing Education Program Coordinator, Jill O’ Brien also received a grant to support an English Conversation Club (ECC). The ECC will provide English Language Learners (ages 16+ ) with time devoted to speaking English, at the Plainville Public Library this spring. The ECC is inclusive, meeting the individual needs of English language learners, while providing volunteers with an opportunity to learn about individuals and diverse cultures, making a positive and helpful impact. The ECC will transpire over six, 1.5-hour sessions on Saturday mornings and will be featured in the Adult and Continuing Education Spring Program Guide as an enrichment course, open to the public at no charge.

Additionally, the Plainville High School Unified Sports Program, led by faculty members Mikayla Wells and Jennifer Jambard, received a grant to increase the amount and types of sports equipment to match the needs of the program’s increasing numbers.  “Plainville currently hosts three seasons of Unified Sports: Soccer in the fall, Basketball in the winter, and Track & Field in the spring. We also actively participate in friendly games of kickball, volleyball, and bowling,” explained Wells. “In the past four consecutive Unified seasons, we have had over 30 Unified athletes and peer helpers register to participate. We hope to use the Norton Grant funds to allow us to increase the amount of equipment we currently have to match our increasing numbers, as well as to expand the variety of sports we can offer our team.”

“These grants give our students innovative opportunities that they would not have otherwise,” said Superintendent of Schools, Brian Reas.