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Two educational grants were recently approved by the Sparta Education Foundation (SEF). These technology-based grants include Google Expeditions Kits for Sparta Middle School and the Wonder Workshop Dash & Robot Classroom Pack for Mohawk Avenue School.

“The approval of these new grants means the SEF has funded over $775,000 in educational grants to Sparta’s public schools since 2006,” said SEF President Danielle Dykstra. “These two grants will go far to promote problem-based learning among our students. The Google Expeditions kits will focus on geographic literacy for our middle school students, and the Wonder Workshop will expose our third grade students to coding and robotics. Funding our classrooms with the latest technology is just one more way Sparta’s students can shine, and we take great pride in having a progressive impact in our schools.”

Cherie Shefferman, the STEP teacher at Sparta Middle School, requested the Google Expeditions Kits to enhance geographic literacy among the students. These kits allow students to go on virtual field trips using a view master-type device that interacts with a cell phone to take tours of places ranging from streets in Rome to deep underwater excursions. The entire middle school population will benefit since STEP students will be trained as tour guides on virtual field trips, and they will offer their services to all classroom teachers to make their curriculum more relevant. The grant request was for $6,999.

Morgan Bleakley, the Gifted & Talented teacher at Mohawk Avenue School, requested a grant for the Wonder Workshop Dash & Robot Classroom Pack and 10 iPad Air 2s: This technology introduces robotics and coding to the third grade students. Morgan Bleakley will present this technology to the entire school population, which will be a stepping stone to the Sphero Robotic Balls already in use by Helen Morgan School’s fourth and fifth graders. The grant request was for $8,561.

The Sparta Education Foundation strengthens our public schools, supports our teachers and inspires our students. Since 2006, they have funded over $775,000 in grants to all five of Sparta’s public schools. The Foundation is an independent, non-profit, all-volunteer organization whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving. Visit for more information.