September 6, 2023 | Foundations in Education | General News

Foundations in Education (FIE) is pleased to announce applications to the Innovation and Leadership Grants Program open September 15, 2023.

The grants program promotes excellence in Catholic education by supporting teachers’ innovative and creative classroom projects and professional development. Grants funded through this program are for transformative initiatives that may benefit multiple grade levels and have a long-term impact on student learning.

Now in its 7th year, this competitive grants program was the first of its kind in the diocese to offer innovation and leadership grants to Catholic school teachers and administrators.

To date, Foundations in Education has funded 104 transformative grants totaling nearly $770,000.

Educators within the Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic Schools are encouraged to submit grant proposals from September 15 – October 31, 2023.

A grants committee of Foundations’ Board of Trustees carefully reviews each proposal. Their recommendations are presented to Foundations’ Board of Trustees for approval. The committee is chaired led by Dr. Julie McNamara, President Emerita of Albertus Magnus College and include Foundations’ Board members George Coleman, Henry Rondon, Paula Summa and Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Superintendent of Archdiocese of New York.  They are joined by FIE Executive Director Holly Doherty-Lemoine, Immaculate High School Alumnus Fraser Randolph and Director of Innovation for the Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic Schools, Al Barnicle.

“Generous donors passionate about quality education help make this program possible,” shared Foundations in Education Executive Director Holly Doherty-Lemoine. “As a committee, we are exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to work together to consider projects that are innovative, creative, and likely to have tremendous impact on student learning. Dr. McNamara leads us in thoughtful consideration of each application taking great care to evaluate each grant according to set criteria as part of this competitive grant process.”

Grant Awardee and AP Physics and Computer Science Teacher at Immaculate High School, Anthony D’Ausilio, was awarded grant funds this past year to upgrade data collection devices and sensors in his Physics lab.

D’Ausilio explained, “My goal was to enhance my students’ skills and instruct them on how to collect and interpret raw data using an Application Program Interface and computer code that they develop, rather than using a software package.”

Deploying this equipment elevated student labs to the college level, which enabled the students to meet the requirements of a UCONN Early College Experience Physics class. Class grade averages surged to 95+ on the UCONN final exam as a result of the experience with the new equipment.

“This grant proved that we can go beyond high school in challenging our students,” shared D’Ausilio. “It also taught me that having labs that have accurate data collection with an error rate < 1% has a major impact on students’ understanding the science of Physics.”

Foundations in Education is an independent non-profit initiative created to assist the Diocese of Bridgeport’s ongoing mission to support Catholic education in Fairfield County by supporting innovation in academic programs and fostering opportunities for the professional development of school leaders and providing tuition assistance to families in need.