Saturday, June 22, 2024

Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s 2023 Faculty Innovation Grantees gathered March 1 include, from left, Leah Gordon (with cart), Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah (with mascot Friendly the Falcon), Drake King, Nicholas Yeh, Brenda Divelbliss, Margaret Hans, Allison Wade and Josh Marden. Brendon Snyder is in front. (Photo: Janis Navikas, FOCRLS)

Equipment for student experiments with gravity and velocity and a library of graphic novels for a comic studies elective are among the projects made possible by the year’s Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Faculty Innovation Grants.

Seventeen teachers, club advisers, social workers and administrators got grants of up to $1,000 per proposal, with a total of $9,296 for 12 individually led and collaborative projects across an array of courses and programs, the organization said Tuesday. The grants are intended to energize learning and expand services for students at the city’s public high school.

Grantees at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, the Rindge School of Technical Arts and the High School Extension Program were notified Feb. 1. See the list of Faculty Innovation Grantees here.

Academic subjects include calculus and AP African American History; events include a poetry festival and a modern dance performance featuring interactive projections. Other recipients’ plans include community-building gatherings, social skills development and prizes for students who submit the top designs for a math department logo.

Physics teachers Leah Gordon, Joel Tenenbaum and Afrah Farrah are using their grant to buy equipment for students to experiment with gravity and velocity. “Since all ninth-graders take the same course, this grant has the potential to benefit almost 500 students per year,” Gordon wrote in the collaborators’ proposal. “The material is reusable indefinitely, so it will continue to benefit students every year … Our team is dedicated to making a hands-on laboratory experience for every student to master physics. One of our goals is to increase the number of lab activities, in particular those with authentic applications for the students.”

English-language arts teacher Brendon Snyder is buying books with his grant to establish a classroom library for his comic studies elective. “What’s nice is seeing the full diversity of my students come together for one key purpose: to better understand and enjoy comics,” Snyder wrote in his proposal. “These students of different cultural, linguistic and economic backgrounds are able to converse about, debate on, share an enthusiasm for and bond over the world of comics. To me, it’s exciting to see students who are academically high achievers connect with students that have traditionally struggled academically and see them in a place where they can hear and respect each other’s opinions.”

Friends of CRLS has awarded Faculty Innovation Grants since 2007, with the recent grantees bringing the total number of recipients to 248. The organization estimates that the grants have enhanced the educations of more than 10,000 students over the past decade and a half.

The grants, as well as the college scholarships, student travel fellowships and other awards presents are made possible by contributions from donors, sponsors and grantors. For information, visit, send email to [email protected] or call (857) 235-9290.

Janis Navikas is administrative coordinator at Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.