MESSAGES FROM THE BOARD
The Byram Hills Education Foundation was founded in 1994 as a community-supported not-for-profit corporation. The Foundation provides financial support to the Byram Hills School District to enable its teachers and administrators to introduce creative programs and equipment beyond what is covered by the school district’s annual operating budget. The Foundation’s consistent funding has encouraged teachers to “think outside the box” in providing students with enriching, curriculum-based learning opportunities.
The Byram Hills Education Foundation is a volunteer organization that has three major functions:
to encourage greater involvement in and support for the schools by the community
to facilitate the development of and support for enrichment and other beneficial programs
to provide financial support for worthy projects and programs for the schools
The Foundation is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, which includes parents and community members, the Superintendent of Schools, two members of the Board of Education, one PTSA representative and a teacher representative from each of the four schools.
Funds are raised through an “annual appeal” mailing each Fall and by a major benefit gala in the Spring. Each year, grant applications are submitted by teachers or administrators to the Foundation Board. The Board thoroughly reviews proposed grants and awards those deemed most compelling and beneficial to students’ growth and development. The Foundation works closely with the administration and Board of Education to insure that all proposals are consistent with the school district’s curricular needs and long-range plans, and that any grant’s ongoing maintenance costs can be absorbed into the school budget.
There are many ways to get involved in the Education Foundation. Whether you’re new to the Byram Hills district or you’ve been living here for years, we welcome your taking an active role to assist with event planning, marketing & visibility, or fundraising. Please email Jason Berland or Shari Fruhling if you’d like to find out more about volunteer opportunities or becoming a Board member.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
We are fortunate to live in a District with a long tradition of educational excellence. It is the reason that many of us have chosen to live in this community. However, as state mandates require more resources and the school budget remains under pressure, it is increasingly difficult to fund many programs that would positively impact our children’s education.
That is where the Byram Hills Education Foundation plays a vital role. A unique collaboration between the private and public sectors, the Foundation has become the District’s innovation engine, funding grants that touch the lives of every student across every discipline.
Recent examples of how the Foundation has contributed to the Byram Hills experience include:
Funding the Wellness For Life initiative for the entire District, including partnering with Stanford University to help foster a school climate that balances academic rigor with student wellness
Funding an interactive play space at Coman Hill and an outdoor obstacle course at Wampus as part of the Wellness initiative
Enhancing the Library experience at Coman Hill, Wampus and H.C. Crittenden
Providing coding, robotics, engineering, electronics and 3D modeling as part of the Full STEAM Ahead initiative
Funding STEAM Labs and 21st Century Classrooms for H.C. Crittenden and BHHS
Funding the 1:1 Mobile Learning Pilot for the entire sixth grade at H.C. Crittenden
The generous support of the community has enabled the Foundation to make a positive impact. We thank our volunteers, our school partners and our donors for their outstanding generosity and commitment. We hope we can count on your continued support. Together, we can continue to make Byram Hills a great place to learn.
MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Dear Byram Hills Parents and Community Members,
Each day, students and staff in the Byram Hills School District are provided with opportunities to excel thanks to the generosity and forward thinking of the Byram Hills Education Foundation. The BHEF continues to impact the curriculum and learning environment through Direct Giving Grants, the Fall Grant Cycle, and Insta-Grants.
This fall, the BHEF is working closely with the District on the Wellness for Life Direct Giving Grants. Students at the elementary level will experience a motivational guest speaker who will conduct assemblies and classroom mindfulness workshops. The goal is to help students develop strategies to self-regulate emotions and ultimately relieve stress, fear, and anxiety. At H.C.C. and BHHS the focus will be on continuing the partnership with Stanford University to review the Challenge Success data and develop opportunities to make changes in each building that support student readiness to learn and succeed. The BHEF Direct Giving Grants provide opportunities for students, parents, staff, and the administration to contribute their thinking in order to make necessary changes to our schools that focus on student wellness.
Although the Direct Giving Grants are a significant K-12 approach, the work of the BHEF to support classroom initiatives is also impressive. Last year, motion activated cameras for physics classes, foam cutters for science and the arts, Vex Robotics tools, a solar telescope, Storyworks reading series, a trip to the wolf sanctuary for our Wampus students, a Wellness Day keynote speaker and a 3D PotterBot printer were among the grants teachers received to support their work with your children.
Our goal as a District is to Create the Leaders of the Next Generation. I hope that you will consider learning more about the Foundation and support the District’s mission for your children!
Jen Lamia, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools