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Insta-Grant Program

The BHEF Insta-Grant Program is designed to broaden the impact of the BHEF mission to enhance the educational experience of all children within the Byram Hills Central School District, and to serve as a catalyst for new ideas for annual grants written by teachers and administrators.


BHEF Insta-Grants provide teachers and administrators with funding for short-term educational programs.  Insta-Grants may fund speakers, workshops, class trips, author visits, or other programs that impact learning and personal or professional development. 


Insta-Grant awards may not exceed $2,500, and these grants must be implemented within six (6) months or before the end of the academic year. By comparison, traditional grants are awarded once per year, with implementation over a two-year period.  For all grants, any unused or under-spent funds are returned to the BHEF.

2016-17 Insta-Grants

GAGA Ball (Wampus, $2,495)

This grant funds construction of a GAGA Dodge Ball Pit for the Wampus playground for use during recess, FUEL and PE. GAGA enables students to develop strategic thinking along with agility, jumping, striking and dodging as part of this fun and interactive activity.

This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Stage Monitoring System (BHHS, $1,410)

This grant funds equipment necessary to complete two Assistant Stage Manager Stations and a back stage monitor, modeled after a professional stage monitoring system. The system allows for better management of the stage space and provides an experience more like that of a professional theatre. The system would be used for the three theatre productions each year as well as for the many band, orchestra and choir concerts and other events hosted in the auditorium. 

This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Enhanced Technology in Dance Studio (BHHS, $2,455)

This grant lets the Physical Education Department enhance technology in the dance studio by wiring new components to the existing flat screen TV. Teachers and coaches will be able to provide new and creative ways to present material effectively and efficiently using programs and applications that they are currently unable to present in the dance studio. 

This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Student Voice Circles: A Leadership and Facilitation Model for Student Learners (BHHS, $2,500)

This grant funds a leadership training program to promote cultural diversity and global competence among Sophomore and Junior members of the Student Leadership Board. Students and teachers will receive training on Student Voice Circles – a school leadership and improvement model based on inclusion and equity. This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Potterbot 3D Ceramic Printer (BHHS $2,500) 

This ceramic printer allows art students to use CAD software to design unique and reproducible forms and to create more complex forms than typical hand building and wheel forming processes allow. This printer lays “ribbons” of clay quickly and precisely so resulting art piece can be altered in any way using traditional claywork methods or left intact for firing. This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Bringing Nature to Life through the Bruce Museum of Art (Wampus, $905)
This program brings museum objects and live animals to eight third grade classrooms. The program engages students in an interactive, object and inquiry based learning experience that incorporates both science and art in the classroom setting.

"On behalf of the third grade teachers, I would like to extend our gratitude for the rewarding hands-on experience the Bruce Museum provided to our students yesterday and today. This experience was interdisciplinary, connecting our ELA unit on the environment, our science unit on sustainability, and art unit on positive and negative space. 
In our current culture, pop-up art museums are providing art to all.  Thank you for taking the time to write a BHEF Insta-grant to merge the museum experience into our classroom environment. ~ Sasha Davies"

2015-16 Insta-Grants

Technology for Physical Education (BHHS, $2,000)
The BHEF is pleased to partner with the Bobcat Boosters to fund this media system for the Physical Education department. This technology, including flat screen TV and state of the art media equipment, will support various health education programs and CPR instruction for all grade levels. This grant is generously supported by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Buddy Bench (Coman Hill $1,853)
This grant funds a designated seating area on the playground as a safe and encouraging place for children to go when they feel alone or are having difficulty fitting in. Students will learn strategies and techniques whether they are seeking a buddy or if they want to make a positive difference by being a buddy. This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Vernier Data System (BHHS: $2,497)

This grant funds ten (10) Vernier LabQuest Mini Data Interfaces, sixteen Differential Voltage Probes and eight (8) Current Probes to be used for new programs in the physics, applied engineering and other applications in STEAM education. Physics students will use these devices for electronics explorations, utilizing the interfaces and probes to understand the characteristics of electrical and mechanical devices. This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Music Production Studio Start-Up (BHHS: $2,348)

This grant funds one (1) MacBook Pro laptop and music software for the Electronic Music and Guitar Workshop elective, providing industry standard recording technologies and tools for students to compose, edit and mix high quality music or sound. 

Noise Canceling Headphones (BHHS: $275)  
This grant funds five (5) Earmuff/Noise Cancelling headphones and ten (10) Hygiene Kits for the headphones for students in the Flexible Support Program (FSP). The noise cancelling headphones will assist students by reducing distractions, allowing better focus on educational activities.


Logitech HD Pro Webcam (Wampus: $1,133)
This grant funds fifteen webcams and related technology for students at Wampus to connect with other students in the community and throughout the globe through programs such as the Global Read Aloud initiative or other platforms to discuss common books or activities.

Bobcat Buddies (Coman Hill: $1,847)

This grant funds imaginative play and sensory integration materials, board games, and craft supplies to be used throughout the Bobcat Buddy program at Coman Hill which helps develop social, communication and interpersonal skills among students within and outside the classroom setting. This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Everyone Matters Book Bank! (Coman Hill:  $2,348)

This grant funds a set of grade-level library books to support the Everyone Matters campaign which advocates for every person’s right to dignity and respect, without judgment or shame. The books will be utilized for real aloud and small group lessons in support of the Everyone Matters initiative at Coman Hill when students have the opportunity to share something unique and special about themselves. This grant is generously funded by the Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund.

Fun with Phonics (Coman Hill: $1,371)

This grant provides Kindergarten students in the Academic Support program with additional learning opportunities through play with collaborative games and activities, fostering skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and mastery of basic early literacy.

Discovery through Performance with The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Co. (HCC: $1,925)

This grant funds a performance and workshop of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Company for all eighth grade students. Students and actors will work in small groups to study accents, staging, costumes, swordplay, and modern screenwriting techniques. Following the workshop the students will create their own modernized performance for the HCC community.