Southington Education Foundation, Inc.


Instilling a love of learning.

Past Events

Stories, pictures and videos of events hosted or attended by the Southington Education Foundation, Inc.

December 5, 2017

The Southington Education Foundation (SEF) recognized their most recent grant and program awardees at a reception in their honor held at the Southington Community Cultural Arts Center (SoCCA), December 5th. The informal evening will included refreshments, a short introduction to SEF, and a few words about last year’s grants and some partnership programs.

The grant awardees include Jennifer Shields, Southington High School, for her “Beehives - Apiculture in Agriculture” program, and Jessica Fletcher and Adriana Chiappelli at Plantsville Elementary School for their “Flexible Seating in the Classroom” initiative. Beekeeping is becoming a very popular hobby and farm crop. “Beehives - Apiculture in Agriculture” will fill the gap in the curriculum for apiculture and beekeeping where there was none before. Students will not only learn about bees in the classroom but they will then be able to apply their skills by maintaining a beehive and performing hands-on work and skills. The project will benefit the Southington community because of the accessibility of the hive location for educational purposes, it will be maintained by students, it will provide pollinating service to those nearby, and it will produce products to be sold to the public.

Research shows that students struggle with anxiety more now than ever. Part of the cause is that we are asking more of them than they are developmentally ready to handle. This includes sitting in a chair for long periods of time. With “flexible seating” in our first grade classrooms, students are able to move throughout the day, which in turn helps them engage in their learning, increase their productivity, instill a love for learning, and it will do a small part to help combat childhood obesity.

Learn more about these two grants.

The SEF also highlighted two program initiatives: Science at Sloper, and the CCSU Technology and Engineering Partnership with the Southington Public Schools. With Science at Sloper, fourth graders from across the district travel to Camp Sloper twice during the academic year for a day of innovative learning. Students collect pond  specimens and perform on-site experiments thanks to the many natural resources that are abundant at Camp Sloper.

The CCSU Technology and Engineering Partnership will enhance educational opportunities available to students  by developing a greater understanding of STEM and its significance within the global marketplace. This partnership will advance both teaching and learning by providing students with activities and outreach programs that will allow students to access CCSU’s STEM resources.

Learn more about these two programs.

December 2, 2017

Just for You Country Gifts Fundraiser

Thanks to all who attended our Just For You Country Gifts fundraiser on Saturday, December 2nd. During the 7 hours of the event, 20% of purchases - for a total of $338.78 - was donated to SEF! Thanks to all who came out to support the SEF, and special thanks to owner Flo Legat for her commitment to Southington's students!

June 13, 2017

Online AuctionResults from our Online Auction

The SHS Administration provided reserved premium seating for this year's SHS Graduation Ceremony, to be held June 20, as a fundraising opportunity for the SEF. Three sets of four seats were provided to the three highest bidders in our first online auction.

Our three highest bidders were Kelley Nolan-Maccione, Stephanie Mitchell, and Pam Steeves. Their winning bids raised a total of $845 for the SEF... WOW!

Proceeds from the auction will be used to fund future innovative programming for Southington students.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

June 10, 2017

Beauty and the BeastThe SEF hosted another great movie night at the Southington Drive-In with Disney's Beauty and the Beast. As in past years, Eric Korp was on hand with activities for the kids before the movie started. A portion of the proceeds benefitted Southington students.

April 20, 2017

The Southington Education Foundation’s Seventh Annual Community Spelling Bee brought together teams from around town to raise funds for a charitable cause while at the same time providing an evening of fun. The event brought funds to SEF coffers for future grants and programs that will benefit Southington children.

Click here for more information and to see photos from the event.

March 12, 2017

SEF Family Day at Crystal Bees

Our first Family Day at Crystal Bees was a success! The fundraiser brought in $1,200 with 9 out of 11 school PTOs donating baskets to raffle, and every bowling lane was going during the entire afternoon. Thanks to everyone for making this event so easy and fun for all!

September 25, 2015

Our 7th Annual Fan of the Foundation Gala was a huge success!

Thanks to all who attended.  

View our Fan of the Foundation page to view highlights from this and past Galas.

June 13, 2015

Thanks to all SEF members (and their families) and to the Key Club volunteers who came out to support the SEF's viewing of JAWS.

It was a very busy night! The gates opened early due to the long line of cars that reached out to the street; the parking was filled to capacity, leaving only tickets for walk-ins.

The night featured free popcorn made by none other than our own Dawn Micili and Dave Zoni. The talented Eric Korp was on hand to once again entertain the children. This year Michelle LeBrun-Griffin had SEF Fan of the Foundation flyers on hand for distribution for the September 25th event.

As Paula Knight commented, "This was a fun night and such an easy way to make money for the SEF."

The Wanna Bees, 2015 Spelling Bee Champs

Emcee, Bill Lutz with the Wanna Bees: John Zimmerman, Dave Pestillo, Joe Peccerillo

April 30, 2015

The WannaBees ("Brothers from Other Mothers" Dave Pestillo, Joe Peccerillo and John Zimmerman) took home the coveted trophy for the second year in a row at the Fifth Annual SEF Community Spelling Bee, Thursday, April 30 at Southington High School.

With 28 teams participating SEF raised close to $9,000 to benefit education in Southington.

Special thanks to our corporate sponsor, the Hospital of Central Connecticut, for their financial support of $1,000!

Click here for more information and to see photos from the event.

Reaching Out AwardJanuary 28, 2015

The Southington Education Foundation was honored on January 28th with the Reaching Out Award at the Southington YMCA’s Annual Dinner. Dr. Martin Semmel, Southington High School principal, presented the award. On behalf of the SEF, Alan DeBisschop accepted the Reaching Out Award as well as several proclamations from dignitaries. The Foundation has provided financial support to every school in town through 34 different grants and programs distributing over $165,000 through fundraising and donations.

October 24, 2014

Our 6th Annual Fan of the Foundation Gala was a huge success!

Thanks to all who attended.  

View our Fan of the Foundation page to view highlights from this and past Galas.


October 5, 2014

It was great to see so many come out to this year's Southington Apple Harvest Parade. A big thank you to Steve Proffitt who organized the marchers representing the SEF. Thanks also to George Fournier who offered his beautiful white Mustang convertible to escort the marchers. And finally, a big thank you to Tony Sheffy who donated the SEF t-shirts to our marchers and the yellow SEF apples as souvenirs to the crowd. It was a splendid afternoon and such a fun way to get the word out to the community about the Southington Education Foundation.

Click photos below for a larger image.

June 12, 2014

The grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new "John Myers Family Center at the Southington YMCA Camp Sloper" was held June 12 at YMCA Camp Sloper.

The 750 square-foot building, previously a pavilion, has now been enclosed for year-round use. The project cost about $55,000: $25,000 was put toward the project from Sloper's improvement fund, $5,000 was donated from Home Depot, $1,000 was donated from All State in Plainville and $20,000 was donated from the SEF which helped with installation of heat, electricity and technology.

“It makes us so excited about the fact that our science at Sloper program will be expanding in a variety of ways,” said Jan Galati, SEF Chairman, during the ribbon cutting. “I’m so happy this project has come to fruition and that all of us were able to continue to collaborate," said Dawn Miceli, SEF Board Member.

“I am looking at purchasing digital microscopes to use in the new building and expand the pond study portion of our fall science day,” said John Duffy, the science coordinator for the district. “Marl Pooler (Camp Sloper Director) and I are also exploring some engineering activities that best fit both our curriculum and the Camp Sloper environment. We are in the beginning stages of that work.”

Read the following news stories about the opening:

Click photos below for a larger image.

June 7, 2014

June 7 was another Southington Education Foundation success! Thanks to all who helped at the first Drive-In Movie Night of the season featuring "JAWS". 

With about twenty volunteers, including some very capable teens, our group parked cars, sold tickets, popped popcorn, sold candy and maintained a very helpful attitude with all the attendees. 

Speaking of attendees, it was a sold-out showing by 7:30 pm with 374 cars (normal capacity is 350) and 249 "walk-ins".

Southington teacher Eric Korp was magnificent with the kids! The summer weather was perfect for water balloon activities and as the temperatures cooled Eric introduced more active children's events.  Parents were delighted that Eric was helping the kids blow off steam prior to the movie. Hats off to Eric who made our Drive-In Movie Night very special for everyone.

A big shout-out to the SHS Key Club members who volunteered their time at the concession stand and helped with parking cars. Advisors, Beth Hosmer and Petra Jenkinson, should be very proud of these fine young people.

Ron Newman, who runs the Movie Nights was very pleased with the work of our volunteers and described our efforts as "excellent"!

Thanks also to spouses, children, and all the other volunteers that contributed to this very enjoyable and profitable night!

Click photos below for a larger image.

June 4, 2014

Grant RecipientsSince 2009 the Southington Education Foundation has been awarding grants to teachers so to promote excitement in the classroom. The June 4th reception at Thalberg School marked the tenth round of grants conveyed to educators and again there was reason for excitement.

Chanel Curtin, a teacher at Thalberg School was awarded a grant which allows her to start a robotics team next fall through the national program First Lego League.

At South End School Ellen Bellinger, a first grade teacher, and Marion Virello, the food services manager, combined to create an indoor organic vegetable garden, an activity that they had heard about in New York City schools.

Each grant incorporates at least two of the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and together $4,000 was awarded to the educators for their projects. To date the SEF has awarded $78,000 in grants and written $130,000 in checks for various grants, programs and initiative over the past five years.

Click here to read more about this round of grant funding.

May 28, 2014

John Duffy

John Duffy, Southington Public Schools Science Coordinator

Nearly twenty Southington Public School educators assembled to discuss innovative lesson designs submitted for a Virtual STEM University website. Throughout the present school year teachers developed lessons and units for this online resource initiated and funded by the Southington Education Foundation through a $13,000 grant.

The VSU website is scheduled to be officially launched next fall and will provide an environment where teachers can share creative, experiential activities that encompass all grade levels. The SEF grant requires that teacher lessons have at least two or more STEM components…science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics. John Duffy, Science Coordinator for the Southington Public School system explained that all lessons are aligned with Southington curriculum and Common Core standards.

Click here for the full story along with more photos.

Read these news stories:

May 7, 2014

L-R: Tony Sheffy, Jan Galati, Martin Semmel, Alan DeBisschop

The Southington Education Foundation received the prestigious Order of the Blue Knight Award at the May 7th Academic Awards Ceremony.

Dr. Martin Semmel, principal of Southington High School stated that each year the high school honors members of the community who have contributed significant amounts of their personal time to the school. Through their volunteerism and dedication, they help make Southington High School a better place. Dr. Semmel went on to say that more than $22,000 in programming had been distributed by the SEF to Southington High School educators.

He presented a plaque recognizing the SEF to Jan Galati, SEF Chairman, and stated that the organization’s name would also be added to a plaque displayed at the high school. Accompanying Jan were two charter members who presently serve as directors on the SEF Executive Board: Alan DeBisschop, SEF treasurer, and Tony Sheffy, the organization’s first chairman. After conveying words of appreciation for this award, Jan discussed her involvement with the SEF. She was drawn in by the energy and commitment of the charter members and found that the excitement was contagious. Galati praised the SEF’s leadership in its early stages, specifically naming the first four chairmen while also giving credit to the charter members who began this endeavor with previous superintendent, Dr. Joseph V. Erardi, Jr.

Jan stated that it was and is the volunteer work done by the Directors of the Executive Board and members of the Board at Large that have allowed the SEF to execute its mission, resulting in successfully implementing more than $130,000 of programming for Southington students. She closed by saying that volunteerism is very evident in the Southington community and encouraged young people to stay involved throughout their lifetime.

Dr. Semmel previously contacted Jan Galati and related, “I think you folks do terrific work and I am proud that we can recognize the work in this way.” During his introductory comments, Dr. Semmel stated the organization’s mission: “The SEF is committed to instilling a love of learning in our children through innovative and creative initiatives that expand existing educational opportunities. The Foundation will reach out to the community to help secure and inspire excellence and overall achievement in our already outstanding school system”.

Jan stated that the academic awards presented to these highly talented, hard-working students added to the energy and excitement of the evening’s special recognition.

April 24, 2014

Rogers Orchards Donation

L-R: Co-VP Peter Rogers, Jan Galati, Jack Parczyk, Co-VP Greg Parzych, Martha Rogers Parzyck

The SEF received a $5,000 donation recently from Rogers Orchards. This contribution supports the SEF’s ongoing mission to provide enriching educational opportunities for students in the Southington Public School system.

Greg Parzych, Co-Vice President of Rogers Orchard, Inc. said he contacted the SEF because, “We have been looking for ways to support our local schools in a meaningful way that the educators can take advantage of”. Parzych indicated that each year the business chooses a cause to support.

Jan Galati, chairman of the SEF, expressed her appreciation to the Rogers Orchards family for their generous financial support. She went on to say that this funding will contribute to ongoing projects such as the Science at Sloper district-wide program for fourth graders as well as new initiatives such as the Virtual STEM University which is soon to be launched.

April 23, 2014

John Zimmerman, Joe Furey, Dave Pestillo, Joe Peccerillo

The WannaBees ("Brothers from Other Mothers" Dave Pestillo, Joe Peccerillo and John Zimmerman) took home the coveted trophy at the Fourth Annual SEF Community Spelling Bee, Wednesday, April 23 at Southington High School.

With 25 teams participating SEF raised over $8,000 to benefit education in Southington.

A special shout out to our corporate sponsor, the Hospital of Central Connecticut, for their financial support of $1,000!

Click here for more information and to see photos from the event.

Rotary DonationFebruary, 2014

The Southington Education Foundation received a $2,000 donation from the Southington Rotary Club recently as part of its ongoing mission to provide enriching educational opportunities for students in the Southington Public School district. The Southington Rotary Club has continually supported the SEF since the Foundation's inception in 2009. Pictured, from left, are SEF vice chair Jan Galati, SEF chairman Dawn Miceli, Southington Rotary Club President Joanne Alfieri and Steve Giudice, who serves on the SEF Executive Board and is a Rotary Club member.

Panera BreadFebruary 15, 2014

Thank you to all who supported our SEF fundraiser at Panera Bread on Feb. 15. Despite the wintry weather, the event garnered nearly $2,000 for our organization!

A huge shout-out to Panera Bread for its generosity to the SEF, Bread for Life, Foodshare and Southington Community Theatre.

December 4, 2013

Our district's fourth-graders were treated to a day of discovery at Camp Sloper - where the natural resources abound and so do the learning opportunities!

Enjoy a glimpse of this fall's Science at Sloper program, funded by the Southington Education Foundation in partnership with the Southington-Cheshire YMCA and the Southington Public School district.

October 25, 2013

The Southington Education Foundation’s fifth annual Fan of the Foundation Gala on Friday, Oct. 25, was another winning night for the Southington Public School district as nearly $30,000 was garnered in proceeds. With a theme of “Tailgate at the Turf!” the evening featured spirited fun on several levels – attendees dressed in their favorite sports apparel and dined on tailgate-style appetizers and entrees. New this year was the STEM University Lounge, a dorm-style reclining area replete with a pinball game and photographer Jonathan Cop on hand taking photos of Fan guests!

Click here to learn more.

June 13, 2013

Cybr KnightsThe Southington Education Foundation awarded $1,500 to the SHS Robotics Team, the Cyber Knights, as the premier recognition gift for a new initiative that encourages and promotes STEM projects and activities in and outside of the district’s classrooms.

This new STEM Recognition Program will bring increased awareness and recognition to the importance of STEM-based experiential learning within the Southington school district. Integrating the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into cross-curriculum studies is essential for 21st century students. The SEF seeks to support and enhance such programming already underway – such as the award-winning Cyber Knights program.

“The SHS Robotics Team is also known as the First 195 team. How fitting that for our first gift to recognize STEM excellence within our school system we award it to the Cyber Knights,” said SEF Chairman Dawn Miceli. “The team’s mission perfectly correlates with the SEF’s desire to bring awareness to the need for STEM enrichment in our district’s overarching curriculum.”

The SEF implemented its own STEM initiative in conjunction with the school district and the YMCA’s Camp Sloper. Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, the SEF committed $25,000 to fund an annual fourth-grade program that provides hands-on, project-based learning in the STEM fields at Camp Sloper.

Fourth graders from across the district travel to Camp Sloper twice during the academic year for a day of innovative learning. Students collect pond specimens and perform on-site experiments thanks to the many natural resources that are abundant at Camp Sloper.

Both the new STEM Recognition Program and the fourth-grade Camp Sloper STEM initiative coincide with the SEF’s long-range goal of constructing a premier STEM Center facility at Camp Sloper on East Street. The state-of-the-art facility will enhance the current science, technology, engineering and math curriculum in Southington for all grades in the district. A capital campaign to fund the project will commence in the coming months.

June 12, 2013

The Southington Education Foundation awarded nearly $6,000 in grant funding to five different teachers at its June 12 Grant Reception at Kennedy Middle School. Six different programs were funded during this round of grants. Schools receiving grants were South End, Plantsville, Kelley and Derynoski Elementary Schools as well as DePaolo and Kennedy Middle Schools. Learn more about the grants awarded.

June 8, 2013

The Southington Education Foundation hosted the drive-in's opening night movie JAWS - and made the 10 p.m. Fox 61 news! Thanks to all of our volunteers who helped us raise $1,500. And thank also to Mr. Korp for providing awesome pre-show activities for families!

Watch the Fox-61 news story

May 14, 2013

POP'S Brugers & FriesAt Pop's Original Burgers & Fries, ten percent of sales from the entire day was donated to the SEF as part of the Community Partnership Program established by Pop's. Pop's has been extremely supportive of the SEF and has annually been our corporate sponsor for the Adult Community Spelling Bee among other things.

April 4, 2013

What a night! Our Third Annual Community Spelling Bee was a tremendous success! We raised $10,000 and had 30 teams participate - our most yet and our goal number!

Click here for more information and to see photos from the event.


January 26, 2013

Our annual Outback Steakhouse fundraiser was once again a success! A sincere thank-you to all who sold tickets, came out and enjoyed a lovely luncheon with family and friends and helped coordinate and get the word out. A special thank-you to Board at Large member Linda Flynn who coordinated the event and a big shout out to Dr. Erardi on the number of tickets he sold. Kudos to Ryan Lucas and his A-1 staff who are always so supportive of the SEF's mission. We netted a profit of more than $2,500 with donations continuing to come in.

January 17, 2013

More than $12,000 was awarded to teachers at six schools to assist them in developing innovative and creative programs for their students:Grant Award Recipients

  1. Producing Biofuel from Algae
    Rich Niro, Dave Defrancesco, Sal Spagna, Jess Quinn, Justin Mirante, Patrick O’Keefe and Troy Schinkel
    Southington High School
  2. Countdown to Kindergarten
    Paula Gorham
    South End/Kelley Elementary School
  3. Ukulele Buddies
    Mary Jane Sullivan, music teacher
    William Strong Elementary School
  4. Tying Together Language, Literacy, & Core State Standards with Braidy
    Julie Zellner
    Thalberg Elementary School
  5. Young Artists and Entrepreneurs
    Michelle Ginand, William Walker and MaryBeth
    Derynoski Elementary School
  6. Student Savers
    Joanne Grant
    DePaolo Middle School

Click here to learn more about these cutting edge programs.

October 5, 2012

Spirited tailgating was the theme of the evening at the Southington Education Foundation’s fourth annual Fan of the Foundation Gala, held October 5, 2012. Fans were treated to cheers and athletic feats from the Southington High School Varsity Cheerleading squad, African drumming by Kelley and South End Elementary School students and their instructor, SEF grant recipient and Southington music teacher Elizabeth DiDomenico, and theme-enticing food stations throughout the lively evening.

Click here to learn more.

June 23, 2012

The SEF's official popcorn handlers! They couldn't keep up with the crowds!Thank you to all of the SEF volunteers who helped out at the Southington Drive-In June 23 for our showing of JAWS.

What a great fundraiser and a BIG shout out to Mr. Korp, entertainer extraordinaire, who volunteered his time in the preshow hours to provide fun family activities and entertainment!

Click here for more photos

June 7, 2012

The SEF is proud to have awarded another round of grant funding to our Southington educators to help them in their mission to provide the best educational opportunities to our school children.

Four grants were awarded totaling nearly $10,000:

    Linda Clock, Town-wide ELL Coordinator
  2. Sustainable Learning in an Outdoor Classroom
    Linda Bass-Reilly, Thalberg School
  3. Good Morning Strong School
    Lenore Butler and Paula Knight, Strong Elementary School
  4. What's Cooking at Thalberg?
    Michelle De La Rosa, Nhi Michaud and Chanel Curtin, Thalberg Elementary School

More than 50 teachers have received grants and each school in our district has been the recipient of at least two grants. Click here to learn more.

April 19, 2012

Once again the Southington community spelled success for its students through amazing support of the Southington Education Foundation’s 2nd Annual Adult Spelling Bee on April 19.

With 81 participants yielding from all segments of the community and corporate sponsorship from Pops Original Burgers and Fries on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, nearly $10,000 was raised. That money will be used to better the education experiences of our public school students in Southington.

Click here for more information and to see photos from the event.


March, 2012

The Southington Education Foundation was recently invited to attend the grand reopening of the Southington Queen Street McDonald's, which completed a renovation of its facility. To commemorate the special occasion, McDonald's management donated $500 to the SEF following the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

McDonald's has been a supporter of the SEF and its mission to instill a love of learning in Southington's classrooms since its inception in 2009. Previously, the SEF conducted a fundraiser at McDonald's during which SEF members assumed cooking and counter operations for the afternoon and received a portion of the day's receipts.

2012 Outback FundraiserJanuary 28, 2012

Our third annual Outback Steakhouse luncheon fundraiser was held Saturday, January 28, at the Outback Steakhouse, Queen St., Southington.

The event was a huge success! As usual, we had a full house and the crew at The Outback did a wonderful job cooking and serving!

Thanks to all who helped organize the event and to everyone who helped sell tickets and spread the word, we raised more than $4,200!

2012 Grant Award RecipientsJanuary 19, 2012

The Southington Education Foundation, Inc. announced the names of those teachers who were approved for grants during the organization’s fourth round of grant funding. The awards were announced Thursday, January 19, at J.F.K. Middle School.

Click here to see what grants were awarded

October 28, 2011

With the support of nearly 300 guests and a $5,000 challenge grant from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the Southington Education Foundation raised $35,000 at its third annual “Fan of the Foundation” gala held Friday, October 28, 2011, at the Aqua Turf. All proceeds will be channeled into the Southington school system via grants and other district-wide projects and initiatives.

Click here to learn more.

July, 2011

The SEF was presented a $2,800 check for its efforts in helping man the gelato and Italian ice booth at the recent Italian Festival.

Thanks to the Riccio family who selected the SEF as the beneficiary of proceeds from the booth, in exchange for SEF support during the festival.

Thanks also to the SEF members who lent a hand that day!

June 16, 2011

The Southington community spelled S-U-C-C-E-S-S for its students through amazing support of the Southington Education Foundation’s 1st Annual Adult Spelling Bee, June 16.

Click here to learn more.

May 26, 2011

The Southington Education Foundation, Inc., announced the names of four teachers who have been approved for grants during the organization’s fourth round of grant funding at a Grant Awards Reception, May 26, at Southington High School.

Click here to see what grants were awarded.

Shown is Kennedy Middle School teacher Amy Perry, and Southington High School School teachers Debra O’Brien, David DeStefano and Judith Dunn.

The foundation also gave out its two first “Apple Vanguard” awards to some of its strongest supporters. The American Legion Auxiliary was recognized for their numerous efforts on behalf of local students. Marianne Purushotham, who has made large donations to the foundation, was also recognized.

Wells Fargo DonationMarch, 2011

Wells Fargo made a charitable contribution to the Southington Education Foundation at its recent Community Partners Breakfast. The SEF was chosen by the Plantsville Wells Fargo Store to receive a check for $1,000.

"Wells Fargo has always believed that giving back is a vital component of our culture," remarked Kent McClun, Community Banking President, Northern Connecticut. "In 2010, The Wells Fargo Foundation invested approximately $800,000 in Connecticut to support nonprofit organizations that address vital community needs and issues, including community development, education, human services, arts and culture, environmental, and civic projects."

Shown is Alan DeBisschop with Carol Stacey, a manager with Wells Fargo.

Outback FundraiserJanuary 29, 2011

Aside from filling their bellies, attendees of the SEF Outback fundraiser Saturday, Jan. 29, also supported the Southington school system! More than 160 meals were served and $3,200 in profit garnered - which will be fed directly into our children's classrooms.

Our sincere gratitude once again to Ryan Lucas and the Outback Steakhouse on Queen Street.

January 20, 2011

Third Round of Grants Awarded

The Southington Education Foundation awarded almost $4,000 in grants at a reception held January 20 at Planstville Elementary School. Click here to see what grants were awarded.


January 4, 2011

Thanks to combined funding from the SEF and the American Legion Auxiliary, a new space in Southington Library contains nearly 300 books leveled in the same manner as classroom libraries. The grant was requested by teachers Nicole Harves, Jill Chapman and Maureen Barmore. A ribbon-cutting ceremony Jan. 4, 2011, marked the event. Welcome all early readers!

Needs for Reads & Pleads for ReadsNovember, 2010

Needs for Reads & Pleads for Reads

The SEF facilitated the Kelley and Plantsville schools' "Needs for Reads" and "Pleads for Reads" programs by partnering with the American Legion Auxiliary, which presented both schools with $500 checks recently to help fund book purchases. How rewarding it is to help children learn that through hard work and determination, their efforts really can yield positive results!

Click here for more picturesOctober 15, 2010

Fan of the Foundation

Friday, October 15, 2010, the Southington Education Foundation raised nearly $30,000 at its annual “Fan of the Foundation” gala – double the amount garnered during its premier event, October 2009.

All proceeds will be channeled into the Southington school system via grants and other district-wide projects and initiatives. (more)

Click here to view our donors and sponsors, and to see photos from the event.

Click for a larger image.September 1, 2010

A sincere thank you to UNICO who donated $500 to the SEF.

The Southington Education Foundation recently received a $500 donation from UNICO in support of the organization's mission to instill a love of learning in our school children. Pictured, from left, is Luigi Barbato, UNICO vice president, Mark Mongillo, UNICO president, SEF chairwoman Bethany Pestillo, Marc Ingriselli, UNICO treasurer, Nick Botsacos, UNICO sergeant at arms, and Fran Delfino, UNICO secretary.


Click for a larger image.August 5, 2010

A sincere thank you to the Southington Chamber of Commerce who donated $500 to the SEF.

Shown is Dawn Miceli, Beth Pestillo and Alan DeBisschop accepting a check from Southington Chamber of Commerce Chairman James Garstang.



Community Movie Night at the Southington Drive-InJune 26, 2010

Community Movie Night at the Southington Drive-In

SEF hosted the premier "Movie at the Drive-In" event Saturday, June 26. The movie was ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, 25th Anniversary Release Featuring Never-Before Seen Footage. Part of the proceeds benefitted SEF.


June 21, 2010

McTeacher's Night

The SEF hosted "McTeacher's Night" at McDonald’s on Queen Street Monday, June 21. A portion of the proceeds benefitted SEF and our Southington classrooms.


June 10, 2010

Second Round of Mini Grants Awarded

The Southington Education Foundation awarded 10 mini-grants at a reception June 10 at Kelley Elementary School. Click here to see what grants were awarded.


May, 2010

A sincere thank you to the American Legion Auxiliary who donated $1,000 to the SEF.

As a result of this thoughtful gift, Southington school children will benefit from a summer reading program.




February 25, 2010

Three innovative and constructive grants awarded following anonymous $10,000 donation.

Click for a larger image.
SEF board member George Costanzo presents a $2,500 check to SHS teachers Nancy Chiero and John Ellsworth, who are on the SHS Construction and Manufacturing Career Advisory Board and help plan the annual SHS Manufacturing and Construction Expo.

“While the donor could have made these gifts directly, the donor chose to gift the money to the SEF in order to raise awareness of the importance of the foundation and its mission,” said SEF Chairman Tony Sheffy.

With $5,000 of the donation, Southington High School will be outfitted with a TI-Nspire Classroom, which combines learning handhelds and computer software with assessment tools that gauge student understanding within an interactive classroom. The technology will be utilized extensively in five sections of precalculus classes and at least one section of advanced placement statistics at SHS.

Additional math classes will also benefit from the technology, which includes SmartBoards, LCD projectors, computer software and calculators, because at least two classrooms will be equipped with the apparatus, according to SHS Math Department Chairman Robert Lasbury.

The Kennedy Middle School Music Department received $2,500 to be used to promote and inspire jazz music. Specifically recognized by the donor was Tim Johnson, who directs the school’s band.

The money will go toward the purchase of sound equipment, which students will learn to set up and operate for school concerts. Students will also learn how to make CDs after recording their concerts.

The final $2,500 was earmarked for the SHS Construction and Manufacturing Career Advisory Board, which sponsors expos for students to meet representatives from different trade industries to discuss career options.

The donation specifically cited John Ellsworth and Nancy Cheiro for their respective service to the school system and its students.

Rotary Club of Southington Presents Mardi Gras!February 16, 2010

The Rotary Club of Southington's Mardi Gras Celebration benefitted the Southington Education Foundation. The event was held Tuesday, February 16 at Anthony Jack's in Southington.


February 12, 2010

Volleyball Game Nets Gift for Southington Education Foundation

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Kelley Elementary School staff and students raised nearly $400 for the Southington Education Foundation at a recent volleyball game that pitted fifth-grade students against their teachers.

“It was a great, not to mention historic, day because it was the first time the students beat the teachers and let me tell you my daughter still can’t stop talking about it,” said Kelley Nolan-Maccione, a Kelley School parent and member of the SEF board of directors.

The student vs. teacher showdown is an annual event at Kelley School and is always used as a fundraiser for various local and global charities. This year, physical education teacher Eric Korp, who coordinates the event and coaches the fifth graders in basic volleyball skills in after-school sessions, suggested the Southington Education Foundation as the recipient for students’ donations.

A bucket outside the gym yielded pocketfuls of change (and a couple of Chucky Cheese tokens) from the students, who pitched their pennies and other coins as they made their way inside the gym. Students cheered on their elder peers and their favorite teachers during the enthusiastic event, which also attracted many parents and grandparents.


February 5, 2010

First Round of Mini Grants Awarded

The Southington Education Foundation awarded 10 mini-grants at a reception February 5 at Kelley Elementary School. Click here to see what grants were awarded.


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January 26, 2010

It was a slam dunk recently when Joseph Krar & Associates, Inc., a local insurance agency, presented a generous $1,000 check to the Southington Education Foundation during halftime at the SHS basketball game.

Joining Joseph Krar were children Carolyn Krar Makles and Jeff Krar, as well as grandchildren Caitlyn, Jason and Jake Krar.

Accepting the check for SEF were SEF Chairman Tony Sheffy, SEF Directors Dawn Miceli and Bethany Pestillo.



January 23, 2010

Outback Steakhouse Fundraiser

The Southington Education Foundation raised nearly $5,000 during a luncheon fundraiser at Outback Steakhouse on Queen Street Saturday, January 23, 2010.

Nearly 200 meals were served by Outback wait staff, with all proceeds from the $25 tickets generously donated to the SEF by Outback managing partner Ryan D. Lucas.


Thalberg Principal Beecher Lajoie and Daniel Hackerman Daniel Hackerman reading to students
Daniel Hackerman reading to students
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October, 2009

Principal For The Day

Thalberg Elementary School fifth-grader Daniel Hackerman truly ruled his school when he became principal for the day. His parents, Dave and Deb Hackerman, won the special title for their son during the Southington Education Foundation’s kick-off event Oct. 16, 2009. Silent auctions were held for principalships at each of the town’s schools in a unique fundraising opportunity for the SEF. A live auction was conducted for the coveted school superintendent’s post as well.

In his role as acting principal, Daniel Hackerman took over for Thalberg Principal Beecher Lajoie, who played mentor for the day and introduced Daniel to his various responsibilities.

"What a great experience for my son,” said Deb Hackerman. “Daniel got to make the morning announcements, read to three classes, observe a fire drill and call the buses at the end of the day.”

In addition, Daniel and a friend were treated to lunch by Mr. Lajoie at Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza.

October 16, 2009

Fan of the Foundation

More than 300 people became fans of the Southington Education Foundation at the organization’s premier kick-off event Oct. 16 at the Aqua Turf.  The gala featured dinner and dancing and a live auction that had bidders waving number one fan fingers to support the SEF’s mission.  Also popular was the silent auction, which put up for bid more than 70 pieces of local students’ artwork and other enticing items.

Keynote speaker John Myers, executive director of the Southington Community YMCA, donned a New York Yankees jersey for his energetic presentation, while Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph V. Erardi announced the 2009 Southington High School Wall of Honor inductees.

Distinguished guests included a who’s who of local educators and administrators, state and local officials, business owners, and more.

Arts group harvests gifts for SEF

During the 2009 Apple Harvest Festival, a new event, Harvest the Arts, helped raise funds for the Southington Education Foundation. Through the sale of T-shirts, the raffling off of artwork and a restaurant crawl, Harvest the Arts raised $200.

All proceeds raised through this endeavor and future arts events under the direction of Mary DeCroce and her arts group have been tagged for special educational opportunities in the arts within our Southington public school classrooms.

August 26, 2009

Southington Public Schools Convocation

 Pictures from the event (click each one for a larger view)

Our community’s educators are a key component of the Southington Education Foundation when it comes to those breakthrough ideas and initiatives that will inspire and enrich our school children.

And what better way to communicate that core mission of collaboration than in a room full of teachers!

At the Southington Public Schools convocation Wednesday, Aug. 26, SEF members were on hand to raise awareness about the organization and encourage teachers and administrators to think outside the box when it comes to SEF programming.

SEF Chairman Tony Sheffy offered remarks to the large crowd on hand in the Southington High School auditorium. SEF members passed out informational brochures and promoted use of a white board to suggest SEF funding opportunities.

A variety of ideas emerged, including SMART Boards, a kindergarten enrichment program and academy, and a mobile computer lab.

(Read the Sept. 4 Southington Observer Story)

Southington Education
P.O. Box 42
Southington, CT 06489