To the editor:

On Oct. 28, Amesbury Educational Foundation Inc. celebrated its annual Autumn Evening of Giving at Ristorante Molise.

AEFI extends our deepest gratitude to the sponsors and donors who made this year’s Autumn Evening of Giving a huge success. These businesses are dedicated to supporting AEFI’s mission and Amesbury Public Schools.

Lead sponsors include The Provident Bank and Institution for Savings. Other individuals and businesses that also contributed include Cathy Toomey of Stone Ridge Properties; and Northern Essex Community College; Align Credit Union; Code and Circuit; Dolan Financial Services; Healey, Deshaies, Gagliardi & Woelfel PC; and UCSA International.

In addition, we are grateful to EBSCO Information Services for supporting the AMS seismograph program with a $2,000 grant. The Ipswich-based company supplies grants to local organizations with a focus on research, technology, education and the environment.

This year, over $22,000 in grants were awarded to Amesbury educators for work that is innovative and encourages collaboration at all grade levels in the Amesbury school system.

Grant winners include: $2,000 “Building Literacy” awarded to AHS English teachers Emily Crannell and Emily Little to help build and shelve a library of high-interest books for students.

$5,040 “Help! in Any Language ELL Technology” awarded to district ELL teachers Maryann Wilson and Deb Hewey in support of their work with English language Learners.

$3,600 “A Sensible Walk” awarded to CES teachers Megan Hoyt and Allison Stenson to benefit students’ emotional regulation and support.

The Jordan M. Shay Memorial Foundation of $10,000 was awarded to AMS teachers Jennifer Ghezzi and Kate Bernardoni, whose program titled “Full STEAM Ahead” will provide a makerspace for middle school students.

As of this year, the Jordan Shay Memorial Foundation has awarded over $150,000 in innovative grants and scholarships to graduating Amesbury High students and local veterans who need assistance.

In addition, AEFI was also able to honor school volunteer extraordinaire, Diana “Dee” Cote, with the Peter Gray Friend of Education Award. This annual award highlights individuals who have dedicated years to the care and education of our children. The money donated to support this nomination will be given back to the schools in future grants.

Finally, we owe a special thanks for Ristorante Molise for hosting the event by providing a lovely buffet and exceptional service. All who attended enjoyed playing cornhole for a chance to win our amazing raffle prizes: Boston Bruins premium seating tickets donated by Institution for Savings, gift certificates from Cider Hill Farm, and a lovely floral arrangement designed by Terrence of Greenery Designs. We also thank Maryann Ivers for her fall-themed “lottery tree.”

AEFI’s mission is to support innovative, creative, challenging projects or programs that broaden and enrich educational opportunities for students and educators by supplementing public funding.

The next opportunity to support AEFI will be the 18th annual Hall of Honor Banquet and Award Ceremony on May 8 at Northern Essex Community College.

Janine O’Donnell

Kelsey Chandonnet Mahoney

The letter writers were co-chairs of the Autumn Evening of Giving fundraiser.

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