Gift Your Child Donations in Action: WMS PTO Grants

Every year the generous donations from Gift Your Child provide resources that enrich the learning experience for our middle school students and support the staff and parent community. We touch upon many aspects of the school environment and your child is sure to have benefited in some way!

2019-20 WMS PTO Grant Awards

Your WMS PTO Board has put your Gift Your Child donations to work! With your generous support, we approved ~$25,400 in grant awards to WMS Staff (in addition to over $10,000 in PTO directed activities).  

Our entire Board was so delighted by the thoughtfulness of each of the grant requests we received. It is clear that our WMS staff think about learning from a holistic perspective, supporting academic learning, different learning styles, as well as the social-emotional development of the students. Our kids are so lucky to have them! 

The 2019-20 WMS PTO Grant Awards include (* denotes committed annual grants):

STEM Curriculum:
  • $2,500 kits to build and program computers. Students use a computer on a daily basis, and yet many do not know how they truly work. These computer kits help students learn the components of a computing machine, build a physical device following visual instructions, study elements of circuitry, work cooperatively to solve problems, and employ various programming concepts.  Read more about the Piper Classroom Computer Kit here.
  • $400 for Lego robotic motors, infrared sensors and remote controls for 8th Gr Earth Science. In these STEM based labs students engineer working models in teams going through the design process in order to demonstrate the appropriate Earth system process.
ELA Curriculum:
  • $3,000 classroom library refresh*. Every year, WMS PTO gives staff money to purchase the latest books to keep content fresh and interesting for our students!

 

 

  • $3,000 author visit with YA novelist Alan Gratz. Alan Gratz’s novels have become beloved of many of our WMS readers.  They blend the significant questions and concerns of historical fiction with the engaging pacing of more action oriented fiction in a way that draws in a true cross-section of readers.  

 

  • $400 puzzles for lessons on grit. 7th grade students engage in a thematic study of grit. In addition to reading books with characters that demonstrate grit, students engage in activities that help them learn and practice elements of grit. The activities involve putting together puzzles.
  • $120 floating shelves to highlight books in a classroom library. These four book ledges will help students ID books worth reading. The displays will change on a regular basis, with different themes and foci for the changing book displays. Students can also be engaged to select books to display for their classmates.
Social Studies Curriculum:
  • $275 graphic novel of The Iliad. With a class set of The Iliad, students will be able to read in class together the historical events that unfold in the novel as well as study in depth how Homer’s exciting flashbacks within linear narratives have inspired modern books and movies.
Inclusive classrooms:
  • $960 rocking chairs for Lit Boost. Best practice states that middle school students need to move their bodies in order to learn well. For students with reading and writing challenges — who often carry anxiety into the classroom — comfort can be the difference between making progress or not.  
  • $330 visual timers. For students of varying ages, needs, and abilities, visual timers can support independent time management, ease the stress of transition periods, and build ownership of routines. 

 

  • $175 6th grade binders for needs-based students.

 

 

Library:
  • $1,270 books on students’ countries of origin and history of immigration. Books to support WMS’s theme of “Everyone is Welcome at Wayland Middle School.” Part of being welcome and belonging is seeing yourself represented and being able to learn about members of the community who come from different backgrounds. 

 

 

 

  • $660 METCO library refresh. Over the past seven years or so, there has been an explosion of young adult fiction that embraces–indeed showcases and celebrates–a wider range of diverse characters, countries, relationships, and dilemmas. That our young Boston friends deserve a library reflective of their experience in the world is an understatement. Moreover, the METCO classroom is a space where students of color may safely converse about the many (sometimes heavy) topics books often generate.
  • $135 Latin novellas for language acquisition and exploration of culture.  It is important to ensure that students have rich opportunities to practice their language skills at the levels that they will be able to achieve. This serves as an initial pilot of purchasing authentic literature in World Languages. Wellness:
  • $2,050 Yoga teacher certification. 200 hour teacher training learn a lot of different ways to modify the poses to keep students safe and free from injury, as well as learning about energy channels in the body.

 

  • $400 snacks for Boston resident and needs-based students.

TAG Groups / Social Emotional Learning:
  • $600 refresh of TAG materials ($200/grade)*
  • $500 8th Grade Community Service*.  Every year, our 8th grade students select a community service activity, whether it’s reading to younger students, preparing food for those in need, etc.

  • $395 cushions for “Med and Tread” in-class meditation and movement.

 

  • $230 inspirational lithograph posters and frames for ELA classrooms. Space coerces behavior. This simple statement is as true for schools as anywhere else. When students are surrounded by beautiful and calm areas that reflect an ethic of care, they rise to the higher expectations that environment conveys. These lithographs are ingenious; they are intellectual as well as graphic and bold. 
  • $150 My Intent maker kit pilot for TAG. The goal with these bracelets is to see if we can grow a level of intentional introspection that often leads to overall well-being as well as academic success. According to its founder, the mission of the My Intent Project is that it serves as “a catalyst for meaningful conversations and positive action. We believe there is purpose inside each of us and we want our efforts to encourage people to share more truth and inspiration with each other.”
  • $  60 Night of Plenty supplies*
Field Trips:
  • $345 collapsible buggies for 7th Gr Cape Cod trip.
  • $100 8th Grade DC Trip gift* to a Goldstar family from Wayland as a part of their visit to Arlington Cemetery.  
Student Clubs and Activities:
  • $3,820 benches to accommodate 30 students in a new Reflection Garden. The Garden Club and WMS Admin has designated space next to the vegetable garden to add ten benches to allow a full classroom or small groups to meditate or reflect on nature. Students need mental health breaks outside the building for many reasons and this would provide an outdoor classroom-like setting.  Benches will be placed between the beds or around the perimeter as a border.  This Reflection Garden is in keeping with Wayland Middle School’s Mission Statement and our District’s wide Social-Emotional Learning  goals “to support the development of social skills by encouraging a fundamental respect for oneself, our environment, and the larger world through our house mentors – Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Louise Carson, and Martin Luther King, Jr.”
  • $580 sketchbooks and liner pens for 8th Gr Art Club. This year our art club students participated in “Inktober” for the first time. This is an annual, international project that occurs throughout the month of October. At the end of the month, students will be invited to gather to share their sketchbooks, with each being scanned and shared prior to returning to the Sketchbook Project. The scanned pages will be compiled digitally. Additionally, WMS’s Pete Curran would collect highlights from each participant and gather them into an Inktober 2020 digital publication, to be shared with the WMS community. 
  • $500 Green Team activities*
  • $500 Science Olympiad supplies*.  This grant money helps students to compete in the state meet, regardless of their personal ability to purchase materials. WMS has placed 9th in the entire state! 

 

  • $450 Rocket Club supplies*. Every year, we purchase supplies ranging from rockets to controllers to launch pads to igniters — basically, items that make the club a blast!  Rocket Club continues to be a popular club among students.  
  • $320 digital camera for Yearbook Club.
  • $300 playground balls*  Every year, we provide funds to replace balls, frisbees and necessary playground equipment for recess. 
Staff Appreciation:
  • $320 chair massage pads for Staff Lounge. Imitation is the best compliment, right? One of WMS PTO’s staff appreciation events has been to create a chair massage relaxation station in the staff lounge. Quoting the grant request, “PTO values wellness. From healthy snacks to supportive fundraising to relaxation stations, your organization always strives to improve the quality of teachers’ days. Having permanent access to an area where teachers can take a moment to relax and care for themselves in the middle of a busy day is invaluable. All week, staff has really enjoyed visiting the relaxation station throughout the day, even connecting with colleagues they wouldn’t regularly see.” 
Principal’s Discretionary Fund: $750*

Our objective this year was to raise enough money through our Gift Your Child fundraiser to not turn away a single grant request due to insufficient funding. We were ~$4,000 short, but able to dip into prior reserves this year to cover the gap. WMS PTO will continue to encourage 100% family participation in our Gift Your Child fundraiser.

We’ve accomplished all of this because of your generous donations.  Thank you! Our children will reap the benefits!  

2018-2019 School Year Grants

During 2018-19, WMS PTO invested $27,000 to Wayland Middle School to support students, staff and our community. We are excited to fund materials to support the curriculum across all subjects, TAG activities, field trips, student clubs and the METCO program.

Our objective this year was raise enough money through our Gift Your Child fundraiser to not turn away a single grant request due to insufficient funding.  We’ve accomplished this because of your generous donations. Thank you! Our children will reap the benefits!

STEM Curriculum:
  • $5,000 kits to build and program computers. Students use a computer on a daily basis, and yet many do not know how they truly work. These computer kits help students learn the components of a computing machine, build a physical device following visual instructions, study elements of circuitry, work cooperatively to solve problems, and employ various programming concepts. Read more about the Piper Classroom Computer Kit here.
  • $2,700 digital cameras for 8th Grade Earth Science. Class sets of shockproof/waterproof digital cameras for project-based learning curriculum and STEM lab conclusions.
ELA Curriculum:
  • $3,000 classroom library refresh. Every year, WMS PTO gives staff money to purchase the latest books to keep content fresh and interesting for our students!
  • $1,200 e-books and audiobooks for METCO Kindles. These provide access to literature in various forms to help support and improve students’ literacy skills and improve their overall experience as readers.
Social Studies Curriculum:

$500 8th Grade Community Service. Every year, our 8th grade students select a community service activity, whether it’s reading to younger students, preparing food for those in need, etc.

TAG Groups:
  • $1,200 community service sandwich making project, a 25 year tradition.  Before the activity, students are educated about the project, the need of those who are receiving the sandwiches and encouraged by their teachers to continue to try to make a difference in our community.
  • $340 ping pong net and paddle sets. Homerooms and TAGs groups are always looking for playful ways to build connections among students.  With this easy to set up game, students can have a vibrant morning social time centered around ongoing ping-pong tournaments.  The game can played in quick low score rounds. It is inclusive, fast moving, and a great match for active middle schoolers indoors.
Field Trips:
  • $600 backpacks to carry health room supplies. Our teachers “carry the weight” despite weather and activity on all field trips of first aid supplies, basic hygiene supplies, paperwork and epi-pens and inhalers for students.
  • $520 helmets, bicycle parts & supplies and distance marker signs for Walden Pond Trip. Many of our students benefit from additional skill development in preparation for the beloved Walden Pond bicycle trip!
  • $100 8th Grade DC Trip gift to a Goldstar family from Wayland as a part of their visit to Arlington Cemetery.
Student Clubs and Activities:
  • $3,600 Gym Equipment for AM/PM Wellness. Together with the Wayland Public Schools Foundation, we helped the WMS Wellness Center stay current and constantly be on the cutting edge of wellness initiatives that define successful programs with the addition of new treadmills, ski ergometers and bikes.
  • $500 Science Olympiad supplies.This grant money helps students to compete in the state meet, regardless of their personal ability to purchase materials. WMS has placed 9th in the entire state!
  • $450 Rocket Club supplies. Every year, we purchase supplies ranging from rockets to controllers to launch pads to igniters — basically, items that make the club a blast!  Rocket Club continues to be a popular club among students.
  • $215 6th Grade Social, MAKER Club, House Day, Library Lunchtime Drop-in supplies. These supplies help all faculty support co-curricular STEAM endeavors.
  • $160 * NEW CLUB! * Calligraphy Club supplies.  A sixth grade student has an interest in calligraphy, asks a teacher to be an adult sponsor, we buy some starter supplies, and voila! A new student club is started!

Historical Overview of PTO Expenditures

Students

Resources for Clubs, Music and Arts, Inclusive Classrooms, Learning and Cultural Enrichment

Staff

Meals and Other Small Ways to Say, “Thank You!”

Community Enhancement

Parenting Seminars, Community Building, Beautification of Grounds