Our mission is to inspire and fund innovation that fosters critical thinking, collaboration, and authentic learning experiences for every student in the Lincoln Public Schools.
Since 1988, the Lincoln School Foundation (LSF) has established a proud tradition of awarding community-raised funds to faculty, school administrators, and community members who strive for educational excellence in the Lincoln School District. We work closely with the school administration, principals, and teachers to spread our mission and clarify our focus on innovation and creativity.
Education through Innovation
The Wetlands Walkway, opened in the spring of 2017, represents the culmination of many years of planning, building and curriculum development. Co-sponsored by the Lincoln Public Schools, The Lincoln Community Preservation Committee, and the Lincoln Cultural Council, the walkway is an outdoor classroom, utilized for nature study and much more. Students look at art in nature, and use natural materials to create art inspired by nature; they can “read the past”, and learn about the history of the glaciated landscape; they are able to monitor water chemistry and consider real-world water shortages; and they study New England wetlands as a resource for Native Americans: home to wild fowl, fish, a source of reeds and other building materials, and herbal medicines.
Matt Reed, Smith School Teacher, explains how the Wetlands Walkway has helped feed the curiosity and observational skills of his 1st grade class:
“We begin to ask questions related to what we see... will we see different things in different weather and times of day, what kind of bird is that, or do turtles live here? We can then go out on the trail or come back to the room and see if we can answer the questions. For example, yesterday we saw a snake, and when we came back we worked to identify the snake. Based on our observations, it was a northern water snake… Our observations and questions lead to deeper questions and a search for deeper understanding. After we identified the snake the question arose: ‘The snake looks like a dinosaur, are they the same?’”
In 2016-17, the LSF awarded grants to both the Lincoln School Library and Hanscom Middle School to start MakerSpace stations: shared spaces dedicated to collaboration, creativity, and problem solving in order to provide student driven, project based learning. The grants funded the purchase of basic art and building materials – paper, cardboard, tape, fabric, wood, wire and the like – needed for designing, building, and creating. Hanscom’s MakerSpace goes further, and includes materials to explore robotics and electronics. Students are inspired to create, problem-solve, refine and produce from scratch, work on solutions to everyday problems and participate in design challenges. These are “busy, creative times!” in the MakerSpace, according to Becca Fasciano, HMS Science Teacher.
David Trant, Brooks School Science Teacher, received a grant to Build a Chicken Coop – from initial sketch to the final hammered nail – with his 6th grade class, and after honing his skills in a fundamentals class at the Massachusetts Furniture Institute he was ready to begin. He explains:
“It takes a leap of confidence to teach a class where there is no idea what the final project is going to look like… [but] we researched chicken coop designs and I taught the students proper hand tool usage. A grade is very obvious when it is directly tied to the experience of fitting your piece into a section of a larger project. New skills have been built when you place a wall into a structure and it fits.”
What Else Do The Teachers Say?
“It changes things to work in a district with an organization like LSF. You are always right there to back up teachers’ willingness to take risks, to try out new ideas, to think big, or perhaps very small. Instead of the first response, ‘that’s too expensive’, ‘it’s not in the budget’, or ‘scale back’, we know LSF will help us find a way. I am honored to work in such a district. I know I am a better teacher for it. The rug project is just one of many examples of the support provided for the innovation of teaching that creates a rich learning environment. Thank you again LSF for all you do!”
- Colleen Pearce, Lincoln School Art Teacher, Preschool–4th grade, Colonial Rug Braiding Grant 2015
“LSF afforded me the opportunity to expand and update the Lincoln Public Schools K-2 classroom listening library to a digital format. Their support gave me the resources to make this idea a reality. I look forward to working with LSF again!”
- Blake Siskavich in collaboration with Kindergarten Teaching Team and Gwen Blumberg, Literary Specialist, Digital Listening Library Grant 2012
How do we differ from the PTO?
The LSF enables our teachers and staff to reach beyond traditional programs and uncover new and innovative tools and techniques to bring to the classroom. LSF grants provide the seed money to make these programs a reality. The PTO plays an important role in funding long-standing enrichment programs that have become core elements in the curriculum, yet fall outside the school's operating budget. Together, these two organizations provide tremendous resources for our school community.
2018-19 Board of Trustees
Cathie Bitter, Chair
Ginger Reiner, Treasurer
Liz Wilkinson, Secretary
For inquiries regarding grants, events, or donations, e-mail us at email@example.com.