Tag Archives: featured

Valley Gives on Thursday, December 12


Please mark your calendar for Thursday, December 12!

That’s the date for this year’s Valley Gives, an innovative online fundraising event that encourages individuals to donate as much money as possible in support of their favorite charities in just twenty-four hours.

Beginning at midnight EST on December 12 and continuing until 11:59pm, residents of western Massachusetts will go online to and make tax-deductible donations to support the important work of our region’s charities.

The Mary Lyon Foundation will be participating in Valley Gives for the first time this year. All online donations for the Mary Lyon Foundation made through our Valley Gives donation page on December 12 will go directly to support quality education in the nine towns of the Mohawk Trail Regional School District.

Want to know more about Valley Gives? Please watch the video below about this year’s day of giving.

An annual wish list for our schools: “from the mundane to the extraordinary”


The Mary Lyon Foundation’s annual gift catalog was published again this past summer as a wish list of items that are requested by staff in our local schools. The items requested reflect the various needs of classrooms and programs that are outside of the regular budget. The requests range from the mundane to the extraordinary and include supplies, equipment and intangible benefits such as a volunteer to assist in a classroom or help chaperone a field trip.

The Gift Catalog was established in 1991 to provide an avenue for individuals and businesses to donate to local education. One of the most beloved donations of all time was a used van that could transport students on field trips and especially for the popular UNYTE program (Understanding Nature and Yourself Through Ecology) led by Will Kiendzior, Colin Garland and Phil Lussier. The van was donated by Deerfield Academy through a car dealership in Greenfield which requested a $500 donation to stabilize the van and make it road worthy for years to come. The $500 donation was garnered through local business donations and the van arrived at Mohawk ready to roll. Students and teachers welcomed it with open arms and it provided safe, reliable transportation for hundreds of students over the course of the ensuing decade.

Today’s Gift Catalog is distributed to individuals and businesses in hopes that their surplus, unwanted items can find a good home in a classroom in one of our schools.

The Gift Catalog is just one of the many ways the Mary Lyon Foundation supports children and schools in the Mohawk district. To continue our work, we need your support on Valley Gives Day — Wednesday, December 10, 2014.  To learn more about Valley Gives and how to make your online gift that day, please see click here.

Thank you in advance!

Helping local children in need

Le linge est plie - 2013-022 by Fred_V, from Flickr

Photo by Frédérique Voisin-Demery

The Mary Lyon Foundation responds quickly when local children are in need.

A recent house fire in West County, for example, left the children in that home with only the clothes they were wearing at the time of the fire. Within 48 hours, their family had a $500 voucher for new clothing to be purchased at Wilson’s Department Store in Greenfield. The children received brand new clothes, and the invoice for those items (offered at a deep discount by Wilson’s) went directly to the Mary Lyon Foundation. The family did not have to worry about how or when to pay.

The money for the voucher came from our Harper Gerry Student Assistance Fund. Named in honor of a local postmaster who generously supported youth activities, this fund allows the Mary Lyon Foundation to provide a wide range of services and goods for local children in need.

In the past year, thousands of dollars from this fund paid for such basic necessities as food, clothing, medical prescriptions, eyeglasses and eye exams for children. Our staff and volunteers spent countless hours coordinating the donation and delivery of these items across West County.

In order to continue and expand this work, which directly improves the lives of children in our community, we need your help.

Valley Gives — an annual day of philanthropy in support of local nonprofits — is coming up on Thursday, December 12. Will you please make a gift to the Mary Lyon Foundation on that day? To learn more about Valley Gives and how to make your gift that day, please see click here.

Thank you in advance for supporting our local children!

Fall 2013 Mini-Grants Awarded


Congratulations to the Fall 2013 Mini-Grant recipients!

For the past 23 years the Mary Lyon Foundation has provided small grants for innovative, educational, replicable projects in all our local schools. ANY staff member is eligible to apply and there are two deadlines each school year. Funding for these projects comes from the annual Community Spelling Bee held each November at Mohawk Trail Regional School.

The Fall 2013 Mini-Grant recipients are:

Fifth Grade Colonial Arts Project – Sandra Carter, 5th grade classroom teachers and related arts teachers from all elementary schools

Understanding What Living Things Need – Lindsay Bridges and Eileen Deveney, BSE
Geometric Shapes for Preschool – Karen Eldred, BSE
Time for Kids Current Events – Lindsay Funk, BSE
Tools of the Mind: Books – Carolyn Goodnow, BSE
Place Value – Sandy Field, BSE
Digital Voice Recorders to Improve Oral Reading Fluency and Accuracy– Rebecca Eklund, BSE

Fine Tuning Fingers – Robin Christian, Mohawk
Operation Lamination – Turn the Heat Up! – Lynn Sercu, Mohawk
Podcasting in Journalism –William J. Drake, Mohawk
New England Falconry Program for Peer Leadership – Roxanne Trombley, Mohawk
YA Inspired Readers – Robert Mastorakis, Gina Wells, and Joyce Kehoe, Mohawk
Designing and Building Solar Cars – Samantha Lydiard and 7th Grade Team, Mohawk

Handwashing Experiment for Grades 5 & 6 – Barbara Griffin, Sherry Hager, Britney Skiff, Stephen Bechtel, Dwight Beebe, Hawlemont and Rowe

The Little Yellow Trolley Car Grades PreK-2 – Mary Boehmer, Hawlemont

Yoga Pillows for Circle Talk – Jana Standish, Colrain
Yoga Instruction and Practice – Luann Lord, Colrain

IPad Apps for Educators & Students – Bill Knittle and staff, Rowe
Word Processing Apps – Dwight Beebe, Rowe

Lively Letters Parent Workshop – Cathy Geyster and Cathey Boschen, Sanderson Academy

A Lost Art: Fly Tying and Fly Fishing for grades 2-6 – Eric Glazier, Heath
What’s In the Box? Building a Computer – William Burgess, Heath
Math Games for Indoor Recess or All School Math Activities – Marilyn O’Brien, Heath

Enhancing Literacy Through Music/Enhancing Music Through Literacy –Sandra Carter and Joan Fitzgerald, BSE, Colrain, Heath and Sanderson

Wire and Nylon Portrait Sculptures – Rachel Silverman, Heath and BSE

Life in a Wheelchair Presentation for Grades 5 and 6 – Jana Standish, Colrain and BSE