Providing new learning experiences for
Glen Ridge students since 1993

Glen Ridge Educational Foundation

About the Glen Ridge Educational Foundation

The Glen Ridge Educational Foundation enhances educational opportunities and promotes community involvement in the Glen Ridge public schools. The organization attracts private financial and other resources to help the Glen Ridge School District trial and implement programs that elevate student achievement in today’s competitive world. This not-for-profit group is endorsed by, though independent of, the Glen Ridge School District. Led by corporate and community leaders, the organization identifies, incubates and funds innovative teaching and learning programs that the school budget does not have the leeway to address.  Over the last 25 years the Foundation has granted more than  $2 million dollars to projects and programs in the Glen Ridge Public Schools.



In tough times, the people of Glen Ridge step up.

Neighbors help when the power goes out, huge trees topple, friends fall ill, pets are lost… from the major to the mundane, we look out for each other.

Six months ago there was no way to predict the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our school system.  However, we knew the demands on teachers, students, and parents as well as administrators would be staggering.  

While there have been disappointments and frustrations, and remote education has definite shortcomings, Glen Ridge is blessed by the dedication, hard work, and ingenuity of our teachers and administrators — all working diligently to provide the education students need and parents demand. 

The Glen Ridge Educational Foundation supports those Herculean efforts with funding for several important new initiatives, and ask that you will join us — your friends and neighbors — by donating now.  

It's what we do.

                                                                          DONATE HERE 


THE PROJECTS - Short Version

Help for Struggling Readers (Fall 2020)

Recognized as the gold standard of literacy teaching, nine teachers from RAS, LAS, FAS and the Middle School/High School are now being trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach. The two-year program administered by Fairleigh Dickinson University utilizes a broad, multisensory approach to teaching reading and spelling that can be modified for individual or group instruction at all reading levels with auditory, visual and kinesthetic elements reinforcing one another.

Pursuing Equity (Fall 2020)

GREF will underwrite Glen Ridge’s participation in the Central Jersey Consortium for Excellence and Equity (CJCEE) at Monmouth University.  Comprised of administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, and students, the consortium shares ideas and strategies to help school districts enhance the well-being and academic success of all students by eliminating the disparities in achievement and school engagement.

Online Reading Assessment (Fall 2020)

To help educators more accurately assess K-8 students’ reading ability in an online environment, GREF is funding Literablya powerful online tool that identifies A-Z reading levels, diagnoses skill gaps, screens students for reading difficulties, and monitors progress. 

Emergent Needs (Spring & Fall 2020)

When schools turned on a dime to be 100% virtual in March, GREF offered to purchase whatever teachers needed to make the transition.  The offer has been extended this fall with many more teachers making requests.  We have been able to quickly supply extra monitors, document cameras/software, lap desks, a teacher tracking camera, and manipulatives that can be sanitized.

Virtual High School (Ongoing since 2011)

Our commitment to fund the GRHS Virtual High School through 2023 will be honored, providing students with opportunities to take courses offered beyond Glen Ridge. Since GREF first funded the program nearly a decade ago, hundreds of students have been able to study a wide range of topics of interest, and enhance their academic resume.

Support education in Glen Ridge for today and tomorrow.


For more information click here.



For the last few years, the Foundation has invested 10s of thousands of dollars in professional development for the District's teaching staff.  Through the year, and even during the summer, teachers attended seminars and, working with consultants and each other, learned about the most current teaching practices in order to refine delivery of the curriculum at all levels and hone their skills for the ever changing educational environment.  

Every dollar donated through the Teacher Recognition Program goes directly to programs like this and those noted elsewhere on this website, impacting the daily educational experience for students.


Professional Development Grant Announced

The Glen Ridge Educational Foundation is pleased to announce the award of $18,000 to fund professional development for teachers, adding to the several tens of thousands of dollars devoted to this aspect of the Foundation’s interest areas over the last couple of years.  This grant, for support and training in the development of the Language Arts curriculum, builds on a former grant which focused on implementation of various LA teaching techniques in the classroom.  In the presentation requesting the grant, several teachers spoke to how they are currently utilizing the best practices techniques they learned and their goal of wrapping “what works best” into the formalized curriculum. 

Like most professions, education is constantly changing and the Foundation is pleased to be able to help keep district teachers up-to-date thus enhancing the opportunities of our students.


Fall 2019 Innovation Mini-Grants and Expanded Innovation Grants 

The trustees of the Glen Ridge Educational Foundation are pleased to announce the attached list of Innovation Mini-Grants and Expanded Innovation Grants have been funded.  Projects in these two programs are proposed by district staff twice a year, reviewed by the Peer Review Committee comprised of teachers and administrators, and recommended to the trustees for approval.

The Foundation provides seed money to trial innovative and creative concepts for implementing the curriculum which, if successful, are then assumed by the District.

Innovation Mini-Grants

Diversity in Science Literacy                                                Paulette Cinotti, Gerald White

Scientist very in gender, ethnicity, and cultural background; embracing this diversity should be part of the learning experience in the science classroom. By using a variety of books written by and about non-dominant groups, we will celebrate cultural diversity and pave the way to inclusivity in science education. These books will be housed in the RAS media center and used as a resource for specific class projects, with the goal of nurturing cultural literacy in our sixth grade students.

Pretend Play for Real Learning                                          Megan Connolly

This project will allow for children to experience additional dramatic play scenarios beyond the traditional “housekeeping”. Children will be able to engage in the added worlds of a grocery store, doctor’s office, ice cream parlor, restaurant, and veterinarian’s office. These varied settings will create new opportunities to develop vocabulary, cooperate with peers, and practice problem-solving skills. Frequently changing materials, such as games, puzzles and art projects will spark excitement in the children. This project will allow for that excitement to extend to the dramatic play area as well.

Expanded Innovation Grants

The DBQ Project                                                                  Eric Dimeck, Carol Svetik, John Lawlor 

The goal of this initiative is to improve critical thinking skills by providing teachers with the teaching tools, and students with strategies for writing document document-based question (DBQ) essays and further develop essential analytical skills. Two professional development workshops with a trainer from the DBQ project will be provided to Middle School and High School Social Studies and English teachers, and online and print resources will be purchased. These resources will help students break down the process for answering essential questions from ancient history to modern times by analyzing sources, constructing a thesis, and supporting claims with evidence.  Examples of questions students will explore taking on the role of historians as they learn to critically read primary and secondary sources and construct claims supported by evidence are:

  • How Did the Renaissance Change Man’s View of the World?
  • Female Workers in Japanese Silk Factories: Did the Costs Outweigh the Benefits?
  • Martin Luther King and Malcolm X: Whose Philosophy Made the Most Sense for America in the 1960s?


Collaboration Café                                                                           Lindsay Coral, Jessica Gill

Third and fourth grade students will join forces and have the opportunity to improve their language arts abilities. Two classes of students will read books of their choice in a café environment. Comfortable

seating, special amenities, and books will be provided during each meeting setting the stage. Fourth grade students will act as mentors and develop a sense of leadership during this time. Third grade students will look to mentors for help to increase their Daily 5 language arts skills. Both groups will seek to build reading stamina, fluency, comprehension, and writing skills through this collaboration.

Reimagining Recess                                                                          Megan Connolly  

Recess is an important time within the elementary student’s day. Often what comes to mind when one thinks of recess are visions of children running, climbing on equipment and bouncing balls. However, if one reimagines recess, a much fuller picture can emerge. A picture of children engaged in teambuilding using large blocks, taking turns playing games, practicing eye-hand coordination with a beanbag toss, balancing on alphabet stepping stones, and role-playing with construction vehicles. Reimagining recess will provide Central School students with more varied opportunities during outside recess time but more importantly also during inclement weather when the playground equipment is unavailable.



GRHS students are no longer limited by attending a "small" high school!

Our donors have made it possible for them to take over 250 
different courses in order to meet requirements, resolve 
scheduling conflicts ... 
or because they are interested 
and just want to learn!
More information is HERE


 What do thousands of people do before they indulge in Thanksgiving dinner?  
They join family ad friends from all over for the Ashenfelter 8K and Fleming 1M.

The A8K Classic and the Ton Fleming One Mile, held just before the featured A8K Classic, always draw a large crowd and enthusiastic gallery of spectators with runners from 3 to 83 years of age.

Proceeds help fund the many grants we award and projects we support.  

Thank you to everyone involved in making the 2019 event another very successful race.  Almost 300 volunteers and 3400 racers plus their fans filled the streets of Glen Ridge for a happy, hometown, fun filled morning.

To learn more, become a sponsor, or see photos and results go HERE.
For a 2 minute video go HERE


2018-2019 Innovation Grants

Over the last couple of years the Foundation has contributed roughly $250,000 to fund projects and programs in each and every of the town's schools.  Part of those monies were for Innovation Mini-Grants and Expanded Innovation Grants.  Below is a list of those that were funded during the 2018-2019 school year.  Please join us in congratulating all of the staff members who have brought their ideas for improving the delivery of the curriculum to the students.  For more information about these projects please go HERE.

Paula Horton: March Book Madness

Paula Ely: Hygge-The Cozy Nook

Lisa Petruzzi, Jody Walsh: "Forest Flies" Around the World

Diane Blazier, Alyssa Roqueni, Michelle Klein: Reading Comes Alive with Daily Five

Katie Stapp, Trish Fagan, Danielle Chesney, Rob Stomber, Elaina Frissel, Pamela Barton, Theresa Messineo, Cindy Barrington, Joe Caravela: UNICEF Kid Power

Monica Nieves, Christina Rodriguez: Technology in the Spanish Classroom

Jerry White: "We Need Diverse Books":A Celebration of Our Differences

Francoise Spano: Creation Station

Theresa Messineo, Megan Connolly: Many Cultures, One School

Andrew Shohan: Robotics Team

Jessica Gill: Soft Starts for School Success

Erin Goldstein: Literacy Circles for the Curious Kindergartner

Andrew Shohan: Engineering and Programming with Arduino Quadcopter


For the past quarter century, the Foundation has raised more than $2.25 million to fund projects in all grade levels within the Glen Ridge public schools. These are educational opportunities our town’s students would not have had due to budget constraints and the limited amount of money that the Glen Ridge schools receive from the State. Below are just a few examples of the significant projects that we have funded which help keep our schools highly rated as well as providing a quality education to our town's students.
  • The 6th grade science classroom at Ridgewood had not had a major update in a generation or more until the Foundation raised the funds to install a facility necessary to deliver the curriculum of the 21st
  • The auditorium at Ridgewood had missing floor tiles and seats covered in duct tape to keep the stuffing inside. The Foundation raised funds to completely renovate the only large auditorium in our school system.
  • The Synergistics Lab, where students in grades 3-6 explore STEAM topics through hands-on learning, was created and maintained through funds raised by the Foundation.
  • Every high school student has a Chromebook provided by the Foundation in partnership with the district, facilitating the way teachers lead their students in learning today.
  • The TV studio is integral to the communications in the school as well as enhancing the curriculum.
  • The Virtual High School has enabled hundreds of students to study a host subjects and take AP courses our small school cannot offer, thus supporting the recent high achieving AP school award.
  • At Forest and Linden, students will soon be learning improved safety behaviors through a grant from the Foundation and have been enjoying numerous mini-grants awarded to their teachers for classroom enhancements. Learning gardens were initially started this way as was Forest’s “One School, One Book.” Linden’s youngest students have also been benefiting from an additional way of curriculum presentation through I-Rover smart boards supporting traditional methods.
  • Most recently, GREF has committed to funding additional teacher professional development for both math and language arts as they seek to provide the best learning opportunities for all our town’s public school children.

Please join us as we celebrate the past 25 years and raise funds to continue supplying programs for your child as they move through the grades. We must build today or it won’t be there tomorrow.



Project One to One

When teachers wanted to take their students and teaching methods to the next level, GREF responded immediately.  Partnering with the Board of Education, within two months every student in grades 7 through 12 was issued a Chromebook enabling teachers to bring new experiences and learning opportunities to their classes.  Facilitating the learning and teaching process resulted in an enhanced  enthusiasm in both students and teachers, keeping Glen Ridge students on the path to success.

Donate for free!!!!
Join us in raising funds to benefit all students in the Glen Ridge Public Schools through the 
Blue Foundry Bank Community Alliance Program (CAP).  

 Click HERE for more info.

Are you looking for a way to say “Thank you!” to teachers and staff for contributing to your child's education? 


It had been more than half a century since the science room used for all 6th grade students at Ridgewood Avenue School had been upgraded. 
  • There were no lab tables for experiments, just uneven, tipsy desks  
  • There was insufficient counter space for lab materials
  • The storage units were inefficient, antiquated and damaged
  • The lack of facilities made it difficult for students to work collaboratively and to complete more complex experiments

Improving the situation was critical for our STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) program, especially given the implementation of the new N.J. Core Curriculum Content Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards developed by the National Research Council.  The new curriculum places a greater emphasis on hands-on learning, including personal observation, analysis, experimentation and communication.  More labs are required and the course demands a higher level of understanding to draft lab reports that are aligned with the Middle School program. 

                                                                A Transformation
From  this                                                                         to THIS!

A laboratory environment that stimulates students interests in and knowledge of the environment to explore for the future!


Two and a Half Decades of Funding Projects for All Glen Ridge Students

Since 1993 the GREF has raised over $2,000,000 to fund projects that affect students of every age in all disciplines.  These projects include:
  • Project One-to-One Chromebooks for Middle School and High School
  • Ridgewood Avenue School  Auditorium Renovation
  • Virtual High School
  • Communications Project / TV Studio
  • Lucy Calkins Writing Program
  • Leveled Reading Libraries at Forest and Linden
  • Junior Great Books
  • Impact Concussion Project
  • Foreign Language Lab
  • Equipment to enhance fitness education at the High School
  • Macbeth: The Rock Musical – written, directed and produced by the High School Drama Club
  • CAD Lab
  • Staff Development for Teachers
  • Programs and Technology for Special Needs Students
  • Hundreds of Mini-Grants
Recent STEM projects include:
  • 6th Grade Science Classroom
  • Synergistics Lab at Ridgewood Avenue
  • High School Robotics Team and 8th grade class – electronics equipment
  • 3D printer for CAD and engineering classes at Middle and High Schools
  • teentech™ – conference for High School girls interested in exploring STEM-based career options
Through the generosity of donors, the Foundation funds innovative programs that increase the academic excellence of our Glen Ridge schools and elevate student achievement in today’s competitive world.   Please contribute to our continuing effort to support our students by adding the 6th grade science lab to the list of projects that would not be available without GREF funding.

Board of Trustees

Arthur Dawson PhD • Duval Graham • David Lefkovits, CFA • Ann Marie Linke. • James Lisovicz, Esq.• Mary Louise Malyska PhD 

John McCusker, Esq • Maureen Mycka • Marcia Horton O'Grady • Dirk Phillips • Bill Potter • Karima Ravenell  

Benjamin Ringe • Gwen Schoenfeld, Esq.• Linda Seyffarth • Tracey St. Auburn • Anthony Turiano • Fran Wong  • Tom Wright

The Glen Ridge Educational Foundation is classified as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law and qualify for corporate matching programs.  Donations can also be made if the form of securities which may be advantageous in regards to capital gains.  For additional information please email and consult your tax professional. Tax ID Number 22-3258018.