Merlo Station Grants



Horticulture Expansion, Urban Farming and CSA Boxes: $1,000         

Funding provided through the BEF Building STEAM 4 All Program

For the past two years, I have helped to organize a student-run greenhouse and horticulture program at Merlo Station Community School during the spring. This project has traditionally culminated in a plant sale, and has helped us to raise ~$200 each year. We have, in the past, applied these funds toward compost bins, and our first water cisterns. This year, we plan to expand the program to be more permaculture- and food-based, with the goal of sending our CEYP families home for summer vacation with a CSA box filled with student-grown, student-curated vegetables. This expanded program has been greenlit by the administration in the building, and by the CEYP program directors; I am applying for funds in order to purchase perennially reusable materials (lumber, soil, stakes, wheelbarrows) to make this expansion possible.


The Chemistry of Photography: $1,000
Funding provided through the BEF Building STEAM 4 All Program

This twelve-week course will introduce students to the history, physics, chemistry, and mechanics of film photography. Early in the course we will focus on concepts like wavelength and how that relates to focal length, aperture depth, and aperture size. We will build a room-sized “Camera Obscura” before building our own personal pinhole cameras. With these pinhole cameras we will experiment with different exposure times, light levels, and paper types. We will then learn about the complex chemical light reactions taking place during exposure, and how using developer, stop bath, and fixer can freeze and save those chemical reactions in photographic form. Students will not only develop, but process their photographs to prints. This developing process is the most cost-intensive part of the project. As students’ expertise and confidence grows through the course, we will use contemporary consumer film cameras to strengthen and explore further the concepts listed above. Students will gain skills in both taking and developing photographs as evidenced by a portfolio. The unit will end with an Art Show, where students will display work from their portfolio alongside artist and scientist statements.


Understanding Ourselves through Literature: $1,000

Students will read Angela Johnson’s Heaven trilogy in order to explore the major themes of her work and to discover themselves within the pages of these engaging, powerful texts.  They will apply what they learn in a culminating author-led workshop.  The students will each get to keep an autographed copy of Ms. Johnson’s book, signed especially for them.

BEF Community Awards: $800
Awarded to activity groups that assist with the annual BEF Phone campaign
Merlo Station Leadership, GSA


BEF Community Awards: $450
Awarded to activity groups that assist with the annual BEF Phone campaign
Merlo Station Leadership


Performance Nutrition Class: $1,000
Funding provided through Spirit of New Seasons Market Award
Student wellness is integral to academic achievement. The Performance Nutrition Class project will provide opportunities for students to engage in healthy individual activities, as well as healthy meal planning and preparation. Funding will be used to provide a variety of fresh local foods, equipment for preparation, exercise balls and bands, notebooks for journaling and goal setting, and transportation to a grocery store field trip. The project will culminate in a healthy Iron Chef competition and an individual fitness event.

Writer and Illustrator’s Workshop and Literary Magazine: $1,000
This project will focus on teaching a writer and illustrator’s workshop, with the end result a professionally published, full-color literary magazine. Students will be taught the writing process, focusing on developing writing. In addition, students will learn to illustrate from a written narrative. Each student will write and illustrate a short story, essay, or poem to be published. Students will use photo-editing software to complete the project. The project will culminate in a writer’s celebration party where students will read and showcase their work to parents, teachers and community members.

Student Run Recording Studio – Part 2: $1,000
With BEF funding a student run recording studio was created last school year for all District students. It was necessary to move the studio to Merlo Station. Grant funding will be used to accommodate the studio at the school, and purchase professional grade equipment. The goal of the studio is to give every student and staff in the District the opportunity to perform their original songs and share their talents with the entire community.

BEF Community Awards: $1,475
Awarded to activity groups that assist with the annual BEF Phone campaign
SST Activity Club, HUB, Science and Technology



BEF Community Awards: $375
Awarded to activity groups that assist with the annual BEF Phone campaign
Yearbook Club



T-Shirt Company: $1,000
This high interest project will provide the business class with valuable work place experience through T-shirt printing and sales. Students will gain experience in supply and demand, budgeting, sales forecasting, web design, shipping, advertising, start-up issues, commercial design and labor issues.



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