GEF supports arts and education programs

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New England Ringers perform.

Happy New Year from the Granby Education Foundation. 2019 was a busy year for GEF as it continues to support innovative educational and arts programs throughout the community.

One particular standout is the new robotics team at the middle school. GEF granted $4,000 for the purchase of two competition robot sets so that middle schoolers can compete in FIRST Robotics competitions. FIRST Robotics competitions offer a unique blend of science, technology, engineering, and math principles. Approximately 30 students currently participate at the middle school level. Many will likely continue with Robotics by eventually joining the highly successful Granby Grunts High School Robotics Team.

As a supplement to the Poetry Out Loud poetry recitation program that GMHS runs each year, GEF granted $650 to sponsor two teaching artists in December. Two award-winning performers and poets (Abioseh Joseph Cole and Tarishi Midnight Shuler) worked with nearly 250 high schoolers during poetry workshops. Students practiced the skills needed for an effective recitation, including physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic interpretation, and overall performance.

Poet Abioseh Joseph Cole

GEF also provided $750 in seed money for the GMHS marketing program, which funded the first order of Granby Gear. High schoolers in marketing classes and the highly successful DECA Club will learn how to market goods, track sales and profits, and analyze supply and demand. Items currently for sale include lanyards, reusable grocery bags, keychains and apparel. 

In December, the New England Ringers, a 15-member community handbell ensemble, performed at South Congregational Church as part of the Bruce Porter Music Series. This unique performance, funded in part by a $4,000 GEF grant, delighted the audience with its festive handbell playing on a six-octave set of chimes and bells. Be sure to mark your calendar for March 1st 4 p.m., when CitySingers of Hartford return to Granby with their Celtic Fire! performance.

GEF also proudly supports The Better World Book Club program, a new monthly book club for all ages, grades K-12 and their families, that meets several times a year with a focus social justice themes. In November, a representative from Soccer Without Borders participated via Skype to discuss soccer’s role in creating community. January’s topic was entitled “Finding Your Voice.” Books (and snacks) are provided free, courtesy of this GEF mini-grant. Contact your school librarian for more information about the February program.

Finally, GEF’s annual “Gran-bee” fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the GHMS auditorium. This trivia contest is a night of silly antics and brain teasing fun for all. More information as to how you can participate in this community wide tradition will be forthcoming.

The Granby Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that continues to thrive thanks to generous donations from the public. Donations can be made online at or sent to GEF at P.O. Box 351, Granby, CT 06035. Working together, the GEF will continue to enrich our community with quality arts and education programming for Granby residents of all ages.