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Funded Projects


Career and College Fairs

College & Career Initiative

College Tour 2013

Middle and High School Debate Clubs

Lego League Club

Media Arts/Graphic Design Computer & Software

Bard College Writing & Thinking Workshop

High School Mentoring Program

Mid Hudson Student Leadership Conference

The Mill Road Garden

Mill Road 1,000 Books Club

Model United Nations Club

9th Grade Planner Notebooks

Professional Development for Debate Advisors

Robotics Club

Scholarships for 8th grade Boston trip

Science Field Trip to Bard College

Student in Need Fund

Science Lab Water Purification System

Professional Development for Technology Leadership

Classroom Camera and Projection Equipment


RHEF Continues to Fund School’s & Community’s 3D Explorations

RHEF has given a $1,000 mini-grant to “Red Hook Makes in 3D,” a collaborative effort between Red Hook High School, Red Hook Public Library and Bard College to bring an awareness of and competency to students and community members eager to learn to use 3D technology.

Initially, students from second to twelfth grade two to 12 will be provided with hands-on experience in building, designing tinkering and just plain playing with the new technology. Funding will also be used toward the purchase of a high-tech 3D printer for use by high school students.

After students complete a 3D printer certification program, offered during lunch periods and after school, they will be able to use the printer in the high school library. The printer will also be available for teachers.


RHEF Provides Funds for New Musical Instruments

The foundation has approved a mini-grant of $1,100 for the purchase of new musical instruments for elementary school students whose families cannot afford rental costs.

The educational advantages of learning to play a musical instrument at an early age — developing creativity and an appreciation of the arts — are well-known. Because these purchases will be high-quality instruments, their value to the district will continue through the years, ultimately saving money when compared to damaged or inferior quality instruments.


RHEF Funds New After-School Knitting Program

Knitting has been called “the new yoga,” though it’s an ancient skill that’s now available through a new after-school program funded by the RHEF. “LAMS Knit” is aimed at providing middle and high school students with a relaxing way to develop focus and maintain clarity. Knitting also can allow students a creative outlet that can culminate in an appreciation for design and color, not to mention the chance to create wearable items that a student can be proud of.


Mentoring Clubs Awarded RHEF Mini-Grants

The RHEF has awarded a $1,000 mini-grant to the Linden Avenue Middle School’s Mentoring Club and a $700 mini-grant to the high school’s Mentoring Club. The aims of both groups are identical: to help develop a genuine, caring connection between at-risk students and a group of adult volunteers — teachers, staff and administrators — from the district. And in that way, to show students they are accepted and valued.

Though both groups are identified as “clubs,” a more accurate description would be “programs.” Though, like clubs, they are voluntary, they are not driven by a student’s interests so much as by his or her needs. Students are selected based on the risk factors in their lives and involved in creative activities that allow them to bond with the adult volunteers through activities such as community breakfasts and creating holiday crafts.


Getting a “Lego” up on Mathematics

To many of us, math is an abstract and mysterious discipline. The decision to fund a $741 mini-grant request that will allow elementary school students to have an actual hands-on, engaging math experience was as simple as pi. This grant will allow students from third through fifth grades to explore the world of math through the use of Legos.

Legos will help teachers introduce students to such concepts as problem solving, multiplication, geometry, fractions and area and perimeter by building (sic) their spatial and proportional awareness. Those familiar Lego bricks will help students understand the why and the how of mathematics by making basic concepts tangible. The grant will enable math teachers to construct a “Lego Wall” where elementary school students will see how learning — and understanding — math can be fun.


RHEF Awards $1,000 for Leadership Conference

The Red Hook Education Fund has awarded the middle school a $1,000 mini-grant to help register students for the upcoming State Leadership Conference for students from seventh through twelfth grades. The grant will be used to reduce the costs of meals, lodging and transportation. Students attending the conference, which usually draws as many as 750 students, will be able to meet and interact with their peers. In addition to networking, they’ll attend leadership workshops and presentations from internationally known speakers.


Foundation Helps Support Anti-Bullying Effort

The foundation has given Linden Avenue Middle School a $700 mini-grant to help promote the school’s efforts to stop bullying. The LAMS ACT PAC has already had surprising success in helping to pass the statewide Dignity for All Students Act.

The club’s aim is the same as in the past: to work with students, teachers, administrators and parents to create a bully-free environment by educating students and giving them strategies to deal with the problem.

The grant will be used to help the club to get its message out earlier than in the past. Until now, efforts at the beginning of each school calendar year have been delayed while students raised money through fund-raisers.


Model UN Club Competes at Cornell

The RHEF provided the high school’s Model UN Club with a mini-grant of $2,570 to cover the lodging expenses for the four-day Model UN Conference at Cornell University next April.

In the past, financial constraints have sometimes limited the club’s ability to field all its best students. The mini-grant made it possible for more students than ever before to attend the prestigious state-wide conference.

The Red Hook Model UN Club attended the Cornell conference and several students took high honors against some accomplished and well-known Model UN programs. The students also conducted fundraisers this year, in an effort to make the trip as close to free for the participants as possible, as well as to make the community proud of their achievements.


2nd Annual Careers and College Fair

The second annual Red Hook High School Career Fair was held on April 27th from 2 to 6PM at the Red Hook High School

With over 60 Careers and Trades, 20 Regional Colleges, and numerous community organizations presenting, it was a high-impact  and well-attended event.  Over 500 community members, including more than 360 students, as well as a number of parents, attended this event.  Originally conceived in an effort to provide Red Hook students with a much needed opportunity to explore various career options in a hands-on manner, the Career Fair has achieved a momentum of its own.

The parking lot was full; walking up to the school one could hear and feel the vibe of engaged youth, enhanced by some great music, including an impromptu performance in the front hallway by a great local student violinist.  Delicious, healthy food was provided by one of our local food gurus, Joe Baldwin of Earth to Table.  It was great this year to see many students from the Middle School participate in the Career Fair.  It’s never too early to begin the long and important process of career exploration and choice.  A panel discussion regarding “Owning Your Own Business” was also offered.  A number of local business owners shared their perspectives on the rewards and challenges of starting a business.  County Executive Marc Molinaro also participated in this panel.

Another great dimension of this career fair is the multitude of parents who generously offered their time to share their passion for their chosen professions with students.  One presenter whose booth generated a lot of student interest was Helena Hobson, a physical therapist with a practice in Rhinebeck.  What a rich resource this community has in its parents and other adults who show their commitment to our students by offering their time and presence.   One freshman commented on the fair, “It was a great opportunity to learn more about things we are interested in, and see what careers paths we could take to fulfill our interests.”

A huge thank you goes to Tara Sullivan, who spearheaded this event, as well as all the volunteers who created a seamless experience for the attendees.


Mini-Grant Program

All recipients in this first round are Red Hook Central School District teachers. The mini-grant program is designed to support innovative educational programming that enriches student learning.

$1,000 awarded to Kim Goldhirsch, at Linden Avenue Middle School for the Mid-Level Leadership Conference.

$1,000 awarded to Lydia Cordier for the Garden at Mill Road.

$275 awarded to Eleanor Lydon-Clements at Linden Avenue Middle School to help support the Medieval Times field trip.

$665 awarded to Steven Hughes at Linden Avenue Middle School to help support the First Lego League Robotics Competition.

$1,000 awarded to William Decker at the Red Hook High School to support the Model United Nations.

Garden Classroom

Works continues on the garden classroom.  Many more classes are interacting with garden and garden volunteers.  The RHEF has commissoned a new shed from the High School Technology class that will allow teachers to store tools and materials.

As its inaugural project, RHEF has raised over $10,000 in funding to support the garden, has offered professional development workshops to teachers, and currently has two grants under review to help fund the next phase of the garden. There are many research-based learning benefits for students who engage in a garden classroom, including enhancing their nutritional awareness, and strengthening their connections to nature and their environment. From harvesting pumpkins and potatoes, to making literary connections by drawing and writing about the garden, as well as composting lunch scraps, students and teachers are getting their hands dirty! Your help is needed, too; spring tasks include building new beds, a garden shed, a meeting area, and installing a watering system. No experience necessary! If you are interested in helping out in any way, please contact Georganna Ulary at 757-2199 or send her an email.

The garden classroom was the recipient of a grant from Amy’s Naturals Foods and  has also been selected to participate in the prestigious Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard Academy.

Debate Programs

The Red Hook Education Foundation has funded the creation of debate club programs in both the Middle School and High School

On March 9, Red Hook students competed in the Bard Debate Union’s first annual Debate Tournament, featuring 2 rounds of debate competition, luncheon, and an awards ceremony. Linden Avenue Middle School sent 5 teams, which competed against each other, and Red Hook high school sent 2 teams, which competed against 2 teams from Rhinebeck, and 4 teams fielded from the Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) schools in Queens, Manhattan, and Newark, NJ. The RHEF was a sponsor of this event, hosted by the Bard Center for Civic Engagement.

Team and individual awards were given to the following participants: in the high school division BHSEC A took 1st place, with Rhinebeck A in 2nd place, Red Hook A in 3rd place, and BHSEC B in 4th place. Individual high school debate awards: Hannah Frishberg (BHSEC A) 1st; Callie Goldstone (Rhinebeck A) 2nd; Joe Bryant (Red Hook A) 3rd; Gabe Haddad (BHSEC D) 4th  and “Mo” Tyler (BHSEC C) in 5th place. Individual middle school debate awards: Caleb Wootan, 1st; Elenore Zellneck, 2nd; Joseph Becker, 3rd; Abby Foster, 4th, and Aidan Murtha in 5th place.

Working in partnership with Bard Debate Union and the Bard Trustee Leader Scholar program, the RHEF has helped to start up the LAMS and Red Hook High School debate clubs over the last year. Many thanks to Red Hook faculty Ronald Dombrowski, Tom O’Connor, and James Armstrong, Bard Debate coaches Ruth Zisman and Jennifer Rankin, and especially to the Bard Debate Union students, for supporting the growth of debate in our community and beyond.



Field Trips and Supplies

The RHEF was also able to show support for our schools this year by providing funding for academic field trips to Bard College, new agendas for our incoming High School freshman and Professional Development funds for our teachers and staff.



Garden Classroom:

With the hard work of parent volunteers and community members, garden beds are taking shape and a garden classroom is being developed at the foot of the nature trail. The garden will be available to teachers for use with their classes, and students will have opportunities to have hands-on experiences growing healthy food and using the garden for educational enrichment.

Thank you to Red Hook Sand & Gravel, Unifuse, Williams, Red Hook Fence, DeerGuard Systems, Ken Migliorelli, Montgomery Farm, Norbert at Phantom Gardner, Kesicke’s Farm, Terry O’Keefe and all of the other community members who have volunteered their time and donated resources to help us build the Mill Rd. Outdoor Classroom Garden.

8th Grade Field Trip to Bard College’s Reem Kayden Science Center

The Red Hook Education Foundation donated funds to the Bard Center for Civic Engagement, to help underwrite a portion of the expense for the Linden Avenue Middle School’s  8th Grade Field Trip to Bard College’s Reem Kayden Science Center, October 4 and 6, 2011.  Bard Professors Matthew Deady, Lauren Rose, Keith O’Hara, Brooke Jude, and Chris LaFratta along with student organizers Madison Fletcher and Brian Liu, as well as students from the fields of Physics, Math, Computer Science, Biology and Chemistry, guided 8th graders through hands on science experiments at the Reem Kayden Science Center Labs. Thanks to all who helped make this field trip possible, with appreciation to all the Bard collaborators as well as the Linden Avenue folks, including include Katie Zahedi, Amanda Greene, and Amanda Stoddard – with cooperation and help from all science faculty at the middle school.




The Strever Scholarship:

In celebration of Martha Strever’s 50th year of teaching in Red Hook Schools, the foundation is soliciting donations for The Martha Strever Scholarship for Achievement in Mathematics. We are building an endowment for the scholarship so that it will benefit graduating Red Hook seniors for many years to come. The first Strever Scholarship of $500 was awarded on June 2, 2011. To donate to the Strever Scholarship make a check out to “The Martha Strever Scholarship” and send it to:

The Red Hook Education Foundation

PO Box 2

Red Hook, NY 12571

The Martha Strever Scholarship for Achievement in Mathematics is awarded to a Red Hook High School senior who has shown outstanding success in high school mathematics classes and has chosen a college program requiring a heavy background in mathematics. A panel of faculty members reviews all applications. Funds for this scholarship are invested at The Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley. Please contact us to receive application materials for the 2012 award.

The 2011 awardee was Kristen Nugent.

Debate Club:

During the last school year, the Foundation worked in collaboration with Bard College and Linden Avenue Middle School to develop a Debate Club.  Bard College is continuing the collaboration this year, under the Trustee Leader Scholar program. Many thanks to Bard College Debate Union Coordinator Jennifer Rankin, Red Hook faculty member James Armstrong, and principal Katie Zahedi for supporting this new program.

Career and Colleges Fair:

Over 200 students and their families attended this successful community event held April 29, 2011 at the Red Hook High School. The Red Hook Education Foundation, Bard College, the Red Hook Central School District, and the Red Hook Parent Teacher Student Association partnered to support our students in planning their futures. The event featured over 40 career presentations, regional colleges and trade schools representatives, workshops on applying to college and careers of the future.

Thanks to The Palombo Group, Software Consulting Associates, Inc, TD Bank, Professional Computer Associates, Northern Dutchess Hospital, Bard College, and the Red Hook Chamber of Commerce, all of whom donated money to the education foundation, underwriting the total cost of this event.