Northborough Education Foundation

In Support of Our Schools

Northborough Education Foundation - In Support of Our Schools

Princess Tea Party May 6th

NEF invites you to the 5th annual Mother/Daughter Princess Tea Party on Saturday, May 6 from 2 pm – 4 pm at Algonquin Regional High School, 79 Bartlett St, Northborough.

Appearances by Ariel and Belle are scheduled so be sure to bring a camera and wear your princess attire.

Reservations are required and spots fill up quickly. To register, click here.

Team Trivia Night 2017 Announced


Time to brush up on your trivia. The annual NEF Team Trivia Night will be held on Friday, April 7th, 2017 at the Doubletree, 5400 Computer Drive in Westborough. Doors open at 7 pm and first question is at 7:30 pm.

Register before March 24th at the early bird cost of $140 per team. After this date, the cost will increase to $160/team. Spectators are welcome with a $10 suggested donation at the door.

Click here for complete details, or

Register online today!

All proceeds will benefit NEF. Your entry fee is a tax-deductible contribution to NEF, a registered 501(c)3 organization.




Staples supports NEF’s Chromebooks for Classrooms campaign

The Northborough Education Foundation has been awarded $5,000 by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change that allows Staples associates around the globe to direct more than $2 million in donations each year. The grant was awarded at the recommendation of NEF Secretary Dawn Palma and NEF supporter Amuna Biondi, , both Staples, Inc. employees. The donation was earmarked for NEF’s Chromebooks for Classrooms campaign, which was kicked off in April 2016.

In addition to a few anonymous donations and the generosity of the community, the Staples Foundation grant has helped NEF to reach its goal of funding 200 new Chromebooks by the end of this school year.

“But that doesn’t mean we’re turning off the switch,” said NEF president Marile Borden. “Two hundred was a goal, but we would be thrilled to surpass that and help supply the District with even more needed devices.”

NEF will continue to accept donations at through June 2017.

Created in 2012, the 2 Million & Change program is a philanthropic initiative which allows Staples associates around the world to direct funding to non-profit organizations focused on academic education or job skills. The program encourages local community engagement by awarding larger grants to organizations where associates are highly engaged in volunteering or fundraising.

Additional information on the Staples Foundation can be found at

Chromebook Campaign Goal Reached!

NEF is thrilled to announce that, thanks to the extreme generosity of local residents and businesses alike, we have reached our goal of raising $50,000 for the purchase of more than 200 new Chromebooks for Northborough’s K-12 schools. The NEF Chromebook Campaign was launched on April 1st of 2016 with a live “paddle raise” at our annual Team Trivia Night. The paddle raise brought in over $8000 to kickstart the campaign. In the year following, NEF has received donations from individuals and families in Northborough, “Evenings for Education” hosts, and a number of local businesses including T. Rose Karate (who donated 100% of proceeds from an Intro to Karate fundraiser), Central One Federal Credit Union, Liquid Ice, Northboro House of Pizza, Emily Jane Designs and LulaRoe.

The largest donations came in from several campaign sponsors who generously contributed 10 or more Chromebooks to the campaign. These include: Wheelhouse Wealth Advisors, The Staples Foundation, Haven Restoration and the Northborough Chiropractic Center.

NEF wishes to thank all those who helped us to realize our goal. Thanks to your generous support, Northborough students will have much greater access to the technology they need to propel their literacy and achievement in 21st century skills.




First Annual NEF Gala Jr. is in the Books!

This past Saturday brought the start of a new NEF tradition—the “Gala Jr.”, a sweetheart dance designed for kids 0-12 and their favorite grown-ups. The Algonquin Cafeteria was almost unrecognizable, awash in pink and red balloons (courtesy of Balloons All Over), tulle and sparkly twinkle lights. Nearly 200 kids donned their favorite party attire, plus special keepsake corsages or boutonnieres, and delighted in music, games, and delicious hors d’oeuvres and treats which were generously donated by Sir Loin’s Catering, and MaryEllen Smith. The event raised well over $4000 in support of NEF grants for education.

Thanks to Susan Ogar Photography for these wonderful photos:

Introducing “Gala Jr.”!


NEF is very excited to bring “Gala Jr.” to Northborough and surrounding communities! A mini version of our annual adults-only Gala, this special sweetheart dance is designed for our younger set (12 and under) and their favorite grown-ups.

The event will be held at Algonquin Regional High School on Saturday, February 11th. There will be two time slots — 4:30-6:00 PM and 6:30-8:00 PM. The earlier time slot will be tailored to guests ages 6 and under and their partners, while the later slot will be tailored to guests 7-12 and their “dates.” (Note: the age ranges are recommendations only. Guests should feel free to choose the time slot or slots that work best for their family. Children may be accompanied by as many adults as they wish!)

The event will feature dancing and games with a DJ, plus special hors d’oeuvres and sweets (generously provided by Sir Loin’s Catering of Northborough), a Selfie Station, raffles and more!

Tickets are $15 per person. One adult ticket can be used for both time slots. Special keepsake corsages are available to girls (and Moms) at $10 each, and boutonnières for boys (and Dads!) at $6 each.

Tickets are available online at

Questions? Email

Add a beautiful

Keepsake Corsage
or Boutonniere with
your ticket purchase!

Introducing NEF Evenings for Education

Calling all party-throwers…
Host a fun social gathering with friends, and help put Chromebooks in our Classrooms!

What is an Evening for Education?

An NEF Evening for Education is a party (or other social gathering) hosted by a friend or supporter of NEF in support of our Chromebooks for Classrooms Campaign.

What kind of party is it?

Any kind of party (big or small) that you desire! In fact, it doesn’t even need to be in the evening! A holiday Open House, a small dinner party with your nearest and dearest, a neighborhood block party, a SuperBowl tailgate, a St. Patrick’s Day kegger, or an exclusive cooking class or wine tasting—we leave the party planning up to you.

Who attends the parties?

As a host, you would invite your own guests—friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, people you meet in the grocery store—whomever you choose!

Does NEF publicize the parties?

No. This is your private party, so we leave it to you to get the word out in any way you choose.

Does it have to be a certain day or time?

Absolutely not! Our only request is that you host your party before June 30th, 2017 when our Chromebooks for Classrooms Campaign will end.

What does NEF supply?

• a $50 Wegmans Gift Card to help defray the cost of refreshments

• wording for your invitation that explains the Chromebooks for Classrooms campaign

• a kit full of informational materials about NEF and the Chromebooks for Classrooms Campaign

• the opportunity (with advanced notice) to have an NEF representative stop by your party to talk about our initiatives

How does my party put Chromebooks in Classrooms?

It is our hope that your party will help to raise awareness and funds in support of the NEF Chromebook Campaign. How you handle the fundraising is also up to you. Maybe you charge a per head fee to attend the party. Maybe you ask guests to bring a donation in lieu of a side dish or bottle of wine. Maybe you include some type of fundraising game, raffle or contest. Whatever makes you comfortable. We appreciate donations of all sizes!

Why do our Classrooms need Chromebooks?

Over the past several years, NEF’s grant committee has seen a dramatic increase in requests for technology to help meet the simple demands of everyday classroom needs. In fact, the committee has seen a significant decline in more creative and “outside-the-box” types of requests, because our schools have had to make a decision to prioritize their technology needs.

Despite a consistent and significant investment in technology each year, the Northborough School District has not been able to meet the state recommended 1-to-1 device to student ratio at a quick enough pace, falling over 600 devices short in our K-8 schools alone. What’s more, nearly 2000 of the town’s existing devices will age out in the next 12 months, at a replacement cost of $500,000.

In order to help meet these technology needs, NEF has undertaken a special initiative dedicated to raising $50,000 for the purchase of 200 new Google Chromebooks by the end of the 2016-17 school year.

For more information on the campaign—and the benefits of Google Chromebooks in the classroom—visit

More questions? Ready to become a host?


2016 grant ceremony awards $38,400 to schools

NEF President Marile Borden, NEF Treasurer Amy Staunton, Peaslee Teacher Lisa Miranda, NEF VP Kirsten Forbush

Awarding grant for Imagination Playground. (left to right: NEF President Marile Borden, NEF Treasurer Amy Staunton, Peaslee Teacher Lisa Miranda, NEF VP Kirsten Forbush)(photo by Sue Ogar)

NEF awarded $38,400 in funds to 14 grant recipients during a special ceremony held at the Northborough Free Library on Sept. 13.

The descriptions of each grant award and photos of the recipients can be found here.

2016 Grant ceremony awards $38,400 to schools

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NEF awarded $38,400 in funds to 14 grant recipients during a special ceremony held at the Northborough Free Library on Sept. 13.

Superintendent of Schools Christine Johnson attended the ceremony, along with representatives from each school and the Northborough Free Library.

NEF President Marile Borden recognized the significance of the continued support of corporate sponsors, members of the community and schools, and the organization’s many volunteers who all help bring success to the fundraising events.

Last year’s fundraisers included the Golden Apple Appreciation Awards, Trivia Night, Mother/Daughter Princess Tea, Northborough Local First Ladies Night Out, and the Applefest Gala.

Proceeds from these events enabled NEF to fully or partially approve funding for the following grants:

Modeling the Imagination (Robert E. Melican Middle School): Students will be introduced to 3D printing. Funds will purchase twelve 3Doodlers printing pens, plastic strands necessary to build objects and various start up tools such as stands and nozzles. The 3Doodler is safe for classroom use, the eco-plastic is made from food-safe materials that are non-toxic, and the plastic is biodegradable. Students will gain a greater understanding of difficult, abstract ideas by creating a three-dimensional object.

Breakout Boxes (Robert E. Melican Middle School):  Students need to complete a series of puzzles to see what’s inside the box to earn their prize as they practice Spanish vocabulary and grammar, and they will have the opportunity to use their knowledge in hands-on, challenging situations in other classes.

Stand Up Desks (Fannie E. Proctor School):  Stand-up desks provide an alternative work space for students who learn better when they are allowed to stand  and  move while continuing to engage in the learning process and work with others, resulting in reduced distractions within the classroom.

Diverse Needs-Sensory Supports (Fannie E. Proctor School): The use of sensory tools will provide an innovative approach to learning to meet the needs of the school’s diverse learners.

Alternative Seating (Marguerite E. Peaslee School): By providing alternative seating options beyond the typical desk and chair, students have the opportunity to learn in an environment that works best for them and allows them to feel successful, happy and self-confident. Improving student engagement, developing self-regulation skills and enhancing learning are at the core of our educational system.

Community Reading Day (K-5, Robert E. Melican School): “Northborough Reads Together – Community Reading Day 2017” is a community-wide celebration of literacy. Students in preschool through Grade 8 will have the opportunity to hear high-quality children’s literature read by school, business, and community leaders. This inter-generational activity and the books selected will enhance the school curriculum and inspire students.

Northborough/Southborough Children’s Book Award (NSCBA) (Northborough Free Library, K-5 schools):  The NSCBA is a collaboration between teachers and librarians aimed at inspiring all third, fourth and fifth grade students to read great literature that supports and develops their individual literacy skills. Students read, discuss and enjoy at least three of twelve, librarian-approved titles and vote for their favorite.

Second Step (Fannie E. Proctor School): In a continued effort to support students in the area of social/emotional development, teachers of students in grades K-2, will have ready access to Second Step kits to allow for structured weekly lessons in the areas of perspective taking, empathy, conflict resolution, managing emotions, and problem solving. Competence in these skills can improve students’ readiness to learn, classroom behavior and academic performance. The program will also expand to third grade.

Imagination Playground (Marguerite E. Peaslee School): Oversized, blue foam blocks will be used as building blocks in the new Massachusetts Science, Technology, and Engineering Frameworks. Students will use these blocks as they develop 21st Century Skills both in the classroom during lessons as well as outside when engaging in creative play.

Piano Lab (Algonquin Regional High School):   Funds will purchase five electric pianos with stands and headphones, as well as five additional sets of headphones for existing electric pianos, to be used to start a Beginning Piano course. The course will be a great way for beginners to discover the joy of making music.

Digital Art Display (Algonquin Regional High School):  Student work created in Visual Art courses will have expanded opportunities to be exhibited in the school community. While not intended to replace physical, face-to-face exhibits of student work, Digital Art Displays will create a sustainable workflow for students and teachers to collaborate in sharing students’ creativity beyond the walls of the art classrooms, while reducing the time, cost, and environmental impact of physically printing digitally-native art.

Mobile Maker Spaces (Lincoln Street School, Marion E. Zeh School and Fannie E. Proctor School):  STEAM learning will offer students the opportunity to tinker, build, create, design, invent, solve problems and learn in a self-guided environment using both high-tech (robotics, electronics, and green screen) and low-tech (duct tape, corrugated cardboard, etc.) technology.

Winds of Change (Robert E. Melican Middle School):  Eighth grade students will be completing a cross-curricular project with the challenge “Design a wind turbine blade that generates the greatest amount of electricity at the lowest cost”. Students will explore and research the science, engineering, and mathematics behind wind turbines; use their research to design, test, and optimize their designs in a wind tunnel and analyze data; and focus on specific industry roles such as “design engineer”, “meteorologist”, “electrical engineer”, and “ecologist” to simulate what real world professionals would do to ready their design solution for the marketplace.

Writing Center (Algonquin Regional High School):  The school’s first student-run writing center will be a dedicated space for students to work one-on-one with knowledgeable peers on any piece of writing from across the curriculum at any stage of the writing process. Writing tutors will be able to accommodate the needs of all students. Ultimately, the writing center will centralize writing resources for the entire school and will promote cross-curricular conversation about writing, and further encourage collaboration as the chief method to promote individual growth and academic achievement.