Avon Community


  • NEW 2014 CreeBeers Family Mini-Grant, Local Author Festival, Tina Panik, AFPL, Adults, Reading - The 2014 theme for adult summer reading is “The Magic of Local,”  and will feature a program theme that repeats for seven weeks. Focusing on local talents, businesses, and families, the programming includes a farmers market, computer classes, two magic shows for adults, afternoon hobby and craft sessions, a series of Friday films with cinematic themed food and a Local Author Festival on Tuesday evenings in July and August to showcase the talents of area writers. This grant will fund the grand finale event for the festival featuring Johnny Heller, a the narrator for the professionally recorded audiobooks produced by Recorded Books, Inc. He will share stories and anecdotes from his career. His program is titled, “The Audiobook Experience.”

  • 2012 AEF Service Award, Richard Kisiel, Ed.D., Retired Superintendent, Funds will support the library’s “2013 One Book” initiative. This is a community read project. Funds will be used to acquire additional copies of Rebecca Skloot’s book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and to support other aspects of this project.
  • 2011 Hyatt Family Grant, Avon to Appomattox: Lives and Legacy of the Civil War, Patrice Celli, Avon Free Public Library, All Ages, History – Through diverse displays and events, demonstrate the role of CT in the Civil War and its impact on CT’s citizens, economy and social fabric. Examples: the portrayal of William Webb, an African American soldier from CT, to be performed in the schools; letters of Pvt. Eugene Hawley from Avon who served for 3 years.
  • 2011 Mary Durant Grant, iPads for Lifelong Learning, Jennifer Bennett, Avon Senior Center, Seniors and high school student volunteers, Technology – This project will pilot the use of iPads in the senior community to promote lifelong learning. Unlike computers which require one to sit at a desk, use a mouse and a monitor, the touch screen technology is especially suited to people with physical issues. The intergenerational approach to learning will benefit both the seniors and the high school students working with them.
  • 2010 Mini Grant, Community Courts for All Ages and Abilities, Marco Famiglietti, AMS, Grade 7-12 and Avon Community, Physical Education – This project will support community efforts to reinstate approximately 6 weeks of tennis instruction and approximately 4 weeks of paddle tennis instruction as well as games and activities in the spring and fall for all AMS students; increase the number of high school students who qualify to play Junior Varsity and Varsity team tennis by approximately 35%; enable including tennis in the Unified Sports program at AHS for special athletes and their partners of regular abilities; and expand access to recreational tennis for all Avon residents.
  • 2009 Program Grant, “Unplugged Learning” Project, Larry Sparks, Assistant Principal, RBS, Grades K-4 and the community, Natural Science – To create an ‘unplugged classroom’ behind Roaring Brook School. including an amphitheater stage and seating; providing ADA accessibility; developing a nature trail; and removing invasive poison ivy. The space, designed by the Unplugged Learning Project team, will be used for “place-based education.”
  • 2009 “Pavers for Posterity” Grant, Developing a “Sound” Theater Program, Doreen Cohn, Director, AHS Theater, All ages, Theater – Fund the purchase of sound equipment, including 12 wireless microphones, to enhance dramatic productions, augment technical theater instruction and complement the renovation of the stage area in the auditorium. Recurring production costs will be reduced enabling the theater program to use its proceeds from ticket sales to expand theater opportunities for students.
  • 2009 UNICO Grant, “A is for Avon,” Jan Brennan, AMS, Grade 2, 7 and Avon community, Civic History, Writing, Editing & Publishing – Her 1979 alphabet book, A is for Avon, highlights points of historical interest in the town. It is being updated by 25 volunteer 7th graders and will continue to be used in the 2nd grade civic history unit. Copies will be available in the 5 public school libraries and the Avon Free Public Library. The Avon Historical Society will be involved in its distribution and promotion.
  • 2009 Program, Promoting Peace, Tina Panik and Patrice Celli, AFPL, Grade 7-Adult, Humanitarianism – This program will host authors Alepho Deng, Benson Deng and Benjamin Ajak, three “Lost Boys” whose autobiography, They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky, recounts their survival of the ongoing genocide in Darfur. The high school, middle school and Senior Center are collaborating. Middle schoolers will read a less graphic companion book. The event is scheduled for October 2009.
  • 2007 Program, Chidsey Brook Nature Trail, Leigh Ann Bacevich, Community Project Leader & Gail Dahling-Hench, Principal, PGS, All Ages, Natural Science – The mission is “to provide a fun and educational classroom where the whole community can explore, learn, and develop a relationship with one another and nature.” Located on 2 acres adjacent to PGS. Broad community support and collaboration.
  • 2007 Leo & Jean Duffy Memorial Grant, Fitness for the Future, Tim Feshler, RBS & TBS, Grade 4-12, Physical Education - Incorporate use of technology into Physical Education to enable students to track their fitness levels and progress and to enable educators to evolve the curriculum to meet needs.
  • 2007 Avon Chapter of UNICO Mini Grant, Dallas Brass Performs in Avon, David Winer, AHS, Grade 5-12, Band Music – Three events in one day–workshop, rehearsal for selected students and evening performance with this brass quintet plus percussionist. (Funding also provided by Friends of Avon Music Education and the schools’ Parent Teacher Organizations.)
  • 2006 Program Grant, Town-wide Choral Festival 2006, Avon Public Schools Music Department, Grade 4-12 , Choral Music – Support the participation of approximately 600 students in the Choral Festival held at Bushnell Auditorium on March 13, 2006.
  • 2006 Mini Grant, Playgrounds for All Kids, Caryl Goldberg, RBS, & Playgrounds for All Kids, Inc., Children, Diversity – Purchase Braille and sign language educational panels for a fully accessible playground planned for the Buckingham neighborhood.