The Groton Dunstable Education Foundation is pleased to announce it has awarded 20 new enrichment grants totaling $22,720 to district schools in its spring grants cycle, bringing the total of grants funded this school year to $31,679.

GDEF wishes to thank everyone who contributed to this year's grants with donations to the Annual Giving Campaign (AGC) which has raised $26,000 to date, and to fundraising events, such as the fall's Octoberfest 5K, winter Trivia Nights and Middle School Kids' Trivia. The new grants reach across all grade levels and include the following important initiatives to enhance the education of our students:

* National Science Teachers Association Conference -- attendance for 21 high school and middle school teachers at this national conference in Boston in April 2014, offering the latest in science content and teaching strategy while offering unique opportunities for collaboration.

* Third Grade Trait Crate & Text Supplements -- varied materials to help Swallow Union students improve their writing using six traits, such as ideas, organization and voice as well as authors' texts modeling the traits.

* Massachusetts Children's Book Award -- high quality, engaging books for Florence Roche fourth-graders, selected for the Salem State University award program which allows students to vote for their favorite.

* Fitness for You Boot Camp -- additional equipment for the middle school's fitness program, to improve students' strength and core conditioning, balance and coordination.

* Music PA System -- sound system for high school band and choir performances, improving sound quality and giving students hands-on experience with sound technology and production.

* Mimios in Kindergarten - interactive whiteboard technology to enhance learning and curriculum by engaging students in multi-sensory modes.

* Microbiology -- Digital Oil Immersion Microscope -- high quality microscope allowing projection of micro-organisms onto a screen for collective viewing.

Other new GDEF grants fund Professional Development programs such as Advanced Placement summer training for high school science and art teachers, and a math conference for a middle school teacher; Books and Curriculum Materials such as nonfiction books for elementary students, foreign language student magazines for grades 5-8, first grade literacy materials to reinforce the home-school connection, and current Biology nonfiction books for high school students to read and present orally; Technology and Equipment such as a document camera for middle school science, and fitness equipment for high school Physical Education classes. A complete listing of grants is available on GDEF's website, www.gdefinc.org .

Please help GDEF recognize the dedicated teachers and staff who have received grants this year by attending the Annual Grants Celebration on Thursday, May 23, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the Middle School North library. Light refreshments will be provided, and children are welcome.

You can help fund future grants by signing up for GDEF's major fundraising event, the 4th annual Octoberfest 5K Road Race, Walk and Kids Run, Sunday, Oct. 6, at Larter Field in Dunstable. Last year's event drew over 300 registrants so you won't want to miss this fun, family event to benefit our schools. Registration opens this summer, and we're currently seeking business sponsors. If your business can help, please contact Sarah Eisenklam at seisenklam@gdefinc.org.

GDEF Teaching Stars make unique year-end gifts for teachers, coaches and other special people in your child's life. Just make a donation to GDEF in their honor and you'll receive a special certificate to personalize and deliver. Donations are also still welcomed to this year's Annual Giving Campaign.

For information on these and other GDEF activities, please visit www.gdefinc.org.