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The Yankee Express

Foundation celebrates connections and partnerships

Apr 28, 2023 06:01PM ● By Chuck Tashjian

Blackstone Valley Education Foundation grant recipient Rob Knapp, left, with his award; and Foundation Executive Director Joscelyn Young inviting forum attendees to join her for the ceremony.


Rob Knapp knows a little something about the importance of the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation. The BVEF in turn understands the worth of what he does as a teacher of physics and engineering in the Milford Public Schools.
Mr. Knapp was one of five individuals and organizations saluted as grant recipients of the Foundation during a forum held at the Myriad Ballroom in Mendon on the evening of April 13th.
 “It’s probably my third grant,” Mr. Knapp said, beaming, the award he was presented with in his hands as he watched the ceremony unfold. “I use it for equipment for a maker space. It’s a way to get infrastructural purchases.”
Like Mr. Knapp, the other grantees have put dollars received through the Foundation to good use. Jill Foulis of Blackstone-Millville for “Introduction to College Field Trips;” Amanda Gallerani of Uxbridge for “Robotics at the TAFT Learning Center;” Keriann Kimble of Northbridge for “Preschool Social-Emotional Core Materials;” and Jill Redding of Northbridge for “Preschool Social-Emotional Learning Core Materials.”
The night afforded Joscelyn Young, executive director of the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation, and Danielle Wence, marketing director, a chance to honor partners involved in “connecting activities.”
Included among these were the Grafton Public Schools and the Blackstone Valley Education Hub for a strengthened collaboration to help shape current and future programs at the Foundation; Central MassHire for its steadfast support of the Foundation with funding; the “Tom and Tom Team” for providing such items as coolers, beer, glasses, T-shirts, snacks and WooSox tickets; Mike Baldasarre and Peter Marano for their efforts in the area of professional development; UniBank and Osterman for their financial support of school grants to “help students grow and flourish;” and Lisa Donovan of Arts in the Valley and Macy Hutchinson of the Green Bean Project for “integrating arts” as a way to help children develop “high-demand employability skills.”
“I want connections,” Charlie Bateman, senior external relations manager for Saint Gobain in Northborough, said, in explaining his reason for attending. “We are looking to get more involved in the STEM pipeline. Sometimes the educational system beats that out of people.”

Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.