A challenge to Toms River schools by the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation led to numerous innovative programs for students, districts officials said this week.
The foundation, led by Toms River resident Jeremy Grunin, pledged $10,000 to each school that came up with a learning program in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics. Every school in the district ended up receiving a grant – and some of the programs were praised as being both impressive and innovative.
“We are becoming increasingly known for being innovators around the state,” said Superintendent David Healy of the grant program, which was called the Elevate Toms River Principals’ Challenge. “When two parties come together for the common good of a school district … we call this an educational partnership.”
Programs spurred by the grants included a robotics competition, a class that focused on engineering and designing roller coasters, bridge design, aircraft design and an outdoor program that focused on growing healthy food.
“We were very excited to be a part of this,” said Jeremy Grunin. “To see the engaged teachers, and most importantly the engaged students, it was the most rewarding thing we ever hoped for.”
The foundation contributed $184,000 toward the programs, Healy said. A video – including at the top of this article – explains the program in-depth.