Scarsdale Schools Education Fountation’s History of Grant Giving

Since its inception in 2013, the Scarsdale Schools Education Foundation has provided over $3,000,000 in total grants to the Scarsdale School District. In October of 2013, the Scarsdale Board of Education accepted the first of three grants from the SSEF totaling $90,000. All three original grants reflected ideas that emerged from the Center for Innovation highlighting the critical relationship that the SSEF has forged with its Scarsdale Teachers and Administrators.

This year, the work of the SSEF will be more critical than ever. The New York Governor’s Executive Budget will cut expected school Foundation Aid; thereby, reducing State Aid to the Scarsdale Schools by $558, 720 for the 2024-2025 school year.


$35,000 Grant for the MakerSpace Program

The MakerSpace Program was implemented across all 5 elementary schools after a pilot program at Fox Meadow. The goal of the MakerSpace Program was  to prepare students to embrace innovation and entrepreneurial enterprise using STEAM based technology.  The MakerSpace Program encourages experiential learning, communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking in dedicated physical spaces across all the elementary schools.

$25,000 Grant for the SMS Gaming and Simulation Program

This grant expanded the use of curriculum-related interactive games and simulation in order to better engage Middle School students in the classrooms. Classroom games are used to inspire and motivate students by encouraging their active participation in the learning process.  Teachers find that these games encourage creative thinking, offer immediate feedback to the students and provide intrinsic rewards that are customized to each learner’s level, effort and growing mastery beyond the classroom.

$30,000 Grant for the SHS HackScarsdale Program

This grant expanded the work of the Center for Innovation through a new initiative by enlisting teachers, students, parents and community members to work on innovative computer projects. HackScarsdale was modeled after similar initiatives at many colleges and universities (e.g. HackPrinceton, HackYale.)  These programs reflect a growing interest in entrepreneurship and the fact that introductory programming, design and Web development are important skills in today’s economy.To encourage initiative and creativity, HackScarsdale provided resources, offered hands-on experience and created a community for students to extend their computer education. 

Biannual Grants for the Scarsdale Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs

Following in the footsteps of the District’s Center for Innovation, this program encourages our Scarsdale students to develop innovative ways to tackle environmental and societal issues through social entrepreneurship. 

Honoring the District’s motto, Non Sibi, this program will provide students with an opportunity to solve a real world problem that may exist in the Scarsdale community or beyond.  Our goal is that students will see themselves as agents of positive change, acknowledging that patience, failure, and risk-taking are part of the process.  The SSEF Grant funding are designed to help seed or sustain social entrepreneurship ideas and projects.

While the grant program focuses on student entrepreneurship, the program is open to all Scarsdale High School students, regardless of their participation in the AT Entrepreneurship course at the high school. SSEF grants are awarded twice a year for students: Once in the Winter and once in the Spring.  

To be considered, students will be asked to fill out the application (either as an individual or team) that asks questions about the proposed project. After submitting an application deadline, student groups will be contacted by the faculty panel to meet and discuss the project.  During this time, the faculty panel will provide feedback to help students revise and prepare for the presentation to the SSEF grant panel.  Students will also need to choose a mentor(s), who will help guide the process and timeline. The program will culminate with students presenting their problems and solutions, competing in pitch sessions, in front of a review panel for feedback and for consideration of additional funding to scale the idea.

2023-2024 School Year Schedule

Grant Application Process Due Date for Applications Presentation to the SSEF Panel
Fall 2023 November 27 January 2023
Spring 2024 April 1 May 2024

If you are interested in applying for a grant, please complete this form to begin the process. 

Please contact William Yang, K-12 Coordinator of Digital Learning and Literacy, if you have any questions. 

$8,000 STEAM DAY Grant for the Nerdy Derby

This grant supported the PT Council’s STEAM initiatives by funding the Saturday “Nerdy Derby” for Scarsdale’s 4th-8th graders.  

$2,250,000 in Grants to build a state-of-the-art Design Lab and Fitness Center at SHS

The SHS Design Lab opened in March 2018, with its construction, furnishings and equipment funded by the SSEF. Maker/Design spaces are among the newest and most important educational innovations at many universities, including Harvard, MIT and Stanford, as well as in schools like Newton North (MA) High School and Horace Greeley in Chappaqua. The Design Lab offers our students the opportunity to apply problem-solving skills in situations that call for collaborative learning, global awareness and human-centered innovation. Supporting a curriculum for creativity and experiential learning, the Design Lab and Maker Space gives students access to CAD/CAM programs, laser cutters, 3-D printers and their attendant computers, circuit boards, Arduinos and other electronic materials, as well as more traditional tools. The “D” Lab at SHS facilitates a structured process by which our students learn how to define a problem, generate potential solutions, prototype those ideas or products, test the results and learn from the outcome.

The Fitness Center opened in October 2017, jointly funded by the SSEF and the District, as well as by a generous gift for equipment from the Madoff Family of Scarsdale. The 6,200 square foot facility includes two designated areas for strength and cardio training, and a separate area for stretching, floor exercises and group instruction. The Fitness Center serves physical education classes, athletic teams and individual students. The improved and more inclusive space better meets the needs of our athletes and teams, as well as providing gender equality to our female athletes.

$50,000 Grant towards SHS Classroom Renovations

This grant is part of an on-going project that came to us through then-Assistant Principal, Chris Welch, with a vision towards creating a more college seminar-esque learning environment when deemed appropriate by teachers. This grant specifically funds flexible furniture for classroom learning spaces that can be reconfigured in a multitude of ways to better serve the instruction of that particular lesson or course. Each classroom is approximately $25-$35,000 to furnish. The district has funded a small number of classrooms through school funds; however, with rising costs, this is continually one of the first items to be removed from the budget. This is an on-going SSEF initiative as there are nearly 75 high school classrooms still in need of this improvement. 

$100,000 Grant towards SMS Library Renovations

The first phase of the SMS Library Renovation was funded through a $100,000 grant from SSEF in conjunction with a $40,000 contribution from the Principal’s Fund. This project recognized that the current library shelving was not conducive or accessible to Middle Schoolers as they were floor-to-ceiling and non-moveable. This grant funded new flexible shelving that was height appropriate for Middle Schoolers as well as being moveable to address the small and award space of the SMS library. Additionally, two new smaller circulation desks replaced the large, existing one in an effort to make the flow of the space more user friendly. Similar to the SHS Classroom Renovations, this is an on-going SSEF initiative to create a better Library and Learning space for our Middle School Community.