Help Us Help Our Kids!

2020 has severely disrupted the lives of our students and teachers. We are starting an initiative to help ease the financial burden currently faced by the Peabody School Department as a result of COVID-19. Click below to learn how you can help us help our kids!

PEF Grants
Our Signature Program

About PEF Grants

PEF Grants (formally known as Best Bet grants) is the signature program of the Peabody Education Foundation. Every Fall, before the first school bell rings kicking off the new school year, the Peabody Education Foundation offer Peabody teachers an opportunity to provide their classrooms with programs, events, field trips and resources that fall outside of the normal school budget.

Teachers fill out an application which then gets submitted to our PEF Grant committee. The programs are chosen based on three categories: innovation, educational objective, and financial impact. Each year, the PEF aims to fund as many programs as possible through the generous donations of our community and business leaders.

Since 1985, the Peabody Education Foundation has worked endlessly to raise over $1,000,000 dollars from within the community to bring these innovative programs to our public Schools! To make a donation to help fund future innovative programs for our Peabody Schools, visit our donation page.

Submit Your 2020-2021 PEF Grant Application

Thank you for your interest in the Peabody Education Foundation’s Grant program. We are pleased to offer you and your students the opportunity to gain supplemental programs and materials and make your creative project ideas a reality.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have altered our usual grant program procedures for the 2020-2021 school year. All applications this year must come from the school’s principal and grant funding will be capped at $2,000 total for each school. Please read the information below carefully; if you have any questions, please email Katrina Vassallo at

Below you will find an electronic application that you can download, fill out and email to us. You may also print out the application and send it to ‘PEF Grant Committee – PO Box 233 – Peabody MA 01960’.

PEF Grant Application Guidelines 2020-2021
  • All applications this year must come from the school’s principal, though principals are welcome to collaborate with their teachers to fill out the application and implement the program.
  • Principals may submit multiple applications from their school.
  • Applications should be emailed to If you need to mail a hard copy, please send it to PEF Grant Committee, PO Box 233, Peabody, MA 01960. If you mail a hardcopy, please notify Katrina Vassallo via the email address above.
  • Grant funding for all schools will be capped at $2000 total.
  • Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. There is no deadline, though ideally principals will apply and use the grant money prior to the end of the current school year. Principals will likewise be notified of the committee’s decisions on a rolling basis.
  • Applications must be filled out completely.
  • Please provide complete financial information for your projects in your application, including the total cost of your project plus any estimated shipping and handling charges.
  • Please provide a detailed description of your program so that the committee can easily understand and evaluate your proposal.
  • Applications are evaluated on the basis of three categories: innovation, educational objective, and financial impact.
  • Be creative! The committee welcomes new and innovative ideas and proposals.
Important information regarding the PEF Grants:
  • The Peabody Education Foundation generally does not fund equipment or transportation. Please do not include these costs in your application.
  • Please note that the grant program is intended to fund programs for the benefit of students, not teachers or parents. Unfortunately, we cannot cover the cost of field trips or performance admission for teachers or parents.
  • All PEF Grants are intended for use during the school year in which they are awarded. Please plan accordingly when applying for a grant.
  • Grant funding should be applied to the program for which it was originally intended. Any changes to the original application must be reviewed and approved by the Grant Committee.Failure to notify the Committee to any changes may result in loss of funding.
  • If a grant is awarded, it is the responsibility of the teacher or principal to work with vendors or performers to obtain all necessary paperwork, such as invoices and receipts, and deliver the paperwork to the Grant Committee in a timely fashion so that the funding can be issued. While we are happy to address any questions or concerns from the teacher or principal, the Grant Committee and/or Peabody Education Foundation do not work directly with vendors or performers.


Applications can be submitted on a rolling basis; there will not be a deadline, though funds should be used in the current school year. The grant committee will review and vote on each application electronically, as each application is received.


Katrina Vassallo

How to send application:

Scan and Email Application to:


Mail application to:
PEF Grant Committee
PO Box 233
Peabody, MA 01960

2019-2020 Awarded PEF Grants

Thank you to all teachers and faculty who submitted a PEF Grant application for the 2019-2020 school year! In total, we received 54 applications totaling $54,135.24. We are proud to be funding 31 of the 54 applications totaling $34,822.77! The programs were chosen based on three categories: innovation, educational objective, and financial impact. Check out the programs we will be funding for this school year below!

  • Rainforest Reptile Show – West
  • Think Spaces – McCarthy
  • Art Display Units for Annual Art Show – Higgins 
  • Marvelous Makerspace Materials – Brown
  • Welch School Birthday Books – Welch
  • Understanding the Wolf through Education and Exposure – Higgins
  • Higgins Print Shop – Higgins 
  • Tide Pool Alive – Carroll
  • New Rep Classic Repertory Company Performing Romeo and Juliet –PVMHS
  • Classroom Calm Spots – Welch
  • The Mind Cannot Forget What the Hands Have Learned – PVMHS
  • Frog and Toad presented by North Shore Music Theater – Carroll
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Field Trip – Higgins
  • METG Drama Festival 2019 – Film & Media Program – PVMHS
  • Gene Modification Using CRISPR/Cas9 – PVMHS
  • Mindful Superhero Club presents “Cultivating Compassion on a Green Screen!” – Higgins
  • The Observer Printing Costs – PVMHS
  • Peabody Essex Museum: Life in Salem/Early American Collections – Brown
  • PVMHS Robotics – KIPR Botball – PVMHS
  • Tiger Trail – An Indoor Fitness/Sensory Trail – Burke
  • Boston’s Bluster and Battle at the Burke! – Burke
  • Theaterworks USA – The Pout Pout Fish – Welch
  • Wonder Robots – West
  • Higgins Helping Hawks Student Mentoring Program – Higgins
  • Curious Creatures Kids Zoo – McCarthy
  • Pirate Talk-Receptive and Expressive Language Game – Higgins
  • 7th Grade Outdoor Classroom Learning Project – Higgins
  • Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride – Welch 
  • Text Sets for Striving Readers – McCarthy
  • Cosmetology in the 21st Century – PVMHS
  • Beams, Bridges, and Columns – Brown

Botball Robotics

The Peabody Education Foundation’s PEF Grant program funded Botball for the new PVMHS after-school Robotics Club! The goal of the Robotics club is to encourage any students interested in engineering, robotics, math, science, and technology to participate. The Botball program served as the focus of their Club allowing the students to problem solve, work in teams and provide practical application to physics, math, programming and electronics.

The Botball Educational Robotics Program engages middle and high school students in a team-oriented robotics competition, and serves as a perfect way to meet today’s new common core standards. Check out the students journey from the workshops they attended to the actual competition!

Higgins Green Screen Studio

Building off of a previous PEF grant, Librarian Sudi Smoller was looking to transform a study room off the library into a Green Screen Studio. The studio would be used to help students develop their media production skills and also gave the students a space to complete video assignments for their classes.

The Peabody Education Foundation funded this creative studio and was able to see it live in action during a visit to the middle school. While we were there, Higgins students demonstrated how their Green Screen Studio works by creating a short ‘Safari’ themed video.

Peabody Learning Academy Music/Guitars

The Peabody Education Foundations PEF grant program funded Music/Guitar lessons at the Peabody Learning Academy. This program is an elective offered to students and is one of the first music/art classes at the school! Math and Science teacher, Kevin Tanglis, requested 5 guitars for his students to help provide a creative outlet during their day.  Because many of the classes at PLA are taken online, the guitars offer a great way for students to express their creative side and allows for a hands-on learning approach. This program combined music theory along with guitar lessons to help the students grow creatively. Thank you to Kevin Tanglis for this great idea!

Breakout Boxes

Breakout Boxes was requested by Teacher Vincent Raponi. Vincent requested the Breakout Boxes for his students at the Higgins Middle School. Breakout Boxes challenges students to think critically, collaborate with others, be creative and increases communication skills. The kit includes a unique collection of resettable locks, boxes and items that can be used for immersive learning games. Check out this funded PEF grant in action by playing the video!

Drunk Busters

The Peabody Education Foundation’s PEF grant program funded ‘Drunk Busters’ for the Higgins Middle School. Drunk Busters was requested for the Higgins 6th, 7th and 8th grade health classes with the objective being to educate the middle school on the effects of alcohol and drug use. Drunk Busters is designed to show students the dangers of substance abuse and hopefully give them a better understanding of how drugs and alcohol can impair them.

> Click here to read Salem News article 

The Birthday Book Program

One of the awarded PEF grant programs in 2017 was ‘The Birthday Books Program’. Kara Migliozzi and Jill Holden suggested the idea that on a child’s birthday, they could pick out their own book from the case and keep it forever.

“So many of the children at our school come from homes where books are not readily available…The goal of the Birthday Books Program is to help the children and families see books as valuable treasures, treats that can be enjoyed as presents and shared with the entire family. The Birthday Book Program hopes to foster a love of reading and books, promote family time together and help families to realize the importance of having books in the home to read again and again.”

Thank you to both Kara and Jill for making this idea come to life!

#WhatliftsPVMHS? – Kelsey Montague Inspired Murals 

During the 2018-2019 school year, we funded #WhatliftsPVMHS – Kelsey Montague Inspired Murals for Peabody High School. This program invited Art students at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School to research, read and respond to the street art murals by artist Kelsey Montague and her initiative #WhatliftsYou. Together, students identified the uniqueness of Montague’s style and discussed the content in her imagery, such as wings, hot air balloons and kites. Using Montague’s artwork as inspiration, as a group, students discussed and brainstormed potential locations inside PVMHS, and content and message for three murals in their own school. They then interpreted and illustrated sketches for murals for their walls and proposed ways that their peers, faculty, staff and visitors could interact with the unique and personal images that are special to the PVMHS school community.

SolarPower Cars

I just wanted to once again thank you for everything related to the PEF Grant. The students had a great time building and racing (when the sun cooperated) their solar cars!

Danielle McLaughlin

Higgins Middle school

SkyDome Planetarium 

The SkyDome Planetarium was requested by Cindy Littlefield at the Welch School. This program incorporated a portable, inflatable planetarium that could accommodate up to ninety students at a time. The students entered and took part in a 45 minute journey through the universe. There was a navigator who guided the students through the stars which were exactly how they appeared on the presentation day. The students learned about all of the stars and constellations as well as how to identify them in the sky. They were also able to see the sky during different seasons from different global perspectives. Thank you Cindy for this great experience!


The Peabody Education Foundation’s PEF grant program funded ‘The WhaleMobile’ for the second-grade students at the Center School in Peabody. The Whalemobile gave students a rare opportunity to see a life-size model of a real whale!  Each class spent a half hour inside the inflatable whale where they got to see just how big the insides of a whale are! From the heart to the stomach, the students got a clear representation of what a whale looks like from the inside. The students watched in awe as the instructor taught them how the whale operates. Students were also able to touch baleen, bones and teeth from real whales!

Funded PEF Grants

2018 Awarded PEF Grants
  • Peabody Essex Museum: American and Salem Collections
  • Weather: Wind, Water and Temperature
  • Geology: Rock Detectives
  • Motion, Forces, and Energy
  • Robotics Battle Bot
  • Cluster Time Enrichment Activities
  • Forensic Science
  • #WhatLiftsPVMHS – Kelsey Montague Inspired Murals
  • Tanner to Tanner
  • Marty Kelley Author Presentation
  • Snow Shoes Program
  • Loom Knitting
  • Code: The Newest Language Spoken at Welch School
  • STEM Learning
  • 7th Grade Outdoor Classroom Learning Project
  • Engineering and Erosion
  • Welch School Birthday Books
  • ACCESS Crafters
  • Curious Creatures Make Writing Come Alive
  • Substance Abuse Awareness
  • Beams, Bridges & Columns
  • Book Club: Alienation and Identity
  • Engineer a Coaster Activity Kit with Standup Magnetic Write and Wipe Board
  • Mass Poetry In-School Student Day of Poetry
  • Pear Deck
  • Motion, Forces, and Energy
  • The Whalemobile
  • Engineer It! Power to Production
  • Paul Revere Midnight Ride
  • Magnification of Learning Illumination
  • Breakout Edu
  • “The Observer” Student Literary Magazine
  • Higgins Innovation and Learning Lab (HILL)
  • Teaching Exercise Science & Anatomy Students How to Take & Read ECGs
  • Number Talks Whole Number Computation and supplements
  • Bringing Learning to Life
2015 Awarded PEF Grants
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Field Trip
  • Peabody Essex Museum – American/Salem Collections
  • Unifix Color Coded Sentence Building Kit
  • Schoolyard Science with Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats
  • Life at Sea: A Voyage in Song
  • Nye, oh Nye! That’s some super science
  • Fractions for 3rd Graders
  • Tide Pool Alive
  • Chris Brown Presents: Click, Clack, Moo
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Higgins Helping Hawks Student Mentoring Program
  • Equestrian Connection
  • Expanding Expression Tool, 2nd Edition (EET)
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • 5th Annual Higgins Spelling Bee and Online Visual Thesaurus Dictionary
  • Informational Text Research Using Newsela
  • Touch-Typing Awards
  • Bamidele Dancers and Drummers
  • A Guided Discovery of Electromagnetism
  • Techsploration
  • Windows on Wildlife
  • Sensory Diet Materials
  • Creating a Kinesthetic Classroom
  • Math Masters
  • DIG-IT High Touch High Tech
  • Dig into Dinosaurs
  • Jeff Danger, Science Ranger’s Physical Science Show
  • Tidepool Adaptions
  • Motion Force and Work
  • Grade 1 Take Home Book Package
  • High Touch High Tech
2017 Awarded PEF Grants
Brown School

  • Salem Sound Coast Watch: Watershed Ecology
  • Outdoor Science with Joppa Flats
  • At Home in Salem/American Collections
  • Jway Hopscotch Game
  • Beams, Bridges & Columns
  • Books for Classroom Guidance
  • Just Right Books for Students

Burke School

  • Freedom Trail: Cafetorium Style!

Carroll School

  • Tide Pool Alive
  • Theaterworks USA: Dragons Love Tacos and other stories
  • New England Aquarium
  • Story Grammar Marker Kit

Center School

  • Kindle for Kids Bundle
  • Schoolyard Science with Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats

McCarthy School

  • Wiggles and Giggles Exercise Program
  • A Guided Discovery of Electromagnetism

South School

  • Webber Articulation Cards and Fun Sheets

Welch School

  • Welch School Birthday Books
  • Contact: The Magic of Communication
  • Weather: Wind, Water, and Temperature
  • Electromagnetism
  • SkyDome Planetarium
  • Backpackin It
  • Curious Creatures Make Writing Come Alive
  • Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride

West School

  • Young Authors Day

District-Wide (Grade 5)

  • Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Field Trip

Higgins Middle School

  • Enhancing Our Green Screen Production Studio
  • Mythmasters
  • We Video
  • Higgins Helping Hawks Student Mentoring Program
  • 7th Grade outdoor Classroom Learning Project
  • Collaborative Learning through Breakout EDU
  • Exploring the World in Three Dimensions: Virtual Reality in the Classroom

Peabody Community High School

  • Littlest Tanners Community Project

Peabody Learning Academy

  • PLA Music/Guitar


  • Classroom Lending Library
  • Junior Scholastic
  • Animal Adaptations
  • Spectroscopes for the classroom
  • Other Voices Book Club
  • First Aid & CPR/AED Certification Program
  • International Culinary Delight: Foreign Language and Culinary Arts
  • Little Tanners Lending Library
2014 Awarded PEF Grants
  • Wonderful World of Raptors
    Peabody Essex Museum American/Salem Collections
  • Social Thinking Curriculum
  • Class Set of Hands-On Equations for Teacher and Thirty Students
  • Forensic Science Studies
  • Creature Features
  • Read About Math Learning Centers – Complete Set
  • Hands-On Science
  • Nudging the Imagination
  • Windows on Wildlife: Adaptions Program
  • Fraction Problem Solving
  • Tide Pool Alive!
  • Fit Girls
  • Science from Scientist’s Science Theater
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Seussical, Theatreworks USA
  • Kestrel Educational Adventures
  • 4th Annual Higgins Spelling Bee & Online Visual Thesaurus Dictionary
  • Award-winning children’s author James M Deem Visits with the Panthers
  • Higgins Helping Hawks Student-to-Student Mentoring
  • REACH Program Painting Class
  • MathsAmazing
  • Meeting with History – Yoko Kawashima Watkins
  • The Poetry Company
  • Higgins Student IT Help Desk
  • News-2-You (online subscription)
  • Phonological Awareness Chipper Chat
  • Curious Creatures Kid Zoo
  • Electromagnetism
  • Discovery Museum
  • Life Cycle of a Raptor
  • Brazilian Dance & Drum with Gregory Coles
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Field Trip
  • Special Effects Makeup Hands On Class
  • Social Studies 4th Grade Curriculum
  • Social Studies – Travels Across America’s Past
  • Brain Pop Jr.
  • Literature Based Learning Centers
  • Sensory Diet Materials
  • Literacy Alive! Celebrating Reading with Robert Rivest
  • Join In – Multi-Cultural Folktales and Legends
  • Seeds and Plants
  • Animal Adaptions
  • Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Tour
  • Life in the 17th Century and At Home in Salem 1785-1820
  • Tidepools Alive
  • Mad Science: An “Edutaining” Performance
  • ThinkTank: Numbersense & Problem Solving
  • Visit from author Maryann Cocca-Leffler
2016 Awarded PEF Grants
  • MICCA Concert Festival
  • Girl Power
  • Peabody Essex Museum: American/Salem Collections
  • New England Aquarium Field Trip
  • Study Buddies – Fairy Tale Friends
  • Think Social with Social Thinking and Brain Gym
  • Fine & Gross Motor Materials
  • Macaroni Soup! Active Music for Kids
  • Higgins Helping Hawks Student Mentoring Program
  • No Bullying: Stand Up, Step In
  • Transitional Partners Program
  • Wiggles and Giggles
  • Social Thinking
  • Higgins Library Expands Hour of Code Activities with Sphero Spark Robots
  • Headsprout
  • Yoko Kawashima Watkins Presentation
  • Music for the Mind
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Field Trip
  • Sound Waves by Discovery Museum’s Traveling Field Trips
  • Downloadable Collection Kick-Off
  • Schoolyard Science with Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats
  • Forces in Motion
  • Drama Festival 2017 Artist-in-Residence
  • Tide Pool Alive
  • Lunar Exhibition at Peabody Essex Museum
  • Paul Revere Midnight Ride
  • Welch School Birthday Books
  • 2nd and 3rd Grade Milestones Program
  • Choices for the Choices Program
  • Schoolyard Science with Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats
  • LEGO Engineering Concepts
  • TenMarks
  • Wolf Hollow
  • Theaterworks USA Field Trip: Miss Nelson is Missing
  • Hands-On Math Centers
  • Uprising on King Street: Boston Massacre
  • Animal Adventures
  • Tide Pool Alive
  • Book Clubs
  • Let’s Get Moving Numbers Kit
  • Engineering and Erosion
  • A Guided Discovery of Electromagnetism

Peabody Education Foundation

The Peabody Education Foundation provides unique programs and advanced technology to thousands of students and teachers who might otherwise not enjoy such experiences due to budget constraints.

P.O. Box 233
Peabody, MA 01960