Five teachers celebrated for their work with engaging Connecticut students

HARTFORD -- Five teachers across Connecticut were celebrated Thursday for their dedication to getting students engaged and excited about learning.

Each teacher received $10,000 dollars from the Dalia Foundation to use towards student engagement as a part of a $500, 000 commitment to Connecticut schools and its students.

The donations were made in grant form through DonorsChoose.org.

Donorschoose.org identified 30 semi-finalists from the 428 projects. Then, a committee of Connecticut teachers, school leaders, union leaders, non-profit leaders, and state leaders selected the five most promising and inspiring projects that model the key themes of personalization, relationships, and connections.

Laura Munafo, a reading teacher at MD Fox School in Hartford, was one of the winners for her “Seeing Ourselves in the Stories” project.

“So that my students could have books that accurately represent their race and ethnicity, language, their home life because it’s harder for students to connect with books when they can’t see themselves represented in them,” Laura Munafo said.

The four other teachers included, Liz Matthews of Hartford Public High School, Pamela Santerre of Three Rivers Middle College Magnet High School, Jeremy Susi of Fairchild Wheeler High School, and Sheena Graham of Warren Harding High School.