ACES Interdistrict Cooperative Grant Program: 2013-2015

The Connecticut State Department of Education awarded just over $500,000 to ACES (Area Cooperative Educational Services) to administer six Interdistrict Cooperative Grants for each of two school years (2013-2014 and 2014-2015).  These grants are designed to reduce racial and economic isolation, by bringing together students from various backgrounds and different districts.  In addition to celebrating and increasing students’ appreciation of diversity, this programming also focuses on strengthening academic achievement within welcoming, safe and interactive environments.  Families are invited to experience students’ activities, by attending and participating in program presentations. Transportation is provided to facilitate access to the program site, and for program-related field trips.

This guide offers brief summaries of these six Interdistrict Grants. For more information, and/or to register for these programs, please contact Carolyn McNally at 203.498.6842, or

LUCID (Literacy Uniting Children in Diversity)

 Grades 1-12. Project LUCID is a highly successful interdistrict grant program. It was designed to incorporate technology that allows students to increase academic achievement in the areas of written and verbal communication. Students work collaboratively to complete authentic tasks which enhance their reading achievement, and appreciation of cultural diversity. Through Project LUCID, students videoconference with experts and participate in virtual field trips. They explore places unavailable in traditional school environments. Participating classrooms receive video-conferencing equipment, including laptops and/or iPads, sound systems and webcams, as well as access to the ACES video-conferencing server. Classrooms also receive sets of literature books for related reading and writing assignments.

Participating districts: ACES, Cheshire, Derby, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, Orange, Region #13, Seymour.

Contact: Robin Metaj 203.407.6832

Math does Count:

Math Practice and Assessment Preparation



Students learn and have fun at ACES Interdistrict Grant Math Does Count Camp

Click here to view Math Does Count video.

Math Does Count:  Grades 5-8. As a 2-week summer camp experience, Math does Count brings students together from 13 districts which participate in the ACES Open CHOICE program. Students learn and practice concepts and strategies in mathematics, which are geared toward Common Core curriculum standards. Students from different districts work together in a camp-like setting to celebrate diversity, while using cooperative learning, manipulative materials and project-based problem solving. By the end of the program, students gain significant proficiency in select mathematics concepts.

Students use adventure-based games to strengthen motor skills. Certified teachers employ a variety of strategies to assist English Language Learners.

Participating districts: ACES, Cheshire, Derby, Hamden, Milford, New Haven, North Haven, Wallingford, West Haven, Woodbridge.

Contact: Melissa Alers 203.498.6845 | Barbara Green  203.498.6848

Sharing Our Stories:

Living and Learning in 21st Century CT

 Grade 4. Based on The Neighborhood Story Project, from post-Katrina New Orleans, this reading, writing and social studies program brings students from across the region together to collaborate as they research, construct and share the stories of their lives. With a focus on language arts, social studies and technology, students strengthen understanding of concepts associated with 21st Century and Common Core standards. Participants investigate and research their neighborhoods and personal histories through storytelling, interviews, hands-on investigations and video-recording. They add their unique voices as storytellers, and celebrate their successes at the conclusion of the program -- when they share their own stories with their schools, families and communities.

Participating districts: Derby, Hamden, New Haven, North Haven, Seymour, Wallingford.

Contact: Barbara Green  203 498-6848

Sister Schools

Grades K-12.  The Sister Schools Program enables K–12 students, their teachers and their parents to reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation, while collaborating in a multi-culturally themed project of their choosing. Students show growth in writing and technology skills by learning how to develop a digital scrapbook/journal as a means of sharing the experiences of their partnership and projects. The digital scrapbook enhances student skills in Power Point and Common Core-aligned language and problem-solving skills. The Sister Schools Program has been very successful, with participation increasing each year. The program can be adapted to any grade level and can match classes of the same or different grade levels.

Participating districts: Cheshire, Derby, Milford, New Haven, Newington, Orange, Region #5, Region #13, Wallingford, West Haven, Wolcott, Woodbridge.

Contact:  Janine Fiorillo 203 407-4404

The Write Stuff: Writing Practice & Assessment Prep

Grades 1-4. The Write Stuff is a fun summer academic program for students entering grades 1 through 4. The program has demonstrated success for students enrolled from New Haven and 10-14 suburban schools. Most of these districts participate in the Open Choice program. Students study thematic literature and use computers to compose, edit and publish writing in multiple forms, including essays, poetry and short stories. Music, dance and other artistic expressions are incorporated into learning experiences.  The Write Stuff brings together students from multiple districts for this 2-week structured and fun academic experience, so that they have the opportunity to engage in sustained and meaningful interactions with diverse peers. Students also gain greater proficiency in reading and writing skills, enabling them to excel in school and demonstrate competence in writing assessments.

Participating districts: Branford, Cheshire, Derby, Hamden, Meriden, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford, Woodbridge.

Contact: Lynn Bailey  203 498-6843

WELL: World and English Language Learning

Grades 4-6. This new interdistrict grant focuses on language instruction for English Language Learners and World Language Learners.  Certified teachers place an emphasis on communicating, using key vocabulary words and concepts. English language learners are paired with Spanish or Chinese language learners, so that students can reinforce newly acquired knowledge, enhance social skills, and gain new perspectives on cultural diversity. The program is held on successive Saturdays in the spring, with a second session in the summer. Students are encouraged to attend both sessions.  Connections with ACES ARCTELL program allows certified specialists to work in team-teaching settings to make language learning fun, as core competencies are strengthened.

Participating districts: Branford, Derby, Hamden, Milford, New Haven, North Haven, Wallingford, West Haven, Woodbridge.

Contact:  Janine Fiorillo 203 407-4404