Newport’s Pell Elementary School has been awarded a $500,000 Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) grant to encourage Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, the Arts and Math (STREAM) learning beginning in the elementary grades.

The grant is focused on improving student literacy through enhanced literacy instruction and interdisciplinary strategies applied across all subjects and grades. This is the second DoDEA grant Pell Elementary has been awarded.

In 2020, a $500,000 DoDEA grant called “Reaching for the Stars” enabled Pell Elementary School, in partnership with the East Bay Educational Collaborative, to purchase drones, zSpace virtual reality stations, a dedicated computer lab, and other hands-on learning technologies.  The federal funds also helped provide professional development for teachers to better integrate science, technology, engineering, and math concepts into the classroom.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be awarded this $500,000 DoDEA grant to continue Pell’s focus on fostering STREAM learning in our elementary grades,” said Newport Public Schools Superintendent Colleen Burns Jermain in a statement. “This is the second DoDEA grant that Pell has received and will strengthen our work to integrate literacy and STREAM principals across all of our elementary grades. As a district that serves many military families and as home to Naval Station Newport, we thank DoDEA for this support to help us spark a lifelong love of STEM and STREAM learning.”

Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport is home to nearly 50 U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army Reserve commands and federal activities. 

“My mission is to ensure every student gets a great education and Pell Elementary does a terrific job building a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning. This school has created a learning community that welcomes and supports our military-connected children and families, as well as students and families of all backgrounds who make Newport such a vibrant community,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in a statement. “Through hands-on, project-based learning, this new DODEA award will help students hone the skills they need to succeed: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication.”

Last year Senator Reed, who also serves on the Appropriations Committee, secured over $22 million for DODEA grants.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.