The Madison Education Foundation (MEF) awarded approximately $90,000 in educational enrichment grants in the 2015-16 school year across all five Madison District schools.
“Last year, with the close of our Spring Grant Cycle, MEF proudly marked a major milestone of over $1 million in grants awarded since we began in 2003,” said MEF President Clare Sievers. “We are proud to have awarded over 300 grants in the past 13 years to meet the requests of teachers from grades pre-K – 12. Working closely with teachers and district leadership, MEF is able to provide enrichment tools and resources that enhance the academic and creative experience of our students. Of course, it is the incredible support we receive from district families and businesses that allow us to say “yes” when an enthusiastic teacher submits an innovative idea.”
says MEF Grant Committee Co-Chair, Joanne Spigner, says “This was another banner year of grants, with over 75 teachers involved in the 41 grant applications that the Board of Trustees approved last year. We continue to be inspired by the level of enthusiasm and drive our teachers bring to enriching their classrooms.”
Elementary students across the District are benefitting from a tremendous variety of grants awarded to their teachers this year, including: clay for art projects, supplemental reading aimed to encourage young readers beyond the scope of the classroom library, timers for physical education classes, wellness tools and yoga instruction as well as a music organizational system that was co-funded by Madison Music and Arts Association (MMA).
At Kings Road School (KRS) a vegetable garden is in the planning stages and a Buddy Bench has been placed strategically on the playgrounds at Kings Road School and Torey J. Sabatini (TJS). The Buddy Bench is now used to encourage inclusion and empathy while fostering friendship among the students at recess. Classrooms at TJS will enjoy the addition of headsets for use in foreign language classes and manipulatives to encourage better understanding of math concepts.
At Central Avenue School (CAS), students will receive an author visit from Nick Bruel, notable author of the “Bad Kitty” children’s book series. Special education classrooms will benefit from Watchminder Watches to help students manage time spent on activities as well as Google Read & Write, which will also be utilized at MJS.
“MEF has funded many pilots for reducing student stress, but yoga has been my favorite to date,” says Maureen Magnani, CAS teacher, reading specialist and certified yoga instructor. “Through yoga classes, students acquire the skills to calm themselves and refocus their energy so they can get back to the business of learning. The impact of yoga on elementary learners is game-changing.”
Teachers at Madison Junior School received a variety of grants, including two types of robotics to usher in the transformation of the MJS Library into a new Makerspace: Ozbots and Cubelets. These tools will be used along with lesson plans to enhance core curriculum for both math and science and encourage students to experiment and discover the new possibilities of STEM building blocks. Additional grants include: FM Systems for several classrooms, a Memoir Writing Workshop, a Met Museum trip for eighth graders, which included a scavenger hunt amongst ancient civilizations, as well as a trip for sixth graders to Morristown Mayo Performing Arts Center to see “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.”
Madison High School will get to experience a full-day Poetry Festival funded with support from the Geraldine Dodge Foundation and MEF. Last spring six published poets were featured. MHS students were challenged to think and express social issues through the lens of a poet and find new ways of describing things, without stating the obvious. Roberto Carlos Garcia, visiting poet, encouraged students to pursue poetry and express themselves “fearlessly.”
Additional grants include: an Engineers Teach Algebra program, EMC Masterpiece Access for Literature, archery equipment for PE, and a Starlab Portable Planetarium. Cameras and accessories for visual arts, Chromebook headsets for foreign language classes and support for the Debate Club were also awarded. MHS courtyards will be revitalized to allow more hands-on use by biology students during their ecology and genetics units.
MHS’s very own TV & Video Production Studio continued to build out over the course of the school year and currently the new control room, stage for filming, Tricaster switching unit, professional lighting and other new equipment purchased with an MEF grant are all being actively utilized by MHS students.
For a complete list of MEF grants awarded during the 2015–16 school year, visit https://mefnj.org/content/grants.
The Madison Education Foundation (MEF) awards grants to Madison District teachers for initiatives that energize the creative and academic lives of students, but are above and beyond the school budget. Since its inception in 2003, MEF has awarded more than 300 grants totaling more than one million dollars. MEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1093, Madison, NJ 07940 or submitted online. Visit www.mefnj.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.