Madison, NJ - The Madison Education Foundation (MEF) has awarded 32 new educational enrichment grants totaling $106,000 for their Fall 2018 grant cycle.


“This is our biggest grant cycle since MEF was established in 2003,” said MEF Co-President Diane Ryan. “From STEM to art and from character education to cultural enrichment, this cycle of grants is diverse, innovative, and wide-reaching across Madison District schools.”


“What’s particularly exciting about this grant cycle is the collaboration---between teachers, classrooms, grades, departments, and schools,” said MEF Co-President Colleen Taddeo. “When great ideas are shared, more teachers and students reap the rewards.”


Transforming Spaces and Learning At Madison Elementary Schools

The special services departments at Central Avenue School, Kings Road School, and Torey J.Sabatini School have partnered on a grant to create indoor sensory pathways in the hallways of each elementary school. The pathways, made of age-appropriate stencils designed to make a series of physical activities like hopping, jumping, and balancing, will provide a fun and safe way for K-5 students to calm themselves and relieve anxiety, take movement breaks, practice speech and language skills, and work on occupational/physical therapy goals.


Additional elementary school grants aimed at transforming spaces and learning include: Qball Throwable Wireless Microphones for first and second grade classrooms to encourage student participation, boost public speaking, and support learning engagement; “flower” tables for first grade students that encourage student-centered and active learning; and fully-equipped calming corners for third grade classrooms to help students reduce anxiety and stress.


Other MEF grants awarded to Madison elementary schools include:

  • An author visit by Dan Yaccarino

  • A new Free Little Library

  • STEM kits for first grade classrooms

  • Zones of Regulation resources

  • A culture and art collaboration between elementary and high school students

  • Resources for counseling and social-skills education

  • A pilot pedometer program

  • A portable Lego wall

  • A Sandy Hook field trip

  • Social/emotional learning and bullying prevention curriculums

  • An American Cultural Dance Residency

  • Google Expedition Kits to support fourth and fifth grade core curriculums


Innovative Learning At Madison Junior School (MJS)

MJS continues to encourage innovative learning through grants that will give students the opportunity to explore the Rutgers Science Bus, tour the Metropolitan Museum of Art, delve into local history with town historian Scott Spelker for the Historical History Writing Residency, and enjoy the Greek mythology based performance, Chariot of the Sun. Additional grants have been awarded at MJS to fund Studyo digital planners for seventh graders, updated Child Study Team resources for 6th-8th grade students, a schoolwide mural project with artist-in-residence Caren Frost-Olmsted, and new cameras and accessories for STEAM classes and extracurricular activities.


Investing In STEAM at Madison High School (MHS)

A comprehensive “Makerspace Resources” grant at MHS will provide the funds to purchase consumable materials, supplies, small tools, and other project resources needed to implement the new STEAM curriculum, provide students with innovative and cutting-edge learning opportunities, and help the newly constructed MHS STEAM facility reach its full potential. Additional STEAM grants have been awarded to overhaul the Science Courtyard Pond to support the robust hands-on biology, ecology, and environmental science curriculums and to purchase a printed circuit board (PCB) mill that computer science students will use to mill out professional quality circuit boards.


Other grants awarded at MHS include an independent reading program that encourages reading for enjoyment, the addition of four electric string instruments for an MHS Electric String Quartet, and a field trip to see Romeo and Juliet at the Pax Amicus Castle Theatre.


District-Wide Grants Expand ESL and STEAM Programs

An MEF grant will provide all Madison District 4th-12th grade ESL students with access to, an online subscription that boosts English speaking skills---academically and socially---using real world videos from pop culture to news to personal interest. Another district-wide MEF grant will provide all Madison District K-12th grade students with access to Backyard Brains, an accredited, award-winning, and hands-on STEAM curriculum that teaches students of all ages about neuroscience, physiology, and plant and animal science.


Photo caption (photo attached):

Sixth and 7th grade students at Madison Junior School on the Rutgers Science Explorer bus exploring science concepts, such as DNA, eutrophication, and hypoxia in marine animals, and participating in problem-based learning activities that can’t be performed in a traditional classroom.

About the Madison Education Foundation

The Madison Education Foundation (MEF) awards grants to Pre-K-12 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 $1,500,000 in grants. MEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations can be mailed to PO Box 1093 Madison NJ 07940 or submitted online. Visit or e-mail for more information.

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