Ceramics, Calming Corners, and Community-Building: Madison Education Foundation Awards $90,000 in Education Enrichment Grants


Madison, NJ (June 1, 2017) –  The Madison Education Foundation (MEF) has awarded 38 new educational enrichment grants totaling approximately $90,000 for their Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 grant cycles. “It’s an honor to support the creativity and innovation taking place in our schools,” says MEF President Clare Sievers. “From the arts to technology to wellness, Madison teachers are transforming students’ educational experiences throughout the District.”

Art and Technology Soar at Madison High School (MHS)

Excitement is brewing at MHS about an MEF grant to purchase two pottery wheels and the materials needed to build two proper work stations. Learning how to handle a potter’s wheel will allow students in all grades to take their visual arts education to new heights. Not only will the ceramics wheels enhance the exponentially popular visual arts curriculum, but also they will be a catalyst for collaboration with other departments. The work stations will be built by woodshop/home tech students, and plans are set to gear ceramics projects to different regions of the world in conjunction with the World Language Department.

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Additional MEF grants will transform teaching and learning for students in the increasingly popular TV & video production and photography classes. New MacPro computers and MacBook Air laptops will enrich video and photography curriculums and help students achieve professional level editing of their projects.

 Learning Enrichment at Madison Junior School (MJS)

Teachers at MJS have been awarded several grants to help students take a deep dive into their coursework. One MEF grant has funded a traveling math exhibition called “Math Midway.” The exhibits are presented in a fun, midway/carnival style and engage students in an interactive, hands-on tour of mathematical ideas, principles, games, and activities. Another grant supports “Project Memoir,” a series of writing workshops for 7th grade students with Teaching Artist Ellen Papazian. Students will create two anthologies of personal essays, one of which will be about “a day in the life of a 7th grader” and will be sold to raise funds for a student-chosen charity.

Additional grants will help build a language arts digital audiobook collection in the MJS library, support an immersion into Latin American culture that culminates with a field trip to the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet, and integrate a high-tech and crafty CNC Plotter into core, elective and Madison Makers Club curriculums.

Community-Building and Wellness at Madison Elementary Schools

An MEF grant at Kings Road School (KRS) has supported a collaboration between Artist in Residence Caren Frost Olmsted and teachers and students to create a massive wall mural in the school’s lobby to build morale and communicate a powerful message of equality, diversity, and unity. Teachers at Central Avenue School (CAS) have used an MEF grant to pilot a program to create calming corners in classrooms to help students cope with anxiety. The specially-equipped areas will benefit kids who need movement breaks, sensory input, and calming activities during the school day. At Torey J. Sabatini (TJS), an MEF grant has been used to purchase noise-cancelling headphones to support students who struggle to concentrate with too much background noise. Another grant at TJS has been used to buy iPads to give 3rd grade special education students an effective differentiation tool and user-friendly interface to boost literacy and math skills.

Descriptions of all 38 Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 educational enrichment grants can be found at

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 $1,114,000 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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