MADISON, NJ - Madison Junior School sixth and eighth grade students are creating versatile and useful ceramic objects through an expansion of ceramics projects in the art curriculum, thanks to funding from the Madison Education Foundation (MEF).
Sixth graders are learning basic hand building skills to create owl-shaped planters, while eighth graders are using more advanced slab techniques to create ceramic bowls, said district officials.
"Madison teachers are creatively and energetically expanding offerings to all Madison students in all areas, from STEAM and languages, to arts and sciences and physical education,” said MEF President Colleen Taddeo. “MEF is thrilled to help fund these innovative ideas that benefit Madison schools.”
The grant, which was initiated by Madison Junior School ast teacher MaryAnn St. Jacques, funded materials for the project which included the clay and glazes.
“It is so important to offer different artistic mediums in order to reach as many students, artistically, as possible. Through this grant, we were able to make ceramics part of our sixth grade curriculum, as well as expand ceramics projects to our eighth grade craft studio students,” said St. Jacques.
St. Jacques noted that working and shaping with the clay not only allows students to be creative and learn proper techniques, but also provides a fun method of stress relief during a student’s busy day. As part of the eighth grade craft studio elective, the ceramic bowls created by the students will be auctioned off to benefit Project Empty Bowl, a charity that addresses childhood hunger in the United States, adding an element of philanthropy to the students’ creative endeavors.
The auction will take place at the Madison Junior School’s spring concert.
In addition to the ceramics projects, grants funded by MEF during its most recent grant cycle totaled over $60,000 and included:
Providing coding resources for grades K-5 at all elementary schools, including hands-on resources for younger students and expanding offerings for older elementary students to include robotics and rocketry.
Funding an educational visit from meteorologist John Marshall for science classes at Madison Junior School.
Providing new headsets for world language students at Madison High School.
Providing support resources for the Child Study Team at Madison Junior School.
Providing Gaga ball pits to Central Avenue School and Kings Road School to allow more students to engage in and enjoy physical education classes.