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Education Foundation Awards $59K in Grants

Document cameras, books, iPads, instruments and a robotics class in the fall are among the items that received grant funding.

The Madison Education Foundation approved 17 grants totaling $59,000 during its Winter Grant Cycle, including 14 new document cameras at the elementary schools, the foundation announced in a news release.

Combined with grants approved during the Fall Cycle, teachers in the Madison schools have been awarded nearly $100,000 in educational enrichment grants with an additional grant cycle still to come. The deadline for applications for the last grant cycle is April 20.

“This last round of educational enrichment grants is truly remarkable and I am amazed by the amount of money that the Foundation is able to distribute,” Director of Curriculum and Instruction Lee Nittel said. “The District is very grateful for all the Foundation does to support our teachers and students.”

As part of this grant cycle, teachers at all three elementary schools will enjoy 14 new document cameras.

  fifth-grade teacher Margaret Duffy said she uses her document camera all the time.

“I use my document camera constantly throughout my day," she said. "Any worksheet can be put under it, as well as picture books to show the class, and 3D objects.”

She said the foundation helped her through the grant process.

"The MEF really encourages the teachers to reach for the stars, which is exactly what we encourage our students to do," she said.

Other notable grants at the elementary school level included book collections, iPads and bass bar musical instruments. Teachers at the will be able to offer a Memoir Writing Workshop to seventh-graders as well as the opportunity to see a Shakespeare Live! Production of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream."

Also at the junior school, Robotics is coming to all seventh-grade students next fall.  A new 10-week cycle class, co-funded by the MEF and MJS PTO, will bring together science, math and technology concepts. The MJS curriculum is being developed by seventh-grade Social Studies teachers and Robotics Club advisors Erik Lih and Rich Newbery.  Last year, MEF also funded technology learning in the sixth-grade Entrepreneur and the eighth-grade Design Squad classes.

Approval decisions for the last grant cycle are expected to be made mid-June so that purchases over the summer will have teachers ready with their new resources when school starts in the fall.

“Community support for public education is at the heart of MEF success. Our upcoming Madison 5K Family Event on Sunday, May 6 offers a fun and easy way to support the work of the Madison Education Foundation,” says MEF Vice President Karen Shahidi. Registration for the 5K Run, Walk and Kids’ Fun run is available online at www.mefnj.org.

Madison Education Foundation
The MEF mission is to award grants that help faculty and staff inspire and challenge Madison public school students.  The foundation funds great ideas that energize the academic and creative life of students but fall above and beyond our school district budget.  MEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations can be mailed to PO Box 1093 Madison NJ  07940 or submitted online. Visit www.mefnj.org or e-mail info@mefnj.org for more information.

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