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On behalf of the Madison County Education Foundation, I extend our greetings and hope that this letter finds you and your loved ones well. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the work we are doing.
Our foundation is continuing to work with the Madison County schools and community organizations to ensure that education continues during these difficult times. We are adapting our work to meet the current needs of the groups we work with.
For example, our signature program, Everybody Wins, has changed its way of having adult mentors interact with students. Instead of meeting with the students for shared reading, the adults and students have begun a pen pal relationship, working with the teacher to exchange letters. In addition, our teacher grant guidelines have been modified somewhat to allow for some grant applications that might be for projects that are necessitated by the particular challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are reaching out to our community to ask for your financial support. We elected to forgo our spring fundraising efforts last March due to the uncertainties of the time. We now ask you to help us out so we can give the maximum support possible to the schools and other community educational groups that we traditionally support.
December 1st is nationally designated as Giving Tuesday. We ask that you remember MCEF when you consider your end-of-year giving this year and make a Giving Tuesday contribution. All donations help meet needs right here in Madison County.
You may make a donation by mail by sending a check to
PO BOX 1277
MADISON VA 22727-1277
Or online with a debit or credit card
You may designate a teacher to honor with your donation by including their name with your donation. We will recognize the teachers through their schools with a special presentation, as well as announcing them in the newspaper and here on our web site.
We thank you for your help in making education a priority in our community!
Susan G. Bramley, President
We love it when we support a teacher grant request and then find out that the purchase turns out to help in even greater ways than were anticipated. At MCEF we believe that teachers know what they need to be more successful with more students and sometimes a fairly small investment turns out to answer not only those but also needs that weren’t even imagined at the time of the grant application. Here is a note from Mary Davis, a math teacher at Madison County High School.
Specifically, I would like to express my appreciation for the IPads purchased by the MCHS math department through a grant awarded last Spring. The availability of an IPad has made it possible for me to conduct my dual enrollment math courses online after school closure. I am able to scan all documents with it to post to Google classroom and can connect the IPad as a whiteboard into my virtual classes or into sessions during office hours when I am helping one student. It is nearly impossible to teach math, virtually or face-to-face, without working problems out step-by-step, and the IPad purchased for math teachers by Madison Education Foundation made that possible.
MCEF wants to support teachers like you!
Applications Accepted for Spring Teacher Grants
We have had quite a few applications from the Primary School (Middle School, High School, Elementary School) over the past several years. It is a tradition we want to continue. The good news is that these applications have been strong and the teachers have been successful in obtaining grants from the Madison County Education Foundation.
Success is contagious. Make it your turn next. PLEASE go to the MCEF website www.madisonedfoundation.org for application directions and criteria. Send your grant application electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 9, 2018. Grant winners will be announced by January 23, 2018.
Grants generally total between $500 and $1000 and can often be matched with school funds.
For questions, please call or email Jayne Penn-Hollar, chair, any members of the Grants Resource Team:
- Ashleigh Pugh email@example.com;
- Rebecca LaVoie firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Tiffany Kitner email@example.com;
- Nicole Keys firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Jennifer Taylor email@example.com;
- Martha Clements firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Marty Ward email@example.com
For general information or questions, call Barbara Kres Beach (540-948-5317) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Madison High School faculty were exceptionally inventive and penetrating this year, agreed the Grants Panel of the Madison County Education Foundation (MCEF). “The applications addressed a range of needs designed to broaden the scope and depth of classroom learning and to engage all students at the high school,” observed Stephanie Mendlow, a member of the Panel. “We were very excited about them.”
Awards were presented by representatives of the MCEF Grants Panel: Clarissa Berry, Jayne Penn Hollar, and Stephanie Mendlow. They were joined by Bill Hinkes, vice president of the Foundation.
MCHS Librarian, Becky LaVoie, will extend the use of games in education. Ms. LaVoie attended a conference sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians; it focused on the use of games as instruments for learning. Teachers in her school have been working on ways to encourage students to become more active participants in learning. The games project supports SOLs, collaboration between library and classroom teachers, student teamwork, and post-game reflection.
Stephen Shilan, Mary Davis, Chelsea Taylor, and Ryan Rakow and others will work with a new program “Gizmos for Geometry,” which will enable students achieve the math credits required for their high school diploma. “Gizmos” is a web-based software program that teachers control, selecting simulations that students may log on a given day. It uses the question-and-response Socratic approach to shape student learning. The program supports Virginia SOLs for science and math in high school. The program has shown excellent results nationally and will be evaluated by Madison teachers as well.
Ashleigh Pugh and Tiffany Kitner—high school and middle school art faculty–had another challenge: they looked for ways to keep costs down, extend the use of clay so it could be re-used multiple times (purchase and shipping of clay are costly and lowering these costs makes possible the purchase and use of other art materials in the Middle and High Schools.) Because of this grant, faculty will be able to introduce students to pottery work—a new and accessible art medium for many. The MCEF grant will help teachers purchase a “pugmill” which wedges clay, reduces risk of air bubbles, saves money, and prevents wasting recyclable clay. It will be available for use throughout the Madison Schools.
Judy Heffron and Michael Gabney proposed materials that would bring a project in environmental science to life. They called it “The Answer My Friend Is Blowing in the Wind.” Part of the alternative energy unit, it will use project-based learning techniques to create an optimal output wind turbine using Vernier technology. (We read this and agreed that we all need to go back to high school for this class!) Approximately 50 students will engage in this project yearly, and will work collaboratively with their peers to experiment with gear ratios, blade designs, generators and ways to measure weightlifting and electrical power.
“Swinging into Fitness,” a proposal from Mark Arrington, extends his mission to make fitness a part of each Madison student’s life after graduation. He will introduce students to an award-winning “BirdieBall” that responds like a traditional golf ball in flight (hook, slice, draw and fade—and instant feedback from your swing are all possible). The “BirdieBall” produces an “uncanny turbine sound” according to Arrington, after a good “wack.” More important, the program teaches the lifetime sport of golf, helps develop motor skills, skill analysis, golf etiquette, and equipment care.
“These grants initiated by our excellent high school faculty,” noted Barbara Kres Beach, MCEF president, “show how students can use programs like these to reinforce students’ excitement about learning and their engagement with it. Our teachers have the keys that unlock exactly what is needed. We applaud them!”
Four outstanding teachers from Madison County Primary School received special grants from the Madison County Education Foundation (MCEF) to support projects that will enhance learning.
Jeannette Michels and Carrie Wintersgill received a grant to purchase “Little Mice for Little Hands.” The young-child-size mouse enables a primary-age student to learn to manipulate a computer mouse to work on projects, respond to directions, and engage in computer assessments. The teachers believe the “mice” will have lasting value for the students. The grant purchases 50 “mice,” which will be used by Pre-K through grade 2 students.
Martha Clements received a grant for her project entitled “Balancing It All.” This grant will purchase 25 balance discs that research demonstrates will enable young children to “focus greater attention on learning by helping them balance their natural tendency to move around and lose concentration.” Ms. Clements said children will carry the balance disc from their seats to various learning centers. “When our extraneous movement isn’t taking brain power and creating distraction,” she says, “we have clarity to successfully complete the task at hand.”
Jennifer Taylor will engage in a special project, “KIDS and Canvas.” Noel Spence, an artist, was formerly a pre-school to third grade teacher. She will work with Ms. Taylor to acquaint students with easels, paint, brushes, and other mediums. Ms. Taylor noted that although “there are no specific SOL objectives for preschool, “KIDZ and Canvas” will show students how to follow the sequence of steps used in creating art. They will create art related to a unit of study. They will identify spatial relationships—left, right, top, bottom, side, center, front, back, over, and under—and will learn about colors, textures, lines, shapes, and patterns.” Perhaps most important, “the students will express themselves through their art work and will leave with a completed work to bring home.”
Asked recently why Teacher Grants are an important part of the MCEF mission, Barbara Kres Beach, president, answered, “We believe in teachers; they are our most valuable resource in Madison County education, and their insights into student needs are on target. We are all fortunate that the County has such a great teaching staff.” Additional grants will be announced by the middle of November.