Education Foundation awards six grants

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The Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises funds to augment programs and activities provided by the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, awarded six grants totaling $10,575 to teachers, staff and students at five schools.

The Foundation announced the recipients at MHS and Glacier Creek on Wednesday, Nov. 11 as part of each school's morning virtual staff meeting. More than 200 staff members attended the MHS meeting, while close to 130 attended the Glacier Creek meeting. The Foundation will announce grants at West Middleton and Sauk Trail-Sunset Ridge in the coming weeks. 

“This is the seventh year we’ve awarded inspiration grants to teachers and staff for innovative and unique programs that complement MCPASD’s educational goals,” said Amber Kiggens-Leifheit, executive director of the Education Foundation. “The grants fund inspiring experiences for students that go beyond those provided in a traditional learning environment.”

Counting the 2020 recipients, the Education Foundation has awarded 110 grants worth more than $115,000 since 2013. 

In previous years, Foundation board members and members of the MHS marching band traveled via school bus to grant recipients’ respective schools to honor them with presentations in their classrooms and a band performance.

“We especially appreciate the efforts of our 2020 recipients given what a tough year this is for everyone,” said Carl Frederick, Education Foundation secretary and chair of the grants committee. “Our recipients are going above and beyond for our students, and we’re honored to recognize their wonderful work with these grants.”

Below are brief summaries of each grant:

World Drumming at Sauk Trail/Sunset Ridge: John Becker received a $600 grant to hire four professional musicians to host virtual concerts, allowing students to work on percussion, drumming and dance skills using their music supply kits at home. They will play Brazilian Samba, Afro-Cuban, Caribbean and African music styles. 

Sharing Our Stories Out Loud Podcasts at West Middleton: Amanda Struckmeyer received a $1,475 grant for podcast recording equipment to allow students, staff and families to share stories. They will record personal narratives, prompted by specific questions, as well as fictional stories. 

Sensory Pathway at Glacier Creek: Laurie Wood, Jennifer Broadley, Abigail Prestigiacomo and Kristin Benz received a $1,000 grant to create a sensory pathway to provide physical activity as well mindfulness and breathing activities for students. It will offer students a “brain break,” helping them return to the classroom ready to learn and focus.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra at MHS: Steve Kurr received a $2,500 grant to work, virtually, with Mark Wood and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to prepare songs and create virtual videos of middle school and high school orchestra students performing. About 750 strings students across the schools will participate, and a Hip Hop Strings unit will also be available for those interested.


Forward Garden at MHS: MHS students Alex Seaborg and Aarush Gupta received a $2,500 grant to fund an irrigation system for Forward Garden, a community-based initiative with the nonprofit Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens. Several MHS students volunteer with the garden, which was created to address food insecurity in Dane County. The grant will help the garden expand and distribute more produce for community members in need

Hip Hop Mobile Stations at MHS: Doug Brown received a $2,500 grant to create mobile stations to store hip hop students’ equipment – like record players, laptops, records and recording technology – to facilitate collaboration with other students for breakouts and performances.

The MCPASD Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the District’s efforts to improve student achievement across all demographic groups by focusing on equitable practices – the heart of an inclusive, innovative and inspiring learning community. The Foundation awards staff grants and student scholarships annually, and funds programs and activities, such as the Weekend Food Program, personal hygiene supplies and internet access for those who don't have it during virutal learning, aligned with the District’s priorities each school year. 

To learn more, please visit the Education Foundation website