MEDWAY — Superintendent Armand Pires wishes to share gratitude for the generosity of the Medway Foundation for Education (MFE) during its grant giving cycle of the 2019-20 school year.
Grant requests funded by MFE this year include:
- The Diverse Book Initiative, a proposal that supported the funds to bring new texts to the core curriculum for students in grades nine and 11 at Medway High School;
- Tech Tools for Blended Learning, which funded the purchase of software licenses to support educators in their work to teach and support learning during this extraordinary time;
- Window & Mirror Books, which supported the funding to supplement all teacher classroom libraries in Medway’s PreK-1 school with more diverse literature and informational texts.
The Financial Literacy Fair, which aims to teach basic financial and money management skills to high school students, was also approved but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MFE is a non-profit education community foundation that began in 2002. Its objective is to fund innovative educational programs and technologies that are not covered in the normal school budget but greatly benefit Medway students, parents and teachers.
MFE is funded by local fundraising events such as the Trivia Bee and dodgeball tournament. The organization is also funded through support from local businesses such as the Middlesex Savings Bank and Charles River Bank that sponsor events or make direct donations.
Since its inception, MFE has provided approximately $355,000 in grants for programs, events and other initiatives. From 2010 to 2020, MFE has approved 81 grants in total. Each year on average, MFE has awarded a total of $19,500 in grants.
“There are a number of great programs and initiatives that are funded by the district’s budget, but there are also many things students or teachers want to pursue that go beyond the current budget or curriculum,” MFE President Brian Gray said. “MFE is able to provide funding to kickstart new programs, which allows the district to evaluate the program and determine if it is something that can be included in the district’s budget in following years.”
Among some of its previously awarded grants is the Science STEM Saturday for Girls. MFE funded the event for its kickoff year, and because of its success, the event is now part of the district’s annual budgeting process. Other funded programs include the Herren Project, the WeatherBug weather station system and the Lost Boys of Sudan speaker series.
The MFE proposal process usually begins in May. Staff, faculty or students who have a program to propose fill out a written proposal to submit in May. The MFE volunteer board, currently comprised of 10 dedicated community members, then meets in June to evaluate each grant proposal, along with Superintendent Pires and Assistant Superintendent Gabrielle Abrams. The board then votes to fund the programs that support the MFE mission and fit within MFE’s budget.
“The Medway Foundation for Education has funded a number of events, programs and initiatives over the years that have provided many unique learning experiences for students across the district,” Superintendent Pires said. “The MFE has been an excellent partner and we are immensely grateful for the support they have provided over the years.”
Earlier this fall, the MFE also awarded a Distinguished Service Award to Susan Olson, outgoing vice president of the MFE. Olson was the longest-standing board member of the MFE. The MFE also started an internship program a few years ago for high school upperclassman. The selected interns work with MFE to maintain the social media pages and website, as well as assist with photos and video that show MFE grants in action.
To see additional MFE grants in action across the district, visit the MFE website here.