The Madison Consolidated Schools Educational Foundation awarded six grants totaling $2,062 in its fall 2012 grant cycle. The foundation had 14 grant applications.

• At Rykers' Ridge Elementary School, first-grade teacher Ann Motenko, fourth-grade teacher Heather Vaughn and kindergarten teacher Amanda Asher will share $550 for the "Be Your Best" program.

The program addresses character education and social skills that underlie student absenteeism, discipline issues and poor academic achievement. This grant is being matched by the Rykers' Ridge administrative office.

• Bev Gaffney, art teacher at Madison Consolidated High School, was awarded $425 for a photography studio lighting kit and camera tripod that will be used by Fine Arts Academy students and other advanced art students for portfolio development and advancing photographic skills.

• Aaron Kelsey, theater teacher at Madison Consolidated High School, was awarded $150 for "Plays for the Ages." The funds will be used to purchase 20 play scripts from the top 100 plays of all-time. Students from the theater production classes will complete a detailed play analysis, prepare costume sketches, stage designs and perform a monologue from their play.

• Jennifer Hensler, guidance counselor at Madison Consolidated High School, was awarded $250 for "I Believe." The program will pair high school Team LEAD students with third-grade students from every district elementary school. Each third-grade student will receive a Scholastic Book from a Team LEAD member, who will read the book to them. The Team LEAD members also emphasis the importance of reading and believing in yourself. The project will take place prior to the IRead-3 assessment.

• At Lydia Middleton Elementary School, Nanci Liles, third-grade teacher, and Joanna Sullivan, special services, were awarded $183 for "Picture Perfect Holiday." Students will receive one-time-use digital cameras to take pictures of their family and holiday traditions. The students will learn about customs around the world and in their community, as well as learn photographic and computer skills.

• Lee Strassell, math teacher at Madison Consolidated High School, was awarded $504 for "Modeling Mathematics with Graphing Calculators." Graphing calculators will be purchased to set up a lab for use in Algebra II classrooms. This will allow students to do projects and learn math graphically and numerically in addition to analytically.

The Madison Consolidated Schools Educational Foundation is an advised fund with the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County. The purpose is to promote educational excellence in the Madison Consolidated Schools through grants to classroom teachers and funding of high school academic teams.

Grants are awarded twice annually to projects that promote academic excellence through enrichment of the current curriculum.