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  • Erin Madigan White

MFEE Grants Amplify Arts Education at Buzz


Buzz Aldrin Middle School may boast a science and technology magnet theme, but the performing arts are thriving, too! MFEE is happy to play a supporting role by providing Educational Excellence grants to teachers.

 

This year we funded an upgraded speaker for Gianna Tucker’s awesome dance students, benefiting nine classes, as well as the after-school Dance Company. In recent years, we’ve also purchased cordless headset mics for Karen-Ann Kaelin-Panico’s inclusive theater program. And we’re thrilled to have been able to support several of Taylor Mandel’s cool ideas to boost music education. For example, in 2020, MFEE funded a subscription to Notelight to help students learn to compose their own songs, and this year we funded several MIDI keyboards to allow students to create digital music in his innovative music production class.

 

Anyone who saw the recent heart-warming performances of Mary Poppins Jr. on the Buzz stage, or witnessed the talents of the Buzz Jazz Band or Hip Hop Dance Company at the recent Board of Education meeting, knows how important it is to amplify arts opportunities. And the beauty of it all? The Buzz teams share resources provided by MFEE where needs cross over, Kaelin-Panico said.  

 

“Montclair is a vibrant and creative community, and it’s important for that to be reflected in our public schools,” said MFEE Executive Director Masiel Rodriquez-Vars. “We applaud these students and teachers, and we hope they continue to grow their passion for the performing arts.”

 

MFEE raises funds for teacher grants like these through events such as our Amazing FundRacer, a mini-version of the competition show Amazing Race, and our Toast to the Teachers, a longstanding Montclair tradition of family-hosted parties honoring educators. (In fact, Mr. Mandel and Ms. Tucker are joining forces as a FundRacer team this year. We suspect their student cheering section is going be loud (and in-tune.) So help them hit their mark: 5-6-7-8, donate, donate, donate, donate!)

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