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MFEE Toast to the Teachers is a long-standing tradition of the Montclair Public Schools. These family-hosted parties take place at the end of every school year. Ticket sales for the parties help raise critical funds to support MFEE Educational Excellence Grants, which allow teachers to pilot innovative projects, tools, and experiences for our children.  

Your donations help MFEE award approximately $65,000 in Educational Excellence grants each year to support everything from engaging literature for classroom libraries to grade-level materials to enliven science, to school-wide initiatives to inspire writers. 

Toasts can be everything from an adults-only gathering at a home to an after school picnic in the park for the class. 

  • How many people can I honor at my Toast?
    You choose! Toasts can honor a particular classroom team of teachers and paraprofessionals or honor all teachers in the same grade level, Middle School House, or small learning community (MHS).
  • What if I want to host a toast, but I am concerned about crowds?
    You tell us how many tickets to sell. We can turn off ticketing whenever we reach the requested number.
  • What if some parents cannot afford to pay the ticket price?
    MFEE waives the fee for any parent who cannot afford to purchase a ticket. When tickets are available for the party, there is a confidential “pay what you can” option.
  • How do Toasts differ from year-end class parties?
    Toasts differ from class parties, because they are fundraisers to support the MFEE Educational Excellence Grant Program, which nurtures a culture of innovation in classrooms and district-wide. Toasts also build community by bringing us together to celebrate and honor amazing educators in our entire district.
  • What is a Toast?
    Toasts are family-hosted parties that honor our incredible educators. You choose the person - or group of people - that you'd like to honor!
  • What if hosting a Toast is a little too much for me, and I'd rather just write a check in honor of my teacher?
    Great! You can donate to the Educational Excellence Grant Fund and identify the name of the teacher or teachers that you'd like to honor. MFEE will send the teacher a special card that lets him/her know that you made a donation in their honor. Click here to send a Teacher Tribute.
  • How do the Toasts raise funds?
    Our generous Toast hosts cover the (tax-deductible) costs of the parties. MFEE works with the hosts to set ticket prices for the parties and creates online pages for purchasing tickets.
  • What if I want to donate more than the ticket price?
    Great! When you purchase your ticket, you can add an additional amount to fund the Educational Excellence Grants!
  • When are they held?
    Toasts usually run in May & June to celebrate the end of the year. You confer with your honoree to select the date.
  • What does MFEE not usually fund?
    MFEE does not traditionally fund furniture, classroom rugs, assemblies, or things like t-shirts. MFEE tries to stretch its dollars by investing in projects/materials that have a lasting impact, so we do not typically fund consumable items or materials that are costly to maintain.
  • How do I start my grant application?
    To apply for a grant, you must first create an account in our grant management system. Click here to apply. You can also watch the video below to see what the application looks like in our grant management system. If you were awarded a grant last year, you must fill out your final report before you can apply for a new grant.
  • How do I fill out the budget section in the application?
    The easiest way is to organize your budget before you fill out the application. Please include links and be as accurate as possible. You must include shipping costs. If you want to make an Amazon wishlist to avoid individually pasting in all your links, you can just include that one single link in the application in the first section of the budget.
  • I remember it used to take a long time to get grant award items. Is this still true?
    MFEE now does all the ordering for grant awards in-house, and our goal is to finalize all award orders by mid-February. If you get us your order right away, we will do our best to get it to you quickly. If you have specific deadlines in mind, you can always email us, and we will work with you.
  • I missed the deadline for grant applications. Can I still apply?
    No. In an effort to be fair to all staff members, we have to stick to our deadlines. We try to be fair and ensure everyone has equal access to the grant funding.
  • I have a great idea, but it might include some consumables. Should I still apply?
    Yes! Especially if the consumables are in service of a thoughtful initiative that will provide students with a deep learning experience. There are often exceptions made when the idea is truly innovative and exciting.
  • Why do I have to order my grant items? I already included a budget in my application.
    Because prices fluctuate and you may have been awarded partial funding, we ask each grant recipient to submit the order.
  • I have an idea, but I want to bounce it off someone before I work on the application. Who can help?
    Email your grant liaisons for your school. They will be happy to help you flesh out your ideas and answer your questions. bradfordliaisons@mfee.org buzzliaisons@mfee.org chbliaisons@mfee.org edgemontliaisons@mfee.org hillsideliaisons@mfee.org glenfieldliaisons@mfee.org mhsliaisons@mfee.org nishuaneliaisons@mfee.org northeastliaisons@mfee.org renaissanceliaisons@mfee.org watchungliaisons@mfee.org
  • Will MFEE grants pay for a speaker to come to our school?
    Traditionally, MFEE does not fund assemblies or one-off presentations. However, if the applicant can demonstrate how the presentation is embedded into a broader initiative that includes deeper engagement, several learning opportunities, and engages many students beyond the one-day assembly, it will be considered . The applicant would be encouraged to think BIG - including the principal, other staff and possibly even the PTA in such an application.
  • I was awarded a grant, but I don’t remember how to order it.
    Grantees have a specified time to order materials related to their approved grant. If the time has elapsed, you will have to re-apply in the next grant cycle. If you are unsure whether your grant is still active, click here to go into our grants management system. You must “accept” the terms and conditions of your award, and within the document, there is a link to submit your order. Because MFEE is a tax exempt organization, we prefer to order your grant award materials, rather than reimburse you for ordering.
  • What does MFEE usually fund?
    MFEE likes to fund innovative and sustainable ideas - especially those that can make a long-term impact. MFEE loves projects that impact a large group of students and may include collaboration between staff across a grade, across disciplines, or even across buildings.
  • Does MFEE fund subscriptions?
    Traditionally, MFEE does not fund subscriptions to magazines or newspapers because they would be consumable, one-use items. If the subscription could be used more than once over time, it might be considered. For online resources, MFEE will consider funding a subscription as a pilot teaching tool for one-year only. In this one year, MFEE would ask the teacher to report back on the tool's usefulness, so we can bring it to the district’s attention as a potential district-funded resource.

Inspiration for hosting a Toast

Our teachers and staff continue to go above and beyond to support our kids.  Let's raise a glass to the ones who help raise our kids!

Where can I host a Toast?

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What could a Toast look like?
  • Playground meet up with a visit from an ice cream truck

  • Afternoon outdoor painting class or craft project

  • Outdoor afternoon/evening picnic with a visit from a food truck

  • Adults-only evening party

  • Afternoon class hike at Eagle Rock or Mills: hosts organize and supply families with snacks and water.

  • Weekend morning “gym” class for kids with an instructor from a local gym or jiu jitsu studio; coffee for the parents.

  • Outdoor tie-dye party with a class to create a wearable memory

  • Adults-only flower arranging class with a local florist or Learn to Knit class with Yarnia

  • Renting Clary Anderson arena and hosting a private ice skating time; booking time at Gravity Vault or another local indoor gym for the kids

2022 Toast Spotlight

Renaissance Middle School


Last year’s toast that raised the most money was a unique one!  Renaissance Middle School hosted an afterschool potluck gathering for the whole school.  The toast was an adults-only gathering to honor beloved retiring teachers on a Friday from 4-6pm at the school.  Ticket price was pay what you can, with a minimum suggested donation of only $5/adult. Families enjoyed getting the chance to gather with staff and teachers!

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Ready to Host a Toast?

Sponsor

1. Choose a special teacher, principal, coach, or other person from Montclair Public Schools and host a party in their honor. Don't forget to include classroom paraprofessionals who do so much to support all of the classroom's students.


2. Confer with your honoree(s) to:  a) pick a date  b) choose the type of party), and  c) decide where you will host the party.  Click here for inspiration for what a Toast can look like.


3. Register to Host a Toast below as soon as you can, but no later than 1 week before your party date. We’ll help set the party fee.


Once we receive your completed Host form, we’ll create an online registration page that you can share with families.


Toast hosts cover the (tax-deductible) costs of the parties (teaming up with other families is a great idea!).
 

Sign up to host a Toast. 
Don't have all the answers?  No stress.  Fill in what you know, and we will keep in touch. If you have any problems submitting this form, just take a screenshot and email it to kathy@mfee.org.
Are children invited?

We have received your response.

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