Success Stories

MCEF is committed to supporting Montgomery County public schools. See how we've helped teachers, students, staff, and school organizations in grades PreK through 12.

Textile Arts

Kipps Elementary School

Students in every level at Kipps Elementary School—more than 400 children total—got the hands-on experience of working with a variety of textiles to create works of art that engaged them creatively and academically. 

“Manipulatives assist in brain development,” Peggy DeHart, Kipps Elementary School art teacher, said. “I have students who are academically prepared to graduate, but can not tie an intentional knot.” The project supported both intrapersonal and interpersonal learning, and had literary-tie ins to connect the visual and kinetic experiences. 

Ms. DeHart organized an Evening of the Arts, where parents and other community supporters could interact with student artists and enjoy displays and demonstrations. “The community is very interested and knowledgeable, and they turn out in impressive numbers to participate in activities with their students,” she wrote. 

Graphic Novel Unit

Auburn Middle School

Auburn Middle School promoted literacy and engaged their most reluctant readers with a grant from MCEF to expand their library’s graphic novel collection. The expanded collection has made a huge impact on both students and teachers, and has become the fastest growing and most in-demand section of the library. 

Students create their own works of art inspired by their favorite graphic novels, and an artist space was created in the library to display their works. AMS held an event on April 27, 2015 to display artwork from children in each grade. More than 80 students, as well as parents, teachers, school board members and MCEF board members attended the reception. The space continues to display artwork, and the pieces change frequently as students continue to contribute. 

A year later, AMS reports that the graphic novel section of their library is still among the most popular. The section was moved to a more prominent location in the library and students helped create a new, eye-catching display. Thanks to the initial support from MCEF, the graphic novel collection has increased five-fold, and the library’s funding budget can now support additions to the growing collection. 

More on the graphic novels at Auburn Middle School.

Pig Out on Reading

Belview Elementary School

A school-wide conversation was created at Belview in March 2014 as they celebrated their 2nd Annual One School, One Book, where children at all grade levels (PreK-5th) were afforded the opportunity to read the same book. The Literacy team at Belview selected Charlotte’s Web. Thanks to the MCEF, every student and staff member at Belview received a copy of the book and read it at home throughout the month of March. With the One School, One Book program, BES built a community of readers by having ALL students, parents, teachers, and administrative staff participate. Activities at Belview coordinated, promoted and enriched the shared reading experience. Belview did a variety of things at school to heighten and promote interest in and discussion of the book including school-wide art and writing accomplishments, daily trivia questions on their live morning announcements, a One School, One Book blog, and a school-wide assembly with Farmer Minor and his pig Daisy, where Principal, Tara Grant, kissed the pig!

Step On It!

Blacksburg High School

Using a variety of sculpture materials and techniques, students created artwork from shoes. Students began by studying major art styles and master artists, and completing an in-depth look at art criticism using Bloom’s Taxonomy of Higher Level Thinking Skills. Each student used a variety of sculptural materials to produce a shoe sculpture demonstrating an expanded technique for creation of simulated and actual texture. Themes used included landscape, women artists, abstract art, collage and assemblage, cityscapes, still life, self-portraits, the art of sport, digital media, printmaking, sculpture, pop art, art and music, animals, people at play, murals, urban environment, art and science, art and social studies, art and math, art and language arts, and art and foreign language. The project culminated with an exhibit in the Young Artist 2014 Exhibit at the new Moss Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in May 2014.

"I" Is for iPads

Prices Fork Elementary School

The MCEF has provded tablets to many MCPS classrooms. This particular project focused on iPads for a Pre-K class for at-risk children where they used handheld devices to engage in interactive learning activities that develop literacy skills. Using iPads, students enhanced skills in oral communication, alphabet and letter-sound knowledge, print awareness, and handwriting. The Pre-K teacher and one resource teacher worked together to plan and implement activities that supported the curriculum and met student needs. Handheld devices don't replace play-based, developmental preschool activities, but they enhance the curriculum already in place, and provide students with the tools to enter kindergarten a step ahead instead of two behind!

The MCEF has also provided tablets to Auburn Elem. School, Belview Elem. School, Blacksburg Middle School, Christiansburg Elem. School, Christiansburg Primary School, Falling Branch Elem. School, and Kipps Elem. School.

Project Grow, Learn, Educate

Gilbert Linkous Elementary School

Project “Grow, Learn, Educate at GLE” began in the spring of 2013 thanks to a generous grant from the MCEF and the help of many volunteers throughout the spring and summer of 2013. The construction of the greenhouse began in March of 2013 with the help of a group of Virginia Tech volunteers. The project continued throughout the spring inside and outside the classroom. Lectures and activities were provided by Virginia Tech service learning horticulture students. Students in second grade learned the parts of a plant, rooted their own plants, went on a field trip, and learned about herbs. The children even enjoyed a taste of herb butter. Hands-on activities, provided by members of the Master Gardeners program, were another very important part of the “Grow, Learn, Educate” project. Activities included learning about praying mantises and other helpful insects, rooting plants in water, raising worms, and starting seeds. Project “Grow, Learn, Educate” did not end at the close of the 2012-2013 school year. Throughout the summer the children were able to coninue learning about plants and their growing season. Children weeded, planted, mulched, composted and harvested several mornings each week. With the help of 20+ children, the garden was transformed into a beautiful space brimming with life. In addition to weeding, planting, composting and mulching, students were also able to harvest the fruits of their labor.