The MCAF auction & raffle is this Saturday

Macon County students are the lucky recipients of money raised

Highlands is a mecca for fundraisers and each benefits a worthy cause. But when fundraisers are off the mountain, they can go unnoticed. This Saturday there is a critical fundraiser taking place at Cartoogechaye Elementary School which will benefit all students in the Macon County School System.

Saturday, April 6 is the 32nd annual Academic Auction & Raffle that is sponsored by the Macon County Academic Foundation (MCAF) of which Highlands own high school math teacher Brian Aulisio is president. The foundation grants funds directly to Macon County public school teachers – those who the foundation believes know what works best for their students. Grant monies are typically used to augment classroom and curriculum experiences.

In 2018, $10,108 was granted by MCAF for 37 classroom projects and field trip experiences for Macon County students and that’s up from the previous school year.

Some notable requests included $400 towards student admission fees to Mt. Vernon Museum as part of a Highlands class field trip to Washington, D.C.; $363 toward new science lab equipment at Macon Middle School; and $261 toward the purchase of a butterfly observation kit for South Macon Elementary science classes.

The foundation considers grants submitted by teachers in all 11 schools in the Macon County School System.

During the 2017-’18 school year $9,387.56 was allocated to nine schools in various amounts depending on the amount requested. Some schools didn’t submit grants requests.

Cartoogechaye got $199 to spiff up birdfeeders that for the last eight years have been erected around the building. The entire student body was able to watch birds and teachers used those moments for teaching standards related to the K-4 curriculum. Approximately 375 students were impacted.

South Macon Elementary received $447 to purchase STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity bins impacting 22 students. The students have a block each Monday devoted to the STEM bins.

Also at South Macon Elementary, 102 students made good use of the $261 granted for studying animal, insect and plant life cycles in a hands-on environment.

Teachers at Iotla Valley Elementary used $354 to impact 65-80 students. They used the money to buy trade books associated with their Rooted in Reading program which are aligned with reading, writing, grammar and comprehensive lessons. They believe online resources are great but that hard copy pages of a book expose students to quality literature.

Monies ($714) last year were also granted for a county-wide student art exhibition at the public libraries. The program was aimed at strengthening creative and critical thinking skills while engaging in visual art strategies and art-making techniques.

Franklin HS used $315 to impact 25 students in an Adult Life Preparation Class specifically in the restaurant and hospitality sector by visiting different kinds of restaurants.

Year after year, businesses in and around Macon County donate goods and services which are auctioned or raffled off to raise funds for the MCAF grant process. The more money raised, the better off the students of Macon County will be.

The 32nd Academic Auction will take place at Cartoogechaye Elementary School in Franklin on Saturday, April 6th, at 3:30 p.m.

For more information, email

  • By Kim Lewicki, Highlands Newspaper

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