The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
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    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
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    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Donors help fund mini-grant program 2012.12.19

Written by David Green.

andi.singersBy DAVID GREEN

When former Morenci resident Mary Jane (Borton) Dopp saw the plea for help in the Observer, the choice was obvious. She went with the music project.

Morenci Education Foundation president Bill Van Valkenburg let readers know a few weeks ago that funds for the Foundation's mini-grant program were thin this year because the source of cash ended when the group's annual golf tournament came to a halt.

He invited area residents to fill the funding gap by making donations, and he listed the requests for projects made by Morenci teachers.

"I just knew I needed to do something when I saw the story in the paper," Dopp said.

Her long-time interest in music led to a donation to Andi Rorick's class at the elementary school. Mrs. Rorick sought donations to buy a series of CDs that present a musical method of helping students memorize a variety of facts, such as counting by sixes, by sevens, by eights, etc., and learning to count the value of coins.

Think about the lyrics to a song that you know well, she said. It becomes second nature, and it can work the same way with information learned in school.

"They really respond well to music," she said. "It is so fun to see them apply what they learn through the song to get a math problem correct."

Mrs. Rorick said she was both surprised and appreciative to receive the donations.

"We are in an economic crunch and it is heart-warming to know people were willing to donate," she said. "My students and I wrote sincere thank you letters to all three women."

In addition to Dopp's donation, money came from two others with an interest in music: Morenci graduate Dolores (Sell) Wurst and Sybil Diccion. Diccion is the only one who lives in Morenci and arrangements were made for her to come to the class and listen to the kids perform. She also agreed to sing to them.

"When I told the kids that Mrs. Diccion would be coming to hear them sing and sing for them, you would have thought I told them they were going to Disney World," Mrs. Rorick said.

The visit took place last Thursday.

"They gave Sybil many sweet compliments and hugs," said Mrs. Rorick. "Hopefully the other two donors can come and visit sometime soon."

That sounds good to Dopp.

"They are great kids," she said. "I would love to meet them all some day."

Success

"Our first effort was somewhat successful," said Bill Van Valkenburg. "Donations combined with resources we already had in our mini-grants fund made it possible to award all requests."

Two donors specified their gift to go toward Mrs. Kelly Bush's CD players and two others were combined to cover the cost of supplies for Mr. Dan Hoffman's Project Lead the Way engineering project at the middle school.

Another donor directed funds to Mrs. Natalie Zuvers's fourth grade science supplies request.

"I think the results were satisfactory enough that we will do this again," Bill said. "Our hope is to resurrect the golf tournament next summer, but because of the generosity of the Morenci community, we were able to cover all requests."

He's seeking grants from another foundation to cover the cost of three expensive requests for audio projection systems and an interactive whiteboard. 

"It always feels good to be able to help teachers in their classrooms," he said. "I just wish we had more resources available so we could do more."

The Foundation recently received an anonymous $10,000 gift from a Morenci alumnus that was placed in the Morenci Schools Legacy Fund—now standing at $40,000. Interest earned from the fund will be used to address major projects or needs of the district, Van Valkenburg said.

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