Foundation awards mini-grants 11.11.09

Written by David Green.

The Morenci Education Foundation’s school mini-grant program is nearing the $40,000 mark in total grants with more than $3,700 distributed last week.

In eight years, the foundation has funded 110 projects and equipment requests for Morenci teachers and staff.

“We began awarding mini-grants in the fall of 2002 when we awarded three for a total of $1,200,” said foundation president Bill Van Valkenburg. “Our most prosperous year was 2007 when we were able to award 27 totaling over $9,000.”

The major fund-raiser for the mini-grant program is the annual Father’s Day golf tournament, but the profit was down this year.

“Typical of so many charitable organizations, we lost a significant number of sponsors because of businesses decreasing their giving because of the slow economy,” Van Valkenburg said. 

 Because of this, the grant total shrunk to about half of the previous year, but a variety of needs were met, ranging from a $40 request to one costing $1,335.

“We are, however, very grateful for all those businesses, families and individuals who support us,” Van Valkenburg said. “I just wish we had more to give as I know the mini-grants are very helpful to teachers in the classroom.”


2009 Mini-Grants

High School

• 25 Spanish-English dictionaries, $150;

• Photoshop upgrade for yearbook staff, $150.

Middle School

• Resistance bands for physical education class, $396;

• Adventure Education at Somerset Beach for sixth grade resource room, $300.

Elementary School

• Production of the musical “Annie, Junior,” $850;

• Audio enhancement system for Liz Jarrell’s first grade classroom, $1,345;

• A weather station for Melissa Elliott’s first grade classroom, $40;

• Listening center materials for Paula Grieder’s kindergarten classroom; $250;

• Michigan history lighthouse project for Lori Garrow’s fourth grade classroom, $157;

• Materials for the Handwriting Without Tears program for Brigell Vernier’s kindergarten class, $100.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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