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.

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    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
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    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
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  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
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    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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