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.”
• 25 Spanish-English dictionaries, $150;
• Photoshop upgrade for yearbook staff, $150.
• Resistance bands for physical education class, $396;
• Adventure Education at Somerset Beach for sixth grade resource room, $300.
• 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.