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.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    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.
  • Front.code.2
    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.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.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Morenci Education Foundation seeks donations 2012.10.24

Written by David Green.

with old photo

Morenci Education Foundation president Bill Van Valkenburg is asking area residents to "adopt a classroom" to help with funding the foundation mini-grant program.

The foundation's annual golf tournament serves as the group's fund-raising event for mini-grants—an effort that gives cash to teachers for classroom projects and equipment.

The mini-grant program was one of two purposes of the foundation when it was established in 2002. Over the past decade, 135 projects were funded with nearly $50,000 distributed.

The mini-grant program started off with a combination of the golf tournament and donations from the Sage Foundation. After two years, it was just the golf event.

Now, survival of the program depends on donations.

"Because the area economy is so poor," said foundation president Bill Van Valkenburg, "we were forced to cancel our 10th annual golf tournament back in June. We are therefore coming directly to the public to seek support for this year's mini-grant fund."

Van Valkenburg knows there is always a lot of generosity shown when a need arises.

"It's no secret that the residents of Morenci and the surrounding area form a very caring, compassionate community," he said. "This is made evident very clearly in the number of benefits scheduled to assist those in need."

At the same time, he notes, the school district is facing enormous financial challenges, without the funding to support special programs.

"This is an opportunity to directly impact students in the classroom," Van Valkenburg said, "and every penny donated will go into our mini-grant fund."

Donations can be mailed to Morenci Education Foundation, 500 Page St., Morenci MI 49256. Donations can also be made via the group's website: www.morencieducationfoundation.org.

For projects valued at $250 or less, funding comes through a mini-grant. For larger projects, such as the classroom sound systems that were funded in the past, Van Valkenburg is putting to use what he learned at a grant-writing seminar and is hoping to attract funding from another source.

Van Valkenburg is seeking donations of money or supplies for the following eight requests from teachers:

• The Mayan Pot project (70 eight-inch clay pots needed), $230;

• Geometry class supplies, $250;

• A drill press and band saw for the Project Lead the Way science/engineering project, $250;

• Personal CD players and batteries, eight for $188;

• Personal CD players, 10 for $175;

• 25 copies of the National Geographic Student Atlas, $240;

• Mathematics supplies for a special education classroom, $133;

• Replacement of science learning materials, $250.

A donation could cover the entire need of a classroom or several donors could work together to provide funds.

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