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Students Helping Teachers

The Community Foundation for Oceana County’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) awarded funds to 100% of the teacher mini-grants submitted this spring. Additional resources beyond the youth fund were provided by the Mary Ann Peterson “Grandma Pete” Fund, the Ralph’s Kids Fund (in memory of Ralph Horton) and an anonymous donor. “We invite our donor advisors to help co-fund these mini-grants so we can fulfill as many needs as possible. The anonymous donor who provided an extra $500, based on a Facebook post encouraging teachers to apply, was just the cherry on top!” said Executive Director Tammy Carey.

Did you know that teachers across the U.S. pay for about 77% of classroom supplies out of their own pockets – about $500 per year? “We connect teachers with a bit of extra financial resources they need,” says YAC President Cali Kinstner. “Our members enjoy reviewing these proposals and bring so much to the deliberation table given their own learning experiences in the local schools.”

The 43-member YAC board is a good example of CFOC’s philanthropic leadership in the county.  The Foundation overseas this ongoing, community youth engagement program that involves a cross section of Oceana high school students chosen by their peers. Each year, the YAC reviews and recommends over $20,000 worth of grant awards that are awarded from the Oceana Foundation’s Youth Fund. In 2018, the allocation towards the Teacher Mini Grant program increased to $5,000.

Oceana public and private school teachers are invited to apply twice a year for mini-grants of up to $250.  Oceana teachers can request grants for program enhancements, special projects, expansion of an existing curriculum unit, student awards, special events, professional development, artists in residence, and parent involvement.  Grants are not awarded for basic, everyday supplies.

For the spring 2018 round, mini grants were awarded to teachers in the following Oceana schools for these projects:

  • Hart Early Childhood Center ($300), natural science learning programs
  • Hart Spitler Elementary School ($1,489), 6 sets of Dr. Suess books for beginning readers, Writing practice supplies for Kindergarten, Classroom books for 3rd grade, Read at Home program – books & supplies for 3rd grade, 4th Grade Bookworms program
  • Hart High School ($250), Dystopian fiction unit for cross-curriculum (History/English) course for honors freshmen students
  • Hesperia Middle School ($250), Global issues reading material for Geography/Social Studies class
  • Hesperia High School ($236), high quality video and audio recorder to better evaluate band student performances
  • Shelby Thomas Read Elementary ($250), leveled literacy intervention supplemental program materials
  • Shelby New Era Elementary ($250), materials for a science demonstration cart
  • Shelby Middle School ($198), whiteboards with graphing capabilities for 8th grade algebra
  • Shelby High School, Aspire Program ($250), 3-D printer for STEAM activities
  • Shelby High School ($250), writing center mentor tools
  • Shelby High School ($250), new camera for yearbook production
  • Walkerville Middle School ($250), narrative study young adult books

The next deadline for submitting Teacher Mini-Grant proposals will be in early Fall 2018. If you’d like to learn more about the YAC program or help provide some funding for their next grant round, visit here.