MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE – The Monmouth-Independence Community Foundation board of directors awarded a $32,600 enrichment grant to be distributed to every classroom teacher in the Central School District for this school year.

The foundation traditionally offers grants to CSD teachers, but not generally each of them. To acknowledge the difficulties teachers have faced since March 2020 throughout the pandemic, the board decided to award them each $200 to offer opportunities for something special for students.

“It’s the largest grant we’ve ever done in the history of our organization,” said Vern Wells, MICF president. “But you know, the teachers have really put themselves out in the last couple of years. We couldn’t ask for anything more as a community from our teachers than what they’ve given us.”

Traditionally, the foundation will offer a competitive grant process for classroom enrichment grants, Wells said. Each grant has generally been funded up to $500. About six years ago, Wells said the foundation added the McArthur-Duncan grant, which pays up to $5,000 for a large group of teachers to collaborate on a big project together.

With the pandemic raging, the foundation was unable to give any grants to teachers the last two years, Wells said.

“We wanted to do something this year to really thank the teachers for the work they’ve been doing, and make it as easy as we could, so they wouldn’t have to write a grant, wouldn’t have to compete, as a thank you from the foundation and the community,” Wells said.

Superintendent Jennifer Kubista praised the resiliency of the staff through the pandemic as “phenomenal.”

“Our teachers pivoted to meet the needs of our students both in the virtual classroom as well as returning to in-person learning. The gift to all of our classroom teachers of the enrichment grant acknowledges their hard work over the past two years,” Kubista said.

The Monmouth-Independence Community Foundation was established in 2000 to benefit the people of the greater Monmouth-Independence area. A group of citizens, recognizing the need for an independent nonprofit organization, helped create the foundation incorporated as a separate entity, not part of any other public or private organization or agency.

To donate to the foundation, go to the website, or send a check to MICF, P.O. Box 84, Monmouth, OR 97361. Designate “Classroom Enrichment Grants” on the memo line of your check to support this specific fund.

Article thanks to the Polk Itemizer-Observer

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