Although the pandemic has forced the cancellation of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Education Foundation Gala for the past two years and delayed its 30th anniversary celebration by a year, the community group continues to focus on its mission.
“Our mission remains to expand educational opportunities in the community, whatever those opportunities are and what they may look like,” said Nicole Donovsky.
While the foundation’s primary beneficiaries have been students and staff at Grandview Heights Schools, who apply to the organization for grants or scholarships, the pandemic has led to an expansion of the grant program, Donovsky said.
“We have expanded our general scholarship program to include scholarships for people in the community who have been impacted by the pandemic and are looking to expand their education or seek new careers,” she said.
The foundation awarded $9,000 in community grants last year and has planned $9,000 this year, Donovsky said.
The latest round of scholarships for graduating seniors was announced on April 12 at the High School Academic Honors/Scholarship Night.
A total of $26,000 in scholarships was awarded to Abbie Baxter, Carter Black, Nina Brown, Anna Bullock, Simone Chordas, Connor Hayes, Aiden Leslie, Sosi Mahdasian and Olivia Schweinhagen.
The foundation donated $7,500 to the Band Parents Association to help cover the cost of the camp last summer, Donovsky said.
“This need arose because typical fundraising efforts (for group parents), such as concession stands, really didn’t work during the pandemic,” she said.
The foundation has not held its annual gala, which serves as a fundraiser, since February 2020.
Grant and scholarship income comes from the endowment created by the foundation when it was established in 1991, Donovsky said.
In 2014, the foundation had assets exceeding $1 million, she said.
“Setting up the endowment allowed the foundation to donate $325,000 during the pandemic through scholarships, grants and a $200,000 discovery space donation,” said Donovsky.
The outdoor discovery learning space was already planned as part of the third phase of the district facilities project, Superintendent Andy Culp said.
But the foundation’s donation will allow the district to include additional components and equipment for learning and playing in the space, he said.
“There’s no way we could have done this without the support of the foundation,” Culp said.
“This is just another example of how the education foundation has gone above and beyond the generosity and support of Grandview Heights Schools for so many years. be or innovative ideas our teachers have to support their teaching or technology or the most recent donation of $200,000, the foundation has been there for us.”
“Much of what the foundation has provided through grants could not have been funded from the district’s regular budget,” said Marc Alter, director of the Explore program, which serves as the district’s liaison with the foundation. .
In this role, Alter assists staff and students in completing applications for Foundation grants and scholarships.
The focus has evolved over the years from adding technological components and infrastructure to classrooms to supporting innovative ideas to improve student learning, he said.
“One of the things that impresses me is the foundation’s desire to support grant proposals that will have a lasting impact on students,” Alter said.
A recent grant provides funds to help teachers participate in additional professional development opportunities, he said.
“The nice thing is that teachers can come back and share what they’ve learned with their colleagues,” Alter said. “It has a ripple effect.”
The latest round of grants awarded by the foundation included $54,000 to provide school supplies for each student; $6,545 to establish the Model UN program in high school; $3,200 to support the Grandview Heights Public Library’s summer reading program and $2,447 to purchase STEM bins filled with books, toys, games and activities for students to refer to.
Over the past 30 years, the foundation has awarded 261 grants totaling $1.1 million and a total of $237,500 in scholarships to 75 students, Donovsky said. A total of 3,800 students were connected to opportunities supported by the foundation.
The next round of grants will be announced April 29 at the “Growing in Grandview” garden party or shortly thereafter, Donovsky said. The event was also the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the foundation.
The gala will return next year and is scheduled for Feb. 25, 2023, Donovsky said.