On April 26, the Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education announced grants for its spring cycle. Pictured, front row, left to right: Kathy Fisk, GPFPE board member and grants committee co-chair; Courtney Kliman, Defer Elementary; Karen Gallagher, Parcells Middle School; Erika Stout-Kirck, Parcells; and Christie Scoggin, GFPPE vice president and grants committee co-chair.Back row, left to right: Tom Torrento, Parcells Middle School and Grosse Pointe North High School; Principal John Kernan, Richard Elementary; and Nicholas Symonette Jr., Parcells Middle School.

On April 26, the Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education announced grants for its spring cycle. Pictured, front row, left to right: Kathy Fisk, GPFPE board member and grants committee co-chair; Courtney Kliman, Defer Elementary; Karen Gallagher, Parcells Middle School; Erika Stout-Kirck, Parcells; and Christie Scoggin, GFPPE vice president and grants committee co-chair.Back row, left to right: Tom Torrento, Parcells Middle School and Grosse Pointe North High School; Principal John Kernan, Richard Elementary; and Nicholas Symonette Jr., Parcells Middle School.

Photo provided by the GPFPE


Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education spring grant recipients announced

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 9, 2021

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GROSSE POINTES — There are many times during Grosse Pointe Public School System educators’ careers in which they would like to bring in certain programs or have students become involved in special projects.

However, that isn’t always possible because of funding. That’s where the Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education steps in. The GPFPE raises money to fund programs not available in the district’s general fund. Teachers, administrators, students, parents and community members can submit grant applications.

During the April 26 school board meeting, GPFPE Vice President Christie Scoggin announced the spring 2021 grant recipients. Scoggin also is a grants co-chair. Also at the meeting were GPFPE members Beth Moran, Karen Lawrence, Kathy Fisk, Kiana Rose and Caroline Marks.

“It’s always a pleasure to introduce Christie and the Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education,” Superintendent Gary Niehaus said. “We appreciate all you guys do. Bringing these forward is always a fun night.”

The foundation granted a total of $35,778 for the spring cycle.

“It is the GPFPE’s mission to bring our community together to fund extraordinary educational opportunities for our children,” Scoggin said.

The Board of Education voted 7-0 to accept the grant awards. The following grants were awarded:

Submitted by Betina Davis and Cate Williams, a $2,000 grant was awarded for an Early Childhood Hands-On Library and Resource Center at the Trombly Early Childhood Center. The grant helps fund learning supplies for preschool teachers and young families to use at Trombly. The GPFPE funded the partial grant through the Lois J. Warden Fund, established in her memory and designated for important early and elementary educational programs within the school system.

The Barnes Early Childhood Center received $2,319 for hands-on materials to promote movement and help preschoolers with motor skills. The grant will make possible occupational therapy equipment like steppingstones to accelerate cognitive and social/emotional development. The grant — submitted by Kelly Vess, Victoria Armenio and Michelle Satler — also was funded by the Lois J. Warden Fund set up for young learners.

Defer Elementary School received $2,775 for the “Moving to the Beat of My Own Drum” program for Young Fives to fourth grade students, submitted by Courtney Kliman. The grant is designed to keep students physically active and will provide for a fitness ball, a stand and two drumsticks to follow the teacher’s lead and move to the beat of the different songs at appropriate age levels. The grant will also be funded by the Lois J. Warden Fund.

A $10,000 grant — with help from the Lois J. Warden Fund, many businesses and donors — was granted to replace playground equipment at Richard Elementary School. The funding will aid in the purchase of playground equipment for recess and extracurricular activities. The grant money also will give the community a place to interact, play, build cooperative skills and spend time with each other. John Kernan submitted the grant application.

Parcells Middle School fifth graders will benefit from an Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine with a $5,050 grant. The machine will hold 150 grade-appropriate books available to students earning credits for good work and behavior. The teachers who requested the grant hope that the vending machine program can eventually be run by the students so they can learn about economics, fundraising and running a business. Karen Gallagher, Kim Hool, Erica Stout-Kirck, Christine Porada and Nicholas Symonette submitted the grant application.

Students who attend all three middle schools — Brownell, Pierce and Parcells — and Grosse Pointe North and South high schools will benefit from a “Harmony Directors to Help Retrain Ensemble Skills” $4,775 grant. The grant will provide musical instruction to better teach tone, intonation, rhythm and ensemble blend with the use of Yamaha Harmony Directors. The grant application was submitted by Tom Torrento.

A grant for $8,359 will provide 20 iPads and an iPad cart for ninth and 10th graders at South. The technology grant coordinates with the Next Generation Science Standards that GPPSS approved last year. Students can use multiple free apps and programs to interact and manipulate simulations, explore labs, and document their work through images and videos. The inquiry-based instruction will use technology to allow students to have a new experience with science and engineering practices. Claire Sobolak submitted the grant application.

A $500 grant for North will provide funding for a peer-to-peer program to allow the high school’s mental health team to expand outreach, raise awareness, reduce stigma and promote social/emotional health. The mentoring program, led by 24 students, will bring in speakers to address good emotional health, engage the student population through social media and interaction, and promote the value of counseling and/or help available to students. Kelly Osborne submitted the grant proposal.

At the meeting, Scoggin announced, as a new initiative, that the GPFPE will begin funding grants focused on Social Emotional Encouragement and Development, or SEED. The GPFPE will launch fundraising for the category of grants at a benefit scheduled for June 3. Students, teachers and parents will be able to apply for grants year-round for programs that support the social and emotional health of students and teachers.

For further information on the Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education, visit gpfpe.org.

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