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Generous donors have established 7

funds to support teacher grants.

Barker Middle School teachers Jill Worsham, Scott Masson and Kenneth Callaway partnered to Rock Around the Pyramids. “Without the grant these beautiful student projects wouldn’t be possible,” Jill said, adding, “It made it more hands-on” and fun for the students.

Barker Middle School teachers Jill Worsham, Scott Masson and Kenneth Callaway partnered to Rock Around the Pyramids. “Without the grant these beautiful student projects wouldn’t be possible,” Jill said, adding, “It made it more hands-on” and fun for the students.

1

Twenty years ago, the Michigan City Education Foundation (MCEF) formed under Unity to provide small grants to elementary and middle school teachers encouraging them to excel and make learning more relevant. Three groups came together – Michigan City Chamber of Commerce, Bud and June Ruby, and Mary Lou Linnen – to develop MCEF. Each contributed funds to create a permanent endowment that has given more than $181,000 to benefit 20,000 students!

At the end of each school year, grant winners gather to share the successes of their projects. In 2013, three Barker Middle School teachers talked about the success of “Rock Around the Pyramids,” studying ancient Egyptian culture in a cross-curricular unit. They told how math students constructed scale pyramids, and young scientists designed a model for moving rocks. Egyptian culture was explored in social studies, while language arts students created picture books about the fascinating process of building the pyramids.

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2

The Barbara A. Carmen Memorial Endowment Fund was established in her memory in 1992 to support enrichment programs, classroom supplies and learning materials to further elementary education in Michigan City public and private schools. Mrs. Carmen was a Michigan City school teacher for many years, and more than $41,500 has been given by her family to promote excellence in the classroom. La Porte teachers also have access to grants encouraging innovation in their classrooms.

 

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3

The La Porte Education Foundation Fund’s mission is to enrich the lives of students in the La Porte Community Schools by providing support and resources to enhance educational experiences. This specialty fund opened with Unity in 2013, offering mini-grants designed to encourage teachers, administrators and others within the corporation to provide innovative programs that cannot be funded through the regular school budget.

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4

Teachers at Kingsbury Elementary School, in the La Porte district, can apply to the Janet Collings Drayton Teacher Innovation Fund to open “a world of opportunity” in the classroom. The fund was started by Janet’s husband, Michael, upon her passing in 2010. The 36-year Kingsbury School teacher often used her own monies to inspire her third grade students through field trips and special materials, with emphasis on sharing the history of La Porte County.

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5

In 2012, fourth grade teacher Kathy Spurling achieved the grant to raise her students’ abilities through innovative classroom aids, such as Brain Pop, Study Island, and Net-Books. Her goal was to teach students to “learn how to learn – which is one of the most valuable tools a child can achieve!”

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6

In 2007, Drs. David and Lovera Miller created a lasting way to honor their parents by encouraging teacher excellence and innovation. They developed two “Field of Interest” funds with Unity, meaning that the foundation handles the details and awarding of the monies.

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7

The J. Robert and Marjorie Miller Teacher Advancement Fund promotes teacher excellence through professional enrichment, renewal and revitalization leading to more engaged teaching and students within the La Porte Community School Corporation. The fund provides grants for advanced education opportunities not normally provided by the corporation – such as summer programs, projects, internships and site visits – to learn new skills or improve existing ones. The Millers also created the Dr. Bill and Kitty Wolf Art Teacher Advancement Fund to encourage teacher excellence, specifically in the area of the arts.

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