Categories: Press Releases



Michigan City Teachers Invited to Apply for Project Grants

MICHIGAN CITY, IN — Teachers are invited to apply for grants to make learning and teaching
more fun and impactful. Unity Foundation manages three grant programs for Michigan City
school teachers established by caring donors who believed in teachers as the critical factor for
learning. Together the programs have invested in more than 1,000 educators for projects of
their own design, since the mid-1990s.

These grants of $350- $400, aim to support teachers as they find innovative ways to make
learning possible for students. Teachers are invited to complete a brief application at for projects during the 2021-2022 academic year. The
application deadline is September 10, 2021.

The Michigan City Education Foundation (MCEF) makes grants of up to $350 for Michigan City
public and parochial schools grades K-8. Teachers may use their grants for hands-on or virtual
activities in any academic area or life skills. MCEF was founded in 1994 when the Michigan City
Chamber of Commerce, Mary Lou Linnen and Bud and June Ruby came together to empower
teachers. Teachers may apply on their own or collaborate using one application.

“My students and I have enjoyed using the materials to support learning in our classroom.
Thank you the Michigan City Education Foundation Small Grants for this opportunity,” said
Brigid McKee, Notre Dame Catholic School teacher and 2020-2021 grant recipient.

The Barbara A. Carmen Memorial Endowment Fund is dedicated to the memory of Barbara A.
Carmen, a former Michigan City kindergarten and first grade teacher in both the public and
parochial schools. The Carmen fund makes grants of up to $400 for items that will enrich
curriculum or enhance a teacher’s ability to meet student needs. Multiple teachers may
collaborate using one application.

Both MCEF and the Carmen Fund accept proposals from the following schools in Michigan City:
Barker Middle School, Coolspring Elementary, Edgewood Elementary, Joy Elementary, Knapp
Elementary, Krueger Middle, Lake Hills STEM Magnet Elementary, Marsh Elementary, Notre
Dame Catholic School, Pine Fine Arts Magnet Elementary, Queen of All Saints Catholic School,
Springfield Elementary, St. Paul Lutheran School, and St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic School.

The Teacher Innovation Fund is a small grant program for Michigan City High School and La
Porte County Career and Technical Education/A.K. Smith Career Center teachers and
professionals. It is designed to support educational professionals as they strive to reach their
students. Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, MCAS Superintendent, and former Michigan City Mayor
Chuck Oberlie provided the idea and the seed money from their own personal funds. Grants
can be used to purchase equipment, supplies, tools for special programs or for ideas to enrich
curriculum and enhance each professional’s ability to meet his/her students’ needs. Each grant
applicant may request up to $350. Multiple teachers may collaborate using one application.

“I appreciate the opportunity to have more resources for my students,” said Cheri Whitler,
Michigan City High School teacher and 2020-2021 grant recipient.

All La Porte County teachers are eligible to apply for Unity’s Community “Power for Good”
Grants. Applications for this program will be available in May 2022.

For more information on Unity’s teacher grant programs or to help build these teacher support
funds, visit or contact Lauren Varga at (219) 879-0327 or

Since 1992, Unity Foundation of La Porte County has served donors, nonprofits and local
communities. As La Porte County’s community foundation, it manages over $40 million in
assets, administers more than 325 charitable funds, and has distributed more than $21 million
through direct grants and scholarships. The Council on Foundations has deemed Unity
Foundation in compliance with all Indiana and national ethical and operating standards for
community foundations. Unity Foundation’s mission is to strengthen La Porte County now and
forever by building permanent endowments; providing leadership; offering philanthropic
vehicles for everyone; and, being a catalyst for social and economic vitality. For more
information, please visit or call 219-879-0327.

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