Categories: Press Releases



MICHIGAN CITY, IN — Unity Foundation of La Porte County invites Michigan City area educators to apply for grants to make learning and teaching more fun and impactful. Unity Foundation manages three grant programs 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 at Michigan City public and private schools for projects of their own design since the mid-1990s.

These grants of $400- $500 each 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 to be implemented during the 2023-2024 academic year. The application deadline is September 10, 2023.

The Michigan City Education Foundation (MCEF) makes grants of up to $500 for teachers at public and parochial K-8 schools in Michigan City. Teachers may use their grants for hands-on or virtual activities in any academic area or life skills. In 1994 the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce, Mary Lou Linnen and Bud and June Ruby founded MCEF to empower educators.

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.

Both programs accept proposals from educators at the following schools: Barker Middle School, Coolspring Elementary, Edgewood Elementary, Joy Elementary, Knapp Elementary, Krueger Middle School, Lake Hills STEM Magnet Elementary, Marsh Elementary, Notre Dame Catholic School, Pine Fine Arts Magnet Elementary, Queen of All Saints Catholic School, Springfield Elementary 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 $400.

“This grant made it possible to purchase materials to make phonics learning engaging and meaningful,” said Elizabeth Law, Lake Hills Elementary teacher and 2022-2023 MCEF grant recipient. “Many students have surpassed district, classroom, and personal goals.  I would highly recommend educators continue to apply for this grant to enhance their teaching.  The grant process is easy to navigate and provides educators with resources that they may not normally have.”

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.

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