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The Michigan City Education Foundation recently awarded several small grants to teachers for innovative approaches in the classroom for the 2013-14 school year.  The recipients teach in grades kindergarten through eighth in Michigan City area public and parochial schools.

A total of $10,891 in grants was awarded – impacting 3,990 students through 81 teachers in 16 schools.  Many of the project supplies purchased can be used over and over again, so the impact can be ongoing.

The Michigan City Education Foundation, a component fund of the Unity Foundation of La Porte County, was formed in 1994 to encourage and recognize outstanding teacher projects.  Three groups came together – the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. and Mrs. Burton Ruby, and Mary Lou Linnen.  Each contributed funds to create a permanent endowment of more than $150,000.

Earnings from this fund are used to make grants to teachers for generations to come. So far over the past two decades, the endowment has awarded more than $181,000 to benefit 20,000 students – illustrating the great value over time of creating such permanent funding streams.

Anyone can make a tax-deductible contribution to the Michigan City Education Foundation Fund.  For more information call the Unity Foundation at 879-0327, or email

Mary Lou Linnen, Michigan City Education Foundation co-founder, and committee chair Heidi Jaffee announced the following new grant recipients and projects.

Jaffee added, “Each fall the MCEF Committee looks forward to experiencing the creativity of our awesome teachers in their grant applications.  This year has been very exciting and we are anxious to see outcomes of the awarded projects!”


Barker Middle School

Amy Hamann, STEM-my Weather, $110.

Karen Lyness, Student Led Parent Conference, Picture Portfolios, $200.

Valerie Mecklenburg, Susan Stoll, STEM Skills for the 21st Century, $200.

Coolspring Elementary School

Megan Edinger, Enriching Reading Fluency: Magic With a Pair of Headphones, a Book, and a CD Player $335.

Edgewood Elementary School

Teresa Pavloff,  Dream Big Drama Club, $200.

Elston Middle School

Stephanie Coggins, American Chillers, Reading Thrillers, $258.72

Shannon Galloway, Woohoo for Writing Workshop!  $250.

Adam Goebel, Shake, Rattle, and Explode, $329.40

Gwen Hudson, Series In A Sack, $223.69

Kelly Martin-Fargo, Adam Goebel, If You Plant Them…They Will Grow, $309.49

Janine Peo, Get Ready! Get Set! Get Geocaching! $300.

Amy Wojasinski-Labis, Middle School Math Palooza, $332.48

Joy Elementary School

Meg Kanyer, Natasha Magnuson, Christina Schultz, Family Fun Night, $350.

Kimberly Stepp, Ann Schreeg, Nadia Dabagia,  Project EnJOY (Life Skills), 120.39

Knapp Elementary School

Elizabeth Law, Just the Facts, Please! $334.86

Krueger Middle School

Erica Ackerson, Keep Calm and Fish On, $339.80

Brenda Christianson, Readers Rock at KMS! $260.

Sharon Schuman, Readers Rock at  KMS! $260.

Penny Will, Linda Swedenberg, Kylee Caudle, Stomp Through the Swamp, $350.

Lake Hills STEM Magnet School

Erin Lozano, Kathy Kelly, Roll Your Way to Learning, $347.11

Janis Mitchell, DeAnna Munoz, Kara Curran,   The Entrepreneur Fair, $200.

DeAnna Munoz, Kara Curran, Janis Mitchell, The Amazing Word Race, $344.

Sheri Wagner, Stamp It, $350.

Marsh Elementary School

Shannon Chavis, Family Fun, $329.89

Pam Sassaman, Bullying Begone, $342.83

Niemann Elementary School

Susan Shell, Bridging the Gap, $350.

Notre Dame Catholic School

Barbara Brandon, Instruments for Early Childhood, $208.40

Edwin Shelton, Lasting Impressions, $350.

Patricia Steffel, Trish Bacziewicz, Linda Barr, Jen Scriba, This Is for the Birds, $350.

Pine Magnet School for the Visual and Performing Arts

Jeanne Bolen, Holly Beadles, Rick Burnau, Experience Rhythm and Patterns through the Related Arts, $340.

Danielle Delgado, All-Star Animators – Part Deux, $240.

LouAnn Porter, Let’s Get Growing, $335.94

Queen of All Saints Catholic School

Edwin Shelton, Lasting Impressions, $260.

Springfield Elementary School

Lanette Butz, Debra Carpenter, Literacy Builds Character , $334.10

Kristin Smith, Sheri Tuesburg, Living as Writers Do, $100.

Janelle Spolyar, What ATTRACTS Learning?  MAGNETS! $215.34

Kelly VandenBerg, What’s All This Fuss About Graphic Novels? $150.

St. Paul Lutheran School

Debbie Boone, Leaping Learning From School to Home, $ 260.00

St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic School

Denise Delaney, The Write Stuff, $257.59

Melissa Huhnke, Reading Through Listening, $111.99

Sara Rusboldt, The State of Indiana, $50.


CONTACT:   Sandy Gleim, Vice President, Unity Foundation of La Porte County (219) 879-0327

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