Submitted by Jan Harper, President

Amazing is the feeling the Durand Educational Foundation Board members are using to describe the foundation’s third year of operation. The foundation has established an endowment fund through fundraising and matching funds from two very generous anonymous donors. The foundation has received gifts through memorials, including a generous gift left from Marjorie Smith, one of Durand’s first distinguished alumni recipients. The foundation has also received a substantial gift from the area’s newly organized 100+ Women Who Care Greater Durand Area. Board members are now laying the groundwork to establish a Legacy Society. This project could encourage donors to leave the foundation future gifts.

The purpose of the foundation is to receive, administer and disburse funds and gifts to enrich the quality of education of students in the Durand Area Schools system. The foundation offers mini-grants to district employees and volunteers who work with students on educational projects. The mini-grants are designed to encourage creative teaching and innovative programs, and to provide unique learning experiences for students.

This past year, the foundation was able to fund grant requests that benefitted students at all levels, K-12. Projects were diverse and interesting and included a field trip organized by Nicole Church to Michigan Sea Life Aquarium for 86 Bertha Neal first graders. Tina Franks sponsored the “Girls on the Run” program for elementary girls. It incorporated running, nutrition, and exercise, along with lessons in positive self-talk, how to cope with difficult changes, etc. “I cannot express how much I’ve seen this program do to enrich the lives of the girls who participate,” said Franks. Funding was also granted to Kristy Dumond and her fourth grade STEM students to attend a field trip on the Appledore Tallship in Bay City, shown in the photo above.

At the Middle School the foundation helped to fund positive behavior incentives under the direction of Mike Papanek and Durand Youth Basketball at both the Middle School and Robert Kerr. Funding was given to create a Middle School Youth Advisory Council and sponsor activities for the YAC at the High School.

High School projects included a Publications class field trip, Destination Imagination again competing at Global finals at the University of Tennessee, and the FCCLA team attending the National FCCLA Conference in San Diego, CA. Mini-grants were also awarded for a community service project, the High School Robotics team and Varsity Cheer team.

This year’s boards of trustees include Jan Harper, Carla Sworthwood, Roger Zick, Teresa McKay, John Walworth, Riky Drenovsky, Ginnie Sprague, Jennifer Huff, Merrie Jones, Mark Pancheck, and Bart Harris.

Additional information about the foundation can be found on the school district website under the “foundation” tab at Questions about the foundation can be emailed to Tax deductible donations can be mailed to PO Box 124, Durand, MI 48429. The foundation has been established as a nonprofit 501(c) (3) public charity. The foundation is financially and operationally separate from the school district.

Durand Educational Foundation Completes Third and Most Amazing Year Yet was last modified: January 2nd, 2017 by Karen Elford