For Immediate Release:  May 22, 2015

New programs, new equipment and new opportunities for children in the Greenville Public School (GPS) district were made possible again this April because of the combined efforts and resources of the Greenville Area Community Foundation (GACF) and the Education Foundation of Greenville (EFG). Over $199,300 in grant funding from the GACF and EFG will enhance the education of GPS students for the 2015-16 school year.

The GACF awarded grants from the Sagendorf Education Fund, the Sagendorf Opportunities for Success Fund, the Ray J. & Mary G. Tower Family Fund, the Catherine Stall & June Motley Fund, and the Carl Barberi Caring for Kids Fund. In total, over $256,103 was awarded by the GACF with $184,845 going directly to Greenville Public Schools.

The largest grant, $32,000, was awarded to GPS for microscopes, slides, and supplies for elementary and high school science classrooms.”We’re very excited to be awarded this grant for state-of-the-art microscopes. Giving our students the tools to find employment and personal satisfaction in a biological science-related field, is a driving force for our request to begin upgrading the equipment we use in our science instruction,” says High School Science teacher, Brian Sullivan.

“Our (GPS) relationship with the Van Andel Education Institute has prompted us to seek this type of equipment as well. The science teachers are working at the Institute in Grand Rapids, to learn methods and practices that will help our students learn science through scientific practice.  When utilized with well-tested and proven educational strategies, we believe that our students will find placement in appropriate universities and careers that provide personal fulfillment and the advancement of science,” he added.

“Simply put,” Sullivan said, “by giving students the tools that they need to emulate the work of scientists, those students can become scientists in our classrooms and in their occupations.   We truly believe that we are building a community of scientific practitioners in Greenville with the help of GACF and other community partners.”

 A large, $25,000 grant will fund 24 Language Live licenses and 24 laptop computers for students in two middle and high school classrooms for students who need intensive help in improving their reading level. Another large $20,232 grant was given to the district for six classroom sets of graphing calculators. Additional grants to GPS included $19,782 to purchase two sets of timpani for the performing arts department; 24 iPad minis for the four elementary music classrooms across the district; funding to purchase 50 student licenses for Learning Management Systems Virtual Learning Options; and a $23,174 grant to purchase a new sound and projection system for one of the elementary schools. Two more significant grants went to the High School for weight room equipment to replace broken, rusty or mismatched equipment and another $10,297 grant will sustain a new One Act Play Festival at the high school for an additional two years.

The GACF and EFG jointly funded two grants this year. They were Operation School Supplies, a project that provides backpacks and supplies to students that are not able to purchase these items on their own; and a grant for a Summer Library Program for elementary & middle school students.

Three additional organizations received grants from the GACF including the Montcalm County Great Start Collaborative to help fund an Early Childhood Conference and for their Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, and Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation for a Workforce Development/Job Shadows program. St. Charles Catholic School received two grants – 16 Chromebooks and IT Support – totaling over $10,800.

Greenville Public Schools and St. Charles Catholic School also received grants for their Opportunities for Success programs. These programs help students fulfill a need that might otherwise go unmet, and to help make the student more successful in their educational environment.

The Education Foundation of Greenville (EFG) awarded six grants totaling $11,996. Besides the two grants that the GACF and EFG combined to fund, they awarded a grant to Walnut Hills Elementary for Sensory Materials created specifically for children who struggle with regulating their senses, a grant to the Middle School for Science Probeware, and the High School for welding fume extractors for the Machine and Welding Technology department. Eighth grade Language Arts classrooms in the Middle School will expand their libraries with high interest books that are not available in their media center because of a $2,500 grant. One spring wellness grant was also awarded to Eric Nichols and Jeff Day for stationary bicycles to be used by students and athletes at the High School.

Both Foundations are pleased to be able to support educational programs and projects within the Greenville school system.

The Greenville Area Community Foundation will award grants again this fall and all Greenville area non-profit, tax exempt organizations are encouraged to apply. The deadline for grant applications for the Fall General Grant Cycle is August 7, 2015. The August 7 deadline also applies to the Lakeview Area Community Fund, and the Meijer Children’s Health Care Fund that awards grants to organizations that provide healthcare programs for indigent children.

For further information on the Greenville Area Community Foundation and the grant process contact Amy O’Brien, GACF Director of Grants & Communications at or by phone at 616.754.2640. You can also visit the website at for applications and additional information. Questions about the Education Foundation of Greenville can be directed to Wendy Baty at or

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