Grants in Action Across the County
Early Learners on wheels
The Early Learners program at Boyne City Public Schools recently expanded when the city passed a millage that would provide free pre-school to all resident students. For three and four year olds, the program was established in 2004 to ensure that our area youth are provided with the skills to prepare them for kindergarten. The program also meets the child care needs of families in the Boyne community. In the last year, the program grew from 33 students to 80 students.
The program received another boost from a recent grant through the Community Foundation that allowed for the purchase of 10 trikes and the creation of a "Wheeled Play Area" for students. Students need a variety of physical activity during the day and a wheeled play area provides the variety of play that will help students' growth and behavior. Early introduction to biking is a key to helping students learn to enjoy riding and being physically active. Superintendent of Boyne City Public Schools, Pat Little, said "It came to light that several of the students do not have access to wheeled toys due to where they live." He said that the three-year-olds are loving the trikes and the wheeled play area is the preferred play area at the Early Learners Program. Little also commented, "I enjoy the fact that we offer a variety of exercise and outdoor experiences for students."
The Wheeled Play Area has been a huge success. This grant, along with other community donations, have given students access to new avenues of exercise and outdoor play.
Grandvue: Breaking Ground on Terrace and Recreation Park
For five years the team at Grandvue in East Jordan has been fundraising to make the dream of the Terrace and Recreation Park a reality. The new Terrace and Recreation park will include universally accessible paved walking paths, gardens, benches, and even a children's play area right outside the doors of the Grandvue facility. This community asset will provide easy and safe access to a beautiful and relaxing outdoor space for Grandvue residents and their families and guests. Jane Korthase, Human Resources Director for Grandvue said "The grant funding we received allowed us to share our passion for person-centered elder care; as a result of our many partnerships, our project is fully funded. We look forward to the completion of the Terrace and Recreation Park, a community asset that will serve generations of families in our northern Michigan community, and we remain grateful for the support of the families, businesses, individuals, service organizations and foundations who have made the project possible." The official groundbreaking ceremony was held at Grandvue on Friday afternoon, May 10, 2019. Carol Timmer, Administrator for Grandvue, expects construction to be completed in the fall of 2019 and in her comments at the groundbreaking invited everyone to come back to celebrate the ribbon cutting sometime in September.
New Bleachers at Murphy Park
Just in time for spring baseball season, spectators at Murphy Field in East Jordan are enjoying a brand new set of aluminum bleachers. The aluminum bleachers are more comfortable and easier to keep clean and safe for the public than the old wooden ones that they replace. Thanks to a $5,000 grant made through the Community Foundation by the East Jordan Enrichment Fund, spectators will be sitting pretty this spring. Play ball!
BI FIT - New community Fitness center on Beaver Island
To address a community need for a fitness facility on the island and in the school, the Beaver Island Community School and a new not-for-profit community organization called BI FIT partnered to create a space that would serve both students and the community alike. The school provided the space for equipment and BI FIT raised funds to purchase and install the equipment. Thanks, in part, to a grant from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, made through the Beaver Island Enrichment Fund and the Adams Fund, along with funding that the groups obtained from other island organizations, the resulting fitness center is now open and helping the citizens of Beaver Island to stay healthy all year long! Community members can use the facility, as well as the larger gymnasium adjoining the space during specific hours. Please call the school office for more information on using the space.