Caro Community Schools lands six grants

Caro Community Schools received six grants through the Tuscola County Community Foundation’s fall round of awards – monies school officials say will be put to use in ways consistent with the organization’s slogan of “For Good. For Ever.”

The Tuscola County Community Foundation (TCCF) awarded a total of more than $135,000 locally. (See complete list of awardees on page A8)

Several of the grants went to instructors and programs at Caro Community Schools. They were:

  • (William and Ruth Janks Fund) Frank E. Schall Elementary Do It Yourself technology event – $9,942
  • (William and Ruth Janks Fund) Caro Middle School purchased classroom set of NXTC-32 Turning Tech clicking system – $1,025
  • (William and Ruth Janks Fund) Caro Middle School purchased classroom set of NXTC-32 Turning Tech clicking system – $1,025
  • (William and Ruth Janks Fund) Caro Community Schools choral risers – $4,000
  • (Claude and Etta Andrews Fund) Caro Community Schools choral risers – $2,000
  • (Future Youth Involvement Fund) Caro Community Schools choral risers – $4,590

Caro Community Schools Superintendent Mike Joslyn said when it comes to grants, the Tuscola County Community Foundation has been a great support to the school district.

“It says something about the community foundation but also says something about the teachers,” said Joslyn. “They have to go above and beyond to help (students). That’s usually beyond what we do in a normal day.”

Awardees said they were happy to receive funding that will help improve their programs.

Schall Elementary’s Amy Kuntz and Ashley Nicol received the Janks Fund Committee $9,942 grant from the Tuscola County Community Foundation to fund their own technology and engineering showcase at the elementary school.

An official date has not been set for the technology and engineering expo but both teachers expect the event will be sometime in late May.

The two are also the heads of the elementary school’s Coding Club that exposes youth grades three through five to the basics of coding. Coding Club is in its second full year and has 63 students, and students from Caro middle and high schools help in the group.

“We built on it from there and thought, ‘If we’re going to do that then we’re really going to need to get the equipment to do it,’” said Kuntz, a fourth-grade teacher at Schall Elementary who said she and Nicol – fifth-grade teacher at the school – were both looking for different grant opportunities and one suggested doing some kind of event or showcase. “And so from there we decided to apply for the community grant.”

Nicol echoed the need for the grant as a way to challenge the more advanced kids in the club.

“And we were looking for things for our more advanced coders since they’ve been in it more than one year, that would challenge them beyond the programing they’re using currently,” said Kuntz.

With the grant, they can put on the event to work on projects in areas of coding, robotics and makerspace – do-it-yourself spaces for students to create, invent and learn.

Tammie Kosters, middle school and high school choir director for Caro Community Schools, received three grants worth $10,590 for new choral risers. In applying, Kosters had to explain the project, who will benefit, and how it will be used.

Kosters said local Caro Community Schools administrators also wrote letters of support, and she provided proof of the risers’ cost.

“I decided that this summer with our new auditorium going to be completed in the near future, we’re going to need risers for any choral group or any community event has to have choral risers,” said Kosters.

These new risers are heavy and able to hold 80 to 100 people.

The risers the school had before were more than 30 years old and did not have safety rails to support students climbing up and down, Kosters added.

“I think for the students, it shows that our community values the fine arts and the effort that goes into putting together performances that are excellent,” said Kosters. “It gives the program importance, which brings up their level of pride.”

Debanina Seaton is a reporter for The Advertiser and can be reached at debanina@tcadvertiser.com

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