Schools across southwest Michigan awarded MEC grants

Published 10:03 am Monday, January 31, 2022

CASSOPOLIS — Midwest Energy and Communications surprised 28 teachers in January with grant awards from the 2022 Strengthening Schools program. Grants are funded with partnership dollars from Wolverine Power Cooperative, MEC’s power supplier.

MEC received 91 viable grant applications requesting more than $161,000. A committee consisting of Chris Malayter, Bobbi Lowe and Barbara Gordon, three MEC customers, evaluated and scored all applications and determined final awards without knowledge of the school, district, or community. Each winning project received up to $2,500 in grant funds, with a maximum of $5,000 per school district, and a total of $30,070 awarded.

The following grants were awarded to area schools. Schools in Leader Publications’ coverage area are in bold:

  • Addison Elementary, book vending machine
  • Brandywine Elementary, math and language arts materials
  • Cassopolis Middle School, new and updated laboratory equipment
  • Centreville Junior High, new materials to update science curriculum
  • Davis Elementary, new novel sets for breakout reading groups
  • Decatur Junior and Senior High Schools, graphic novel versions of five classic stories to encourage reading engagement
  • Eagle Lake Elementary (Edwardsburg Public Schools), book vending machine
  • Eau Claire High School, safe drumline equipment
  • Eau Claire Middle/High School, educational games to develop social and problem-solving skills
  • Eau Claire Middle School, standardized testing quality calculators
  • Edwardsburg Middle School, virtual reality equipment for science lessons
  • Edwardsburg Primary School, tent to give students a quiet reading area
  • Kincheloe Elementary (Dowagiac Union Schools), subscription to online science and math program Generation Genius
  • Marcellus Elementary, books tailored to older students’ reading levels
  • Marcellus Elementary, updated book selection for third-grade classroom
  • Mattawan High School, expanded reading libraries for freshman classrooms
  • Mattawan Later Elementary, board games to teach students the fundamentals of coding
  • Mattawan Middle School, materials for the Bee-Inspired program to provide at-risk students with a therapeutic learning experience
  • Mattawan Middle School, Conservation Club field trips to connect students with nature and allow them to contribute to conservation efforts
  • North Pointe Center (Heritage Southwest ISD), sensory room to develop skills of students with disabilities
  • Onsted Middle School, therapeutic space for students who have experienced trauma or live with mental health conditions
  • Patterson Intermediate Learning Center (Tecumseh Public Schools), iPads to expand learning options
  • Redwood Elementary (Hartford Public Schools), bilingual books for classroom libraries
  • Sam Adams Elementary (Cassopolis Public Schools), installing math facts on building’s stairs to get kids practicing on the go
  • Sam Adams Elementary (Cassopolis Public Schools), funds and materials for GVSU’s tutoring program to make up for lost time during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • South Walnut Elementary (Van Buren ISD), sensory room and equipment to meet students’ behavioral needs
  • Vicksburg High School, podcast equipment for creative learning opportunities
  • Watervliet High School, printing press and drypoint tools for art lessons

MEC launched the Strengthening Schools grant program in 2013 to help public school teachers and administrators reach their students in new and exciting ways. Since 2013, the co-op has awarded 247 grants totaling $300,838.10.

Information and applications for the 2022-23 funding cycle will be available at beginning in April.