Foundation provides extra funding to MCC classrooms

MANISTEE — Giving teachers the right tools to work with is the key to the educational success of students at any school.

One of several grants that the Manistee Catholic Central Foundation made this year was to the elementary Robotics team. For the past four years the foundation has been using a program to support teacher requests for educational items not covered in the budget.

A group that has been helping meet some of those extra needs at their school is the Manistee Catholic Central Foundation. Throughout the many years the foundation has been in existence, it has been a source of funding to see the students at Manistee Catholic Central receive the best possible education.

MCC Foundation president Dale Kowalkowski said their group works directly with the staff and administration at the school on what is needed outside the realms of the specific school budget items.

“At the start of the school year the teachers give a list to principal Jason Allen of the various needs they have in their classrooms,” said Kowalkowski. “Jason then presents that list with some background on each item to the foundation members. We have a subcommittee of our group that goes over those requests and makes recommendations on what they should fund.”

Kowalkowski said one of the programs they recently funded was the new elementary Robotics program at MCC that received $1,750 this year.

“We gave money for that so they can travel to the competition, and it is a great program that we were happy to help,” he said.

Robotics is rapidly growing in popularity around the state in many school districts, and Bobbi Rogers-Krause who is heading up the MCC program, said they were appreciative of the assistance. At MCC they are starting in the lower levels and hope over a period of years to work into the upper grades.

“Everything is a learning process with robotics,” Rogers-Krause told the News Advocate. “We are starting with the third and fourth grade this year and it will move up with grade levels as we go along, but we are still trying to find out how far we would like to expand out.”

MCC principal Jason Allen said they are very grateful for the donations the foundations gives for the teachers’ requests.

“The MCC Foundation graciously awards teacher grants each school year and these grants bolster student learning,” said Allen. “This year we are fortunate to have a variety of equipment and devices supplied by the Foundation. The list includes earphones, iPads, ergonomic seats, worktable, and a presentation camera.”

Kowalkowski said the foundation has been doing this program for the past four years.

“We started talking about it five years ago and put together some parameters for it,” said Kowalkowski. “We wanted to make sure the items were outside the regular budget ones and directly something that the teachers could use. There is a committee we formed within the foundation that review the requests and bring it back to the full board to be voted upon.”

Kowalkowski said they have been very fortunate in their investments which has allowed them to do this program.

“This year we had $4,700 in requests and we approved them,” said Kowalkowski. “There are things that teachers desire with technology because it changes so much now days it gets expensive.  Like this year we bought teachers five Apple iPads. There were a couple that got them last year, and I think they liked them so much that the other teachers wanted them as well.”

If anyone is interested in targeting this specific program to assist students or the foundation in general for a donation, Kowalkowski said they can call him at (231) 723-7391 or the school at (231) 723-2529 to get more details.

“We have had people who have contributed directly to this fund,” said Kowalkowski. “We like to do long-term stuff, but the things that donated directly to this fund goes right back to the teachers. We have been very fortunate as we gave $15,000 this year for the Autumn Fling night and that was matched by almost $15,000 by the attendees, so that was $30,000 we were able to help students. I think we are pretty happy with what we have been able to do.”



Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at

Leave a Reply