Clarkston Foundation awards $9,500 in classroom grants

By Megan Kelley
Clarkston News Editor
The Clarkston Foundation is continuing its work to support classrooms in Clarkston Community Schools by providing grant money to teachers to implement new and innovative programs that are unable to be funded by the school’s operating budget.
 The Clarkston Foundation is a non-profit organization that works closely with Clarkston Community Schools through these classroom grants as well as organizing the district’s Teacher of the Year program, supporting a therapy dog initiative, providing scholarship programs for students and before COVID, helping send students to summer camps.
 The board consists of parents, some teachers, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Nancy Mahoney and other community members.
 Every year, the Clarkston Foundation accepts requests from teachers for grant funding on new potential classroom programs.
The foundation provided a number of grants to various teachers throughout the district this year, totaling $9,500 in classroom grants.
 “We do them once a year and this past year was one of our biggest payouts to date. We had so many great requests come through and we have a hard time saying no because we want to give. We gave out almost $10,00 this year to different programs across the district, everywhere from early (childhood) on so we cover all of the schools,” said Courtney Eastman, a teacher with the district who also sits on the board of the Clarkston Foundation. “They do a proposal and we kind of go through (it) and consider the merits of it and the financial ask as well. Anything we feel like is benefiting students that is something vivid and new, we generally say yes – something that would supplement regular teaching, something new and fun for the kids to do.”
 In the past, the foundation has funded unique projects like educational escape rooms and coding robots for elementary students.
 The foundation recently wrapped up its annual golf outing fundraiser and is now preparing for their annual Teacher of the Year ceremony which is sponsored by LaFotaine and will take place on May 23.
 The winning teacher will receive a two year lease on a car of their choosing.
 The Clarkston Foundation is entirely funded by donations. For more information on the foundation or to donate, visit

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