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CFO, Coover Foundation grant $80,000 to 18 rural schools

April 15, 2024

Grants support enhancements to classroom learning experiences

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, in partnership with the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation and Commerce Trust, granted a total of $80,000 to 18 rural school districts. The recipients of the Coover/Rural Schools Partnership Learning Enhancement Grants are:

  • Aurora High School/YEP: $5,000 to purchase 3D printers and other supplies for All Roads Lead Home, a local history educational project.
  • Ava R-1 School District: $3,671 to create a more engaging and collaborative environment for high school math students.
  • Cabool R-IV School District: $5,000 to purchase technology, furniture and sensory items that enhance a special education learning environment.
  • Cassville R-IV School District: $4,052 to purchase books for a social studies library.
  • Clinton School District: $4,997 to purchase musical instruments for K-5 musical education.
  • Crawford County R-1 School District: $5,000 to create an outdoor classroom, purchase literacy material and fund educational field trips.

Coover commerce RSP
  • Fair Play R-II School District: $5,000 to support a partnership with Teton Science Schools and implement the place-based learning model in the district.
  • Gainesville R-V School District: $5,000 to implement STEAM learning stations that help students develop critical thinking skills and to create a makerspace in the elementary school library that will offer hands-on learning opportunities.
  • Glenwood R-8 School District: $5,000 to replace an outdated art ceramics kiln to provide students with hands-on sculpting experiences.
  • Howell Valley R-1 School District: $2,621 to update K-8 science lab equipment.
  • Kirbyville R-VI School District: $3,233 to purchase age-appropriate books and a bookcase to improve literacy outcomes.
  • Lutie R-VI School District: $5,000 to upgrade business classroom computers and software to foster student innovation.
  • Marionville R-IX School District: $2,125 to purchase sensory resources for classrooms to improve student focus and classroom management.
  • Marshfield R-1 School District: $5,000 to purchase disability-inclusive playground equipment for K-3 students.
  • Mountain Grove R-III School District: $4,396 to implement Drums Alive curriculum that combines music and physical education.
  • Niangua School District/Niangua TLC: $4,905 to purchase assistive technology for middle school special education classrooms.
  • Pleasant Hope R-6 School District: $5,000 to purchase smart TVs to replace outdated projection devices in classrooms.
  • Richards R-V School District: $5,000 to purchase level-appropriate reading material for K-3 students to support updated literacy instruction.

“Schools are the cornerstones of so many towns across our region, and we know how often teachers spend out-of-pocket to improve their classrooms,” said Jill Reynolds, senior vice president at Commerce Trust and chair of the Coover Foundation grant selection committee. “We are grateful to provide this funding to elevate learning opportunities for students in rural communities.”

Julia Dorothy Coover, a 30-year Commerce employee, founded the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation in 1992 to honor her husband’s memory. The private foundation, managed by Commerce Trust, has awarded about $8 million in grants to benefit the Ozarks since its partnership with the CFO began in 2001.

The CFO founded the Rural Schools Partnership in 2009 as part of its regional commitment because schools are anchors for rural communities. Through the partnership, the CFO manages funds for rural school districts and school foundations. In addition to the collaboration with the Coover Charitable Foundation, key programs include the Ozarks Teacher Corps and the Youth Empowerment Project.

The Coover Foundation, Commerce Trust and the CFO also partner on an annual regional grantmaking program. Recipients of the Coover Regional Vibrant Communities Grants will be announced Tuesday, April 30.

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