OEF Grant Programs

supporting innovative materials and experiences for Okemos students

Granting funds to enhance the education of Okemos students was the main reason for the founding of the Okemos Education Foundation. The first grant was given in 1985, and the OEF has been awarding funds through this program ever since.

Types of OEF Grants

Okemos faculty and staff can apply to the OEF to request funding through the following OEF Grant Programs:

OEF Grants These grants are given to Okemos educators to encourage innovative and creative teaching, and to provide expanded educational opportunities for students. They are not meant for consumable supplies or for professional development expenses. Generally not available to after-school clubs. Maximum grant amount: $1,000. Application deadlines: Feb 1, May 1, Oct 1.

OEF Micro-Grants A more flexible grant for smaller, more immediate needs (maximum grant amount: $250, firm). Suitable for materials/supplies. Available for both classroom and extra-curricular club needs. Applications are accepted at any time.

Lee Gerard Professional Development Grants This grant program was announced at the 2007 Commitment to Excellence Dinner to honor retired Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lee Gerard's strong commitment to a professional learning community through professional growth and development. These grants are given to teachers, administrators and/ or other staff members who are directly involved in instruction to fund professional growth opportunities that have a clear focus on learning for all students and to explore successful classroom innovations that can be shared through teacher collaboration. Applications are accepted at any time.

OEF Science Fair Grants Every Okemos school is eligible to apply for a grant to cover expenses associated with their annual science fair. Maximum grant amount: $350.  Learn more.

Please note that due to IRS regulations, the OEF can only provide funding to projects that support the Okemos Public Schools. Clubs, trips, and projects that are not officially listed as an Okemos Public School club, trip, or project can not be funded. Even if the group involves Okemos students and meets in an Okemos school, the OEF is not legally able to provide funding if the district does not officially recognize the project or group. Religious and scouting groups fall into this category. If you are unsure whether or not the OEF would be able to fund your request, please contact the OEF before starting the application process.

Approved OEF Grants

The items and experiences funded through the various OEF Grant Programs vary each year, based on the innovative ideas of Okemos educators. OEF Grants fund projects in every building and in every subject area. See what has been funded recently.

Adult holding snake in Kinawa classroom with students observing

Exploring Michigan Native Snakes

Kinawa students had an up-close and personal experience with Michigan snakes in David Pruden’s Outdoor exploratory class. Jim McGrath from ...
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Boy standing next to Tower Garden in Chippewa classroom

Learning about Plant Life with a Tower Garden

There is a tower of growing herbs and vegetable plants in Chippewa teacher Tarrah Miller’s classroom. The 6 ft tall ...
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OHS English teacher Amy Huntley and OHS graduate Katie Slivensky, each holding the books they authored, in the OHS library

Okemos graduate shares her journey as an author

Class of 2003 graduate Katie Slivensky returned to Okemos September 27-28 to share her middle-reader novel The Countdown Conspiracy. Katie, ...
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Kinawa 'History of Rock and Roll' class which features ukulele playing

Teaching Music History with Ukuleles

Okemos music teacher Erika Bridge received an Okemos Education Foundation grant in fall 2016 to purchase 30 ukuleles for her ...
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students crowd around owl pellet

Exploring Owl Pellets

Hands-on learning in actionChristine Batora and Jill Hoort, OPM at Central, 2016 Ever wonder what an owl eats? The 3rd ...
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Student thank you for KidBlog grant

Blogging: powerful and fun learning for 5th grade writers

Kinawa KidBlog SubscriptionLaura Kampf and 5th Grade LA Teachers, 2016 In the fall of 2016, Kinawa teacher Laura Kampf requested ...
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Fall 2016 newsletter blog cover

Fall 2016 OEF Newsletter

The Fall 2016 OEF Newsletter is here! Read about the new Chippewa Design Lab, the 2016 OEF Award Recipients and ...
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Teacher Ivy Schmidt with students

LEGO StoryStarters – 2015 OEF Grant

LEGO Story StartersIvy Schmidt, Bennett Woods 3rd Grade, 2015 LEGOs, the colorful plastic building bricks that kids assemble into amazing ...
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TEacher Dawn Reed and students using alternative seating

Flexible Learning Spaces – 2015 OEF Grant

Flexible Learning SpacesDawn Reed, Okemos High School English Teacher, 2015 In the spring of 2015, OHS English teacher Dawn Reed ...
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