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.


Okemos High School English Language Arts Grants This grant program was started in 2022 with a generous donation by former OHS ELA teacher Marcia Tanner and her husband, Bruce. It provides an opportunity for at least one member of the OHS English Department to attend a professional development conference each year. Maximum grant amount: $2,000. Applications are accepted at any time.


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.

Recently-Approved Grants (2022-23)

The items and experiences funded through 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:

Educational Programs/Projects

Commitment to Excellence Awards ($1,000 to each recipient)
Materials for The Okemos Channel – Matt Ottinger
Seeds of Science 4th grade field trips – all Okemos elementary schools

OEF Grants

Updating library collection– Sally Langley – OPM at Central
Solar club racing – Dean Buggia – OHS
Vitals & ER treatment lab – Danielle Tandoc – OHS
Zen Den materials – Vicki Schirro – OHS
Holocaust storyteller– Cyndi Webster – Chippewa
Melody in the music room – Kelly Chase – Cornell
SE learning staff library – Ashleigh Doop – Hiawatha

Micro Grants

Differentiated reading instruction materials – Kindergarten teachers – OPM at Central
Active calming activity center – Carley Ivers – Cornell
Conscious discipline safe space – Carley Ivers – Cornell
LINKS and Basic Room drink cart – Carolyn Capozzo – Chippewa
DeltaMath Integral math subscription – Jane Halcrow-Reynolds – OHS
Computer Science club fee – Jane Halcrow-Reynolds – OHS
200 piece puzzles – Lauri Johnson – Bennett Woods
Organizational materials for College Prep Study Skills classes – Shelby Fletcher – OHS

Lee Gerard Professional Development Grants

English conferences – Sharon Murchie – OHS
Language Department prof. development – Karen Sanders/Kimberly Floyd – OHS & Chippewa

2021-22 Grants

Educational Programs/Projects

District-wide Diversity Equity Inclusion Special Project
Commitment to Excellence Awards ($1,000 to each recipient)
Materials for The Okemos Channel – Matt Ottinger
Seeds of Science 4th grade field trips – all Okemos elementary schools

OEF Grants

OPS World Language novels and e-novels – Kim Floyd – OHS
Salmon in the classroom filter – Paul Hinze – Kinawa
Updating the elementary library collection – OPM at Central
Online audio recording studio program – Chippewa 7/8 Orchestras
Animation art – Marcia Morehead – OPM at Central
Character building program – Lindsey Price – Cornell
Bowling sets – Elementary Physical Education
Nakomis – OPM at Cental
Holocaust storyteller
Foreign language e-novels
Responsive classroom for K-8 educators
Social emotional books for staff
Science Night support

Micro Grants

Flexible seating
Quiz Bowl tournament entry fee – Andrew Floyd – OHS

Lee Gerard Professional Development Grants

Autism Spectrum Disorder Practical Functional Analysis Training – OPM at Central
Montessori National Conference

You can help the OEF fund educational programs and grants. Please Donate Today!

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