On the heels of its successful 2019 gala, the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Education Foundation board April 10 voted to approve $108,000 in grants and scholarships.

"The continued support we have from the community and the success of our gala on Feb. 23 has enabled us to extend our reach into the community and beyond just the school district," foundation board President Jeff Greer said.

The foundation also has been able to revive its scholarship program, he said.

The gala raised more than $110,000, Greer said.

Scholarships totaling $25,000 will be dived among six graduating seniors in 2019, Greer said.

They are: Pete Dunkle, Nya Feinstein, Katie Flanagan, Chrissy Harker, Sofia Longoria and Sam Speaks.

In its early years, the foundation awarded both grants and scholarships, but gradually, the focus turned solely to grants, he said.

"We've been able to grow and strengthen our endowment, and that's allowed us to bring back the scholarships," Greer said.

This year's grants include funds to support the expansion of classroom and studio space at the Ohio Craft Museum, 1665 W. Fifth Ave.

"Our mission is to enhance the educational opportunities in the community, and that's not just confined to within the school buildings," Greer said.

The craft museum is planning a project that ultimately would double the classroom and studio space it offers for adult, children and family workshops, said Megan Moriarty, the museum's community outreach and partnership coordinator.

"For a few years now, our educational programs have been filled to capacity on a regular basis," she said. "This expansion will give us more room so we can open our adult workshops to more people and give youngsters who participate in our youth programs more room to work in. They will be able to do larger-scale projects in our workshops."

A walk-in activity space also will be created so families that visit the museum will be able to incorporate a craft activity into their experience, Moriarty said.

The classroom space at the museum also will be made accessible for people with disabilities, she said.

In addition, the foundation again has provided funds to support a second Hands of Gratitude project, to be held Nov. 15 in Grandview Heights Schools.

The first Hands of Gratitude effort in May 2018 involved every Grandview student and 120 community volunteers working in teams to build 265 prosthetic hands that were distributed to children in Honduras and India who have lost a limb or have a deformity due to birth conditions, accidents or land-mine explosions.

The project in November will be expanded to allow students and volunteers to use a 3D printer to build hands tailored to an individual's specific dimensions and needs, Chief Academic Officer Jamie Lusher said.

"It's going to make it an even more personal and meaningful experience to craft a hand that fits the specific need of an individual," she said. "We're still working out the details of how many individualized hands we are going to be able to build using the 3D printer along with the hands we'll make using (kits)."

Another foundation grant will allow the district to install salad bars in each of its three school cafeterias.

The idea of adding salad bars was suggested by Dawn Strong, a member of the district's wellness committee, Lusher said.

The district's wellness curriculum integrates lessons regarding nutrition and health at all grade levels, she said.

"We want our students to make smart choices about what they put in their bodies intentionally and informatively," Lusher said.

The salad bars will give students even more healthful choices for what to eat at lunch, she said.

They will be in place at each school building at the beginning of next school year, Lusher said.

The educational foundation's value is that it provides grants to support innovative projects and programs covering a variety of subject areas and grade levels, she said.

Other grant applications approved by the foundation board in April included:

* New audio/visual equipment in the Stevenson Elementary School gym.

* String instruments for the middle school and high school orchestra programs

* Support for the Grandview Heights Public Library's summer reading program and the May 13 appearance at the library by author Celeste Ng.

* A new coding and robotics program for first-graders at Stevenson.

* Biotech equipment for the high school science classroom in partnership with a grant from Ohio State University.

Greer declined to say how much money was allocated for each project.