The latest grant approved by the Grandview Heights Marble Cliff Education Foundation’s board of trustees might be thought of as a local version of a COVID-19 coronavirus stimulus package.

The board announced April 16 it will cover the cost of all school supplies for all students in Grandview Heights Schools for the 2020-21 school year.

The purchase of the school supplies represents a donation of about $55,000, foundation president Farrah Chrstos said.

“We wanted to do something for the community that would impact every student in the community and help everyone out,” she said.

The COVID-19 crisis has brought uncertainty for everyone and financial hardship for some families, Chrstos said.

“It’s critical that we all come together and support each other,” she said.

School supplies for students in grades K-8 will be purchased through 1st Day School Supplies, located in Hinckley, near Cleveland, Chrstos said.

“We’ll have the school supplies delivered to each student’s classroom in bulk,” she said. “All they’ll have to do when school starts in the fall is come to school on the first day and they’ll pick them up there.”

Parents who already have paid for their child’s school supplies through 1st Day School Supplies will receive a refund directly from the company.

An account will be established at Star Beacon, 1104 Goodale Blvd., for high school students to purchase their essential supplies in person free of charge, Chrstos said.

Fifty TI-84 calculators also will be purchased for high school students’ use, she said.

In addition, the foundation’s board has approved $35,000 in scholarships to split among seven Grandview Heights High School seniors, Chrstos said.

That amount is $10,000 greater than the scholarships the foundation offers in a typical year, she said.

The seven recipients have been named, but their names will not be announced until they are notified, Chrstos said.

The foundation had previously awarded $20,000 in grants so far in 2020, she said. Last year, the foundation awarded $70,000 in grants

Since 1991, the foundation has awarded more than $1 million in grants and scholarships.

The foundation’s grant and scholarship committee reviews grant applications submitted by teachers and other district personnel and awards grants for programs and projects that spur innovation in schools and encourage lifelong learning.

“We’re able to support the students and teachers in our community only because of the support we receive from the community,” Chrstos said.

The foundation’s main source of funds is ticket sales, sponsorships and auction purchases at its annual gala, which was held Feb. 22.

Grandview Heights Schools Superintendent Andy Culp said the foundation’s gift of supplies is another example of “how invaluable they are in supporting our schools and the community.

“I’ve often said how honored I feel to serve as superintendent in this amazing community with amazing students, parents and staff,” he said. “The gesture the foundation has made in this unprecedented time is nothing less than remarkable.

“It demonstrates just who the foundation is and how much of an impact they have on our community,” Culp said.

It was fitting that the foundation board announced the donation April 16, which was Pay it Forward Day during the Virtual Spirit Week the district was holding, he said.

“One of the things we’re trying to do with the Virtual Spirit Week is find a way that we can all socialize and interact with each other during this time of virtual learning when we’re not able to physically be together,” Culp said.

During the week of April 13, students, staff and families were invited to participate in each day’s theme by posting photos of themselves on social media with the hashtag #GHSDreamBig.

On April 16, Pay it Forward Day, “we were asking people to share a random act of kindness they did for someone else,” Culp said. “That act of kindness you do for someone has a ripple effect and leads to other people doing good deeds for someone else.”

Other days during the spirit week included Make-A-Meal Monday, Twinning Tuesday (on which students virtually twinned with a friend and shared side-by-side photos) and Proud to be a Bobcat Wednesday (on which students donned Grandview Bobcat gear).

The week wrapped up April 17 with Fun Family TikTok Friday, on which families were invited to share a one-minute video of a fun family activity on TikTok or social media, Culp said.

The foundation is asking families to “pay it forward” by considering using the money they would have spent on school supplies to support one of the local businesses that regularly back the foundation and Grandview schools, Chrstos said.

A list of businesses that have been consistent contributors to the foundation, schools and community has been posted on the foundation’s Facebook page and also will be included on the foundation’s website, ghmcef.org, she said.

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