Marion Fund

The Marion Fund is an internal grant program offered through the Marion Independent School Foundation & Alumni Association that financially supports new educational opportunities for students.

A volunteer committee of alum, parents, district teachers and administrators carefully reviews Marion Fund applications made by district teachers and staff. Finalists are asked to make a presentation to the committee before final selections are made. The committee’s recommendations for funding are then presented to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees for approval and award. Guidelines and applications are available in December and grant recipients are named in the spring, with funds disbursed for the next school year.

Since the grants inception in 1999 more than $300,000 has been awarded for projects benefiting students of all grade levels.


2016 Marion Fund Recipients

AP Chemistry
Madilyn Ramaekers – Marion High School
Materials for the first AP Chemistry class at MHS. These new balances and burets will ensure that the required labs are at the college level.

Apra Loomis Mainardi – Vernon Middle School
Materials to create a small Makerspace in the Vernon Library. The space will give students hands-on experience with a variety of technology tools including robots, stop animation kits, coding kits, snap circuits and invention kits.

Guided Reading Library Update
Nicole Harmer – Emerson Elementary School
Guided reading book sets to update reading instruction materials. A guided reading group consists of 4-6 students who are at similar reading levels, reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction while working on decoding, accuracy, fluency and comprehension.

Accessible Real World Classroom
Tana Leaverton – Vernon Middle School
Chromebooks and accessories for special education students. This purchase increases the integration of technology in the small group setting, general education co-taught classroom and on an individual basis. These students will establish blended, self-directed, learning experiences.

Behavior of Light
Amy Tursi – Marion High School
Light boxes for use in General Science Earth and Space and Physics classes. The light boxes allow students to gather data about the reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference of light, reinforcing wave behavior.

Drumming for Understanding
Amanda Freese – Francis Marion Intermediate
Additional drums for the FMI music program. Drumming in the music curriculum develops musical independence, communication, responsibility, rhythmic composition creation and working as an ensemble.

Summer Explorers
Chad Zrudsky – Francis Marion Intermediate, Vernon Middle School and Marion High School
Support for the 2-week Summer Explorers camp which provides students an opportunity to engage in science and literacy in a fun and exciting way during the summer.

Vernon Virtual Learning Lab
Steve Vanderhei – Vernon Middle School
Purchase a set of ten iPads for the special education classroom. This iPad set will benefit all special education students in grades 5-8 and general education teachers with integrated student needs.

Ball Chairs for My Active Students
Susan Faley – Vernon Middle School
Ball chairs improve posture, allow movement without distraction and increase focus on instruction for some students. There are numerous studies that link ball chairs with academic performance. Ball chairs will allow students to have an alternative to a traditional hard chair.

Mac-imizing the Classroom
Dana Philips – Vernon Middle School
Purchase of iPad Air tablets and accessories to facilitate Blended Learning in the math classroom. By bolstering traditional methods with computer-mediated activities delivered digitally, there is an enhanced involvement of student-driven learning.

Sousaphone Support
Charles Oldenkamp – Marion High School and Vernon Middle School
A contribution towards the purchase of a new Sousaphone. An increase in inventory is needed to equip the marching band for the 2016-2017 school year. Vernon Middle School will also benefit as older instruments are passed to them.

Mass Marching Communication System
Charles Oldenkamp – Marion High School and Vernon Middle School
A contribution toward the purchase of a new amplification system for the marching band. The efficiency and effectiveness of all rehearsals will be greatly improved. In addition, the system can be used to communicate in large band and choir rehearsals at both the high school and middle school.

Wobble While You Work
Becky Knudson and Cathy Miller – Francis Marion Intermediate
Kore Wobble Chairs provide an alternative to hard chairs at small group tables. The Wobble Chairs allow and encourage movement for students who think better with mild activity.

KVMS – Vernon’s News Show
Daniel Lang – Vernon Middle School
Equipment to create an in-school news station run by students. The goal is to produce daily announcements and eventually have a weekly news show. Students will have a valuable experience in journalism and technology and the Marion community will benefit from the information shared in the shows produced.

A Good Problem to Have!
Chris Martin – Vernon Middle School and Marion High School
Expand the robotics program due to overwhelming participation during the 2015-16 Lego League season. By purchasing additional materials, more teams with a more manageable number of students per team can compete in the 2016-17 season.

Carving Creations
Chris Martin – Marion High School
Purchase or a table-top CNC machine capable of carving 3D models. Engineering students will be able to see and hold their creations and Robotics will be able to carve parts students have designed for their robots. Students will benefit through practical experience in the real world of manufacturing.

Copyright © 2017 Marion Independent School Foundation & Alumni Association