The Carmel Education Foundation is pleased to award all 15 Carmel Clay Schools a monetary grant this fall. Each school will receive a grant to be used for needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. Funding will be relative to the size of the school population and was made available to each school starting October 1st.

“The Foundation Board recognizes that needs across the district have changed as a result of new procedures related to social distancing, virtual learning, and individual materials. Likewise, as a district we are continually seeking ways to ensure our environments are inclusive and safe for all students and staff. Our hope is that these grants will have a positive impact on each school, thus a community wide impact for all students, staff, and families,” explains Tara Ascioti, Immediate Past President of the Carmel Education Foundation Board and Grant Chair.

The Foundation has previously awarded Great Idea! Grants to teachers, departments or schools to foster innovation and inspire creativity in teaching and learning. Jennifer Penix, Executive Director, shares “Our mission is to support Carmel Clay students in academic achievement and lifelong learning and these grants are an integral part of their experience. When a teacher is excited about a new idea, the students are able to see how new ideas spark amazing outcomes. We plan to return to this model of grant awards in 2021, but a primary goal for this year is helping our schools stabilize and providing resources related to equity and inclusion that may not otherwise be available right now.”

Along with school grants, the Carmel Education Foundation has partnered with the Carmel City Council to award a $10,000 grant to Carmel Clay Schools Student Services focused on body safety and bullying prevention by utilizing the Monique Burr Foundation Child Safety Matters and Teen Safety Matters program. Councilmember Sue Finkam shares, “Over the past few years, the Carmel City Council has actively partnered with CEF by providing school safety grants. I’m pleased that once again the Council is providing support for safety initiatives to help give students, parents and educators greater peace of mind.”
Stephanie Whiteside, Mental Health Coordinator, Carmel Clay Schools, will work with each school’s mental health professionals (counselors and social workers) to develop a common language from Kindergarten through 12th grade and consistent expectations and supports that align with current Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. Additionally, School Resource Officers (SROs) will receive training for additional support and collaboration. The Carmel Education Foundation will continue their support of these important initiatives by working with Whiteside to find meaningful ways to engage parents in conversations about bullying and body safety.

Dr. Michael Beresford, Superintendent, Carmel Clay Schools, says, “We are extremely thankful for our partnership with the Carmel Education Foundation and for the generosity of the Carmel City Council. These grants reinforce our commitment to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all CCS students and staff. Furthermore, the funds will assist in meeting the many challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for the Carmel Education Foundation and the Carmel City Council for their continued support of both our school staff and the students and families we serve.”