Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation honors donors, grant recipients

The Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation on Thursday awarded more than $48,000 in grants to help teachers, parents, and community leaders implement programs that benefit Farmington Public Schools students.

The latest funding round brings the Foundation’s total investment to more than $300,000 since its inception in 2012. Projects range from creating maker spaces in several schools to a “heart-centered” social and emotional learning program for middle school students.

Farmington Farmington Hills Education Foundation
Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation board president Dave Roggenkamp and executive director Nancy Jennings congratulate grant recipients.

Hosted by Foundation director Nancy Jennings and board president David Roggenkamp, the event held in Farmington High School’s newly renovated auditorium combined the award presentation with a reception recognizing donors, who got a chance to see their dollars in action.

“We appreciate everything that is done to make our foundation such a success in our community,” Jennings said.

Farmington Farmington Hills Education Foundation
This Kenbrook Elementary Koalabotz display was part of Thursday’s Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation donor reception.

Kenbrook Elementary parent Danielle Ohm accepted a grant funded by Farmington Hills-based Robert Bosch LLC for the Kenbrook Elementary STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Club, an after-school program. The Foundation has also supported the Koalabotz, Kenbrook’s FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams.

Ohm said anywhere from 15 to 75 students participate in after school activities that range from building slingshots and trebuchets to learning karate and dance.

Hillside Elementary teacher Jeannine Donigan-Hales’ “Let’s SHOP” program, which won a special innovation award, will help special needs students sharpen their reading, math, and communications skills. They’ll work with a teacher who provides a shopping list and the cash to make purchases.

“The kids will look at ads, and then we’ll go to a local grocery store,” she said. “They’ll have to find the items and deliver them.”

Farmington Farmington Hills Education Foundation
Ray Okonski, center, received a special award honoring his contributions to the Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation. He’s pictured with Foundation board president Dave Roggenkamp, left, and Farmington STEAM Academy principal Dyanne Sanders, right.

The Foundation also honored Farmington Hills resident Ray Okonski, who received an award that was designed by Farmington STEAM Academy students and created with one of the 3-D printers he has provided the school. Academy principal Dyanne Sanders said Okonski has not only given to the school, but personally mentored some students, giving them 3-D printers for their homes.

“It is an honor to be at the forefront of a technology that’s going to change the world,” he said.

The 37 awards were grouped in five categories: Arts, Extracurricular Enrichment, Scholastic Achievement, Technology Integration, and Bosch BE3ST Grants.

Learn more about the Foundation, grant projects and award cycles at ffhedfoundation.org.


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