Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

Osage County R-I School District receives $250 community grant for Pirate Tinkerlab

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Maria Bancroft

ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded Osage County R-I School District at Chamois a $250 grant for its Pirate Tinkerlab. The check was presented at MRCF’s invite-a-friend luncheon March 12 at MRPC in St. James. This year, the MRCF board reviewed a total of 18 grant applications, requesting a total of $4,414.21 and representing projects in Crawford, Dent, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties. Osage County R-I at Chamois was one of six projects selected for funding.

Students at Osage R-I Schools lack the technology in order to delve deeper into learning about the world. Therefore, Osage R-I is creating the Pirate Tinkerlab, which will serve 180 students and staff at the Osage R-I School District. The goal is to not only teach students more about technology but to incorporate student voice and choice, collaboration, creativity, and design through the classroom extensions. Classroom instruction that includes technology encourages students to explore content outside the curriculum, and increase interest in technology-related fields. The school district intends to use the grant funds to purchase programs like Ozbots, a coding and geometric shape designer, and Bloxels, a storyboard and online gaming design program.

“This money will go towards helping our school develop our Pirate Tinkerlab, which is a place students can learn and develop technology skills as well as hands-on building skills,” said Advisor Samantha Mitchem. “These skills will help our students become problem-solvers in our community and become future ready students who are prepared for the ever increasing technology jobs in our world.”

Other recipients, receiving $250, include:

  • The Ozark Actors Theatre, Rolla, for its Summer Theatre Academy,
  • Belle Elementary for its coats and shoes program,
  • Meramec Community Enhancement Corporation on behalf of Duke rural Fire Department for a new building,
  • Richwoods R-VII for its after school snack program, and
  • The Bourbon Boosters for ramps for its stage at a local park.

MRCF is an outgrowth of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and is an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) in Springfield. The regional affiliate was formed in 2010. Its 12-member board includes representation from each of the eight Meramec counties and from MRPC. Vicki Lange of Osage County serves as president of MRCF.

Currently, MRCF has 54 funds totaling over $2.83 million.

CFO is a public foundation serving the Missouri Ozarks. The foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the region through resource development, community grant-making, collaborations and public leadership. Formed in 1973, CFO has since grown to include 49 affiliate community foundations and more than 3,700 charitable funds totaling approximately $300 million in assets, as of June 30, 2018.

MRPC, in addition to establishing the regional foundation and providing the initial investment to create a grant program, provides staff support to MRCF.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 25 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.


Cutline: Katlyn Spurlock (left), Advisor Samantha Mitchem, Ariel Owens and Dominic Shockley accept the ‘big’ check and the real check from MRCF Chair Vicki Lange (right).