Hancock Foundation funds needed learning resources

HANCOCK — Barkell Elementary School recently hosted Family Science and Engineering Night, which principal Dan Vaara said was funded by the Hancock Public Schools Foundation (HPSF).

The foundation was established in 1987, and receives and distributes funds for charitable and educational activities that assist in the development, implementation or maintenance of programs that significantly contribute to the education of Hancock Public Schools students, its website states. “It’s an organization that is dedicated to the Hancock Public Schools,” said Vaara. “They have a lot of former alumni and business owners, and just all kinds of different people. It’s an organization that people donate money to them, and then often times, our school, the middle school and high school apply to them for grants and stuff.”

Vaara said the HPSF has been extremely generous to the elementary school over the years. He said he truly appreciates the foundation. He is impressed by the grant amounts the foundation gives.

“We’re not talking like $5,000 stuff,” he said. “We’re talking about like $50,000 types of things, so they’re extremely generous, and they’re a huge resource. They’re the ones who pay for this (Family Science and Engineering Night event).”

Among other purchases, Vaara said the HPSF has bought some of the school’s computers, as well as computer-based intervention programs.

“They do all kinds of grants for our school, said Vaara. “They pay for a lot of that kind of stuff.”

More than a year ago, the HPSF approved a grant request to replace decades-old engine lathes in the Industrial Education department. They arrived this fall and are providing valuable learning experience for students.

“These replacement machines will greatly assist us in our hands on learning and permit us to again teach a unit on lathe turning with emphases on metal precision and accuracy,” teacher Gary Mishica said.

The foundation is a registered IRS 501 (c )(3) organization, so all contributions to it are tax-deductible.