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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax school district has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Meemic/AAA for a make-over of the middle school and high school teachers’ lounge.
Tracy Doucette and Amy DeRuyter, both representatives of Meemic/AAA, awarded the grant at a staff meeting on October 7.
A small group of teachers formed the Meemic Insurance Company in 1950 to provide insurance for educators, Doucette said.
“Meemic” is an acronym for Michigan Educational Employees Mutual Insurance Company.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here today. I’ve been up here several times awarding grants from the Meemic Foundation for both the elementary and the high school,” Doucette said.
“And every time I’m up here, I say, ‘Keep applying. Keep applying.’ I love being able to (award grants) at Colfax,” she said.
“The more you apply, the more grants they will give,” Doucette noted.
The Meemic Foundation was formed in 1992 as a non-profit organization to provide financial assistance to schools and educators. Since 2015, the Meemic Foundation has given out more than 14,000 grants, she said.
Three $10,000 grants were awarded in this cycle — one to Colfax, one to Cadott and one to a school in the southern part of Wisconsin, Doucette said.
Applying for the grant is a simple process and involves only a few questions. School personnel can apply for grants as many times as they would like, and there is no limit on the number of applications that can be submitted for any one grant. The grants are awarded on a monthly basis and on a quarterly basis, and the awards are random, she said.
Any current or retired K-12 teacher or school employee, including bus drivers, custodians and food service workers, as well as public library employees, school board members and student teachers, can apply for a Meemic/AAA grant. To apply for a grant, qualified individuals must first join the Free Foundation Club, although as the name applies, joining is free.
The Meemic Foundation also awards grants to private, parochial and charter schools as well as colleges and universities.
All together, 14 grants have been awarded to Colfax, Doucette said.
“My passion and my heart are always here in Colfax,” she said.
Doucette’s children graduated from Colfax High School, and her husband, Joe, taught physical education and coached girls’ basketball for 30 years.
Coach Doucette will now be the assistant girls’ basketball coach, and their daughter, Courtney Doucette Sarauer, who also teaches in the Colfax school district, will be the head coach
Kassandra Behymer, seventh grade science and math teacher at Colfax Middle School, applied for the grant.
John Dachel, Colfax High School and Colfax Middle School principal, said the plan was to survey the middle school and high school teachers to find out what they wanted in the teachers’ lounge and then to go about the actual make-over of the lounge.
Meemic Foundation monthly grant opportunities for October are the Popin2Win Award of an HP Chromebook and a student poetic rap contest and grant opportunity.