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Learning Enhancement grant program opens for rural schools


The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is accepting applications for the Coover/Rural Schools Partnership Learning Enhancement Grant Program. The CFO is administering this program on behalf of the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation, a private foundation managed by Commerce Trust Company.

With $80,000 available, the program will support projects that enhance the learning experience for K-12 students in rural schools. Members of the CFO’s Rural Schools Partnership, which include about 100 school districts and school foundations, are eligible to apply for up to $5,000. Funding priorities include classroom materials, supplies and technology, as well as educator training.

School partners can find more information and begin the application process at cfozarks.org/applyforgrants. Applications must be submitted by 11:45 p.m. March 7.

Julia Dorothy Coover, a 30-year Commerce employee, founded the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation in 1992 to honor her husband’s memory. The Coover Charitable Foundation has awarded nearly $8 million in grants to benefit the Ozarks since its partnership with the CFO began in 2001.

The CFO founded the Rural Schools Partnership in 2009 as part of its regional commitment because schools are anchors for rural communities. Through the partnership, the CFO manages funds for rural school districts and school foundations. In addition to the collaboration with the Coover Charitable Foundation, key programs include the Ozarks Teacher Corps and the Youth Empowerment Project.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is the region’s largest public charitable foundation serving donors, nonprofit partners and 54 regional affiliate foundations with assets totaling $427 million as of June 30, 2023. The CFO’s mission is to improve the quality of life for everyone in central and southern Missouri through resource development, community grantmaking, collaboration and public leadership.