Outdoor Classroom is up and running!

From CMUE:

The CMUE Outdoor Classroom is up and running thanks to a grant from CMCF and many volunteers! Last year (2013) we were awarded an $800 grant from CMCF to build an outdoor classroom. Throughout the school year, 13-14, we planned and consulted with many volunteers to construct a beautiful classroom in the grove of trees behind CMUE. The list of volunteers includes: Patty and Craig Rockafellow, Rob and Joe Baldwin, Lynn, Karen and Brent Wickerham, Brett Jensen at Big L in Sheridan, Jeremy and Faith Swan, Brennan, Shannan, Riley and McKenna Bowen, Tim Bohen, Patrick and Susan Hill, Mike and Susan Koster, Jim and Barb Warshchefsky, and Jane and Tim Hemenway. 

Our budget included $573.92 for supplies from Big L and $46.11 for wood chips from Horrocks Garden Center. The remaining $179.97 is earmarked for the purchase of supplies to build a table in the outdoor classroom or to buy a classroom set of tree identification books. 

Additional donations include: Cary Linton's handmade wooden sign that marks the entrance, Lynn Wickerham's Michigan shaped birdhouse and wooden flower, and a four shelf cupboard of supplies for teachers to use (30 compasses, 30 binoculars, 30 backpacks and a track identification kit). This is stored in CMUE's copy room.

The classroom has been used for a variety of lessons already such as: guitar sing-alongs, buddy reading, science investigations, reading, drawing, and even the release of Monarch butterflies. Teachers can sign out the day and time they would like to reserve in the staff lounge. They can also write suggestions or comments on a plus/delta chart located in the staff lounge.

Thank you for making this possible! If you are in the area, stop by and take a look at the enriching venue your grant provided Central Montcalm students for many, many years to come!

Dental Clinic Benefits from Foundation Grant

Sheridan Community Hospital (SCH) was the recipient of a significant contribution from CMCF to establish its new hospital-based dental clinic. CMCF was the lead donor. Randolph Flechsig, SCH Administrator, believes "the generosity of CMCF is a much needed component in the life of a rural community and essential to maintain a quality of life."

The hospital-based dentistry program is a collaborative partnership between Sheridan Community Hospital and Michigan Community Dental Clinics (MCDC). 

"The partnership with MCDC was key to making this service a reality, their vision and commitment was instrumental in launching this new service at SCH", said Flechsig.

There are a significant number of young children and developmentally disabled children and adults who reside in Montcalm and Ionia Counties. These individuals are unable to receive dental care in traditional dentists' offices due to severe decay and special needs. These individuals and their families previously had to travel considerable distances, often as far as Ann Arbor or Muskegon, to receive hospital-based dental care. The new dental clinic now provides much needed local access to this care.

It is evident that a lack of access to dental care is linked with overall health outcomes and impaired functioning in areas such as learning abilities, caregiving, employability and work attendance. But historically, Montcalm County has had poor access to oral health care. This new program is an important element for MCDC to increase its capacity to serve low-income, uninsured and newly insured people.

The relevancy of a rural community hospital like SCH is in no greater view than when it can offer local access to a program like the new dental clinic. The SCH board of trustees is committed to services that meet local needs. 

"It's about community enrichment first," said Jay Tans, SCH board chairman, "and sustaining our local hospital required community stewardship as demonstrated by the generosity of grant funding provided by CMCF."

Today, small community hospitals must rely upon the generosity of grant funding and donations to advance new programming and for capital investments. But this is not new. When the U.S. first sought to proliferate the building of local hospitals, particularly in rural areas, it enacted the Hill Burton Act, which gave hospitals grants and loans for construction and modernization. In return, hospitals agreed to provide a reasonable volume of services to persons unable to pay and to make their services available to all persons residing in the facility's area. So, today, as we look at ever increasing cuts in hospital payments, we must again look to outside funding - not debt - to enhance local access to needed medical services. 

"We are very fortunate CMCF is filling this role for our region," said Flechsig. "Their mission serves an essential role in preserving our community hospital and local access to health care."

Sheridan Community Hospital, designated as a Critical Access Hospital (CAH), has 22 beds which include 10 licensed Swing Beds. The Hospital offers an array of clinical services including ambulatory surgery and 24 hour emergency department service. The Hospital also has a physician staffed 24/7 Walk-in-Clinic located at the hospital. The Hospital offers access to primary care at its clinics in Sheridan, Stanton and Edmore. It employs over 180 people. Sheridan Community Hospital celebrated its 70th Anniversary in 2014, having served the great Montcalm County region since 1944.

Montcalm Area Intermediate School District Education Endowment

The Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) has teamed up with the Central Montcalm Community Foundation to establish an endowed fund for Montcalm County students. The MAISD Education Endowment will provide scholarships to our students as they matriculate to post-secondary education and technical training. 

These scholarship funds are for students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and attend school in Montcalm County. As the fund grows, additional scholarships will be developed to assist students who attend programs operated by the MAISD. These may include those attending the Montcalm Area Career Center (The MACC) or those experiencing homeless episodes via the Homeless Student Support program.

Assisting in establishing scholarships and selecting recipients will be former MAISD staff. This advisory board consists of Bill Seiter, Paula Fortino, Helen Hamler, Rosalee Hull, and Jackie Kemler. The MAISD Superintendent, Dr. Scott Koenigsknecht, will also participate in the process. The advisory team represents over 150 years of service to communities, schools and students throughout Montcalm County.

The initial funds to establish the endowment were provided by the Bob Knott Family, at his bequest. Mr. Knott was a former special education teacher at Central Montcalm Public Schools. The endowment is a lasting legacy for our students. It provides financial support for students who face some of the greatest hurdles to continuing education and independence. Those wishing to contribute to this endowment should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Brenda Greenhoe

The Montcalm Area Intermediate School District demonstrates, once again, that it is: Leading, Collaborating and Serving to Create Education Without Boundaries.