Our Grants

Esports at Battle & Rock Bridge High Schools

The Esports Gaming Room provides funding for both Battle High School and Rock Bridge High School. In 2019, the Foundation provided a grant to establish an esports room at Hickman High School. The esports team at Hickman continues to grow and build success, including the first CPS student to receive an esports scholarship in 2022. Now, by establishing esports rooms at Battle and Rock Bridge, the Foundation can provide an equitable gaming facility across the three high schools to enhance the student experience. The grant provides $18,478 for a room at each school, including gaming computers, gaming chairs and any infrastructure needed to upgrade electrical and equipment.


New Educator Grants

Each new educator at the Columbia Public Schools (CPS) received a $100 gift card to use as they need to help establish their classroom. In total, the Foundation is expected to give out about 300 gift cards to new educators, or about $30,000. Thanks to our partnership with Central Bank of Boone County, the gift cards have zero fees, which means the teachers will receive the full $100 to spend on setting up their classrooms and buying any needed supplies.


Career Center Digital Media

The Columbia Area Career Center (CACC) received grant funds to purchase t-shirt printers and heat presses for the digital media department. Digital media students currently design t-shirts as part of their curriculum, and the process of printing their creations will give them relevant industry experience with potential for cross-collaboration with the CACC marketing department. Part of the Columbia Public Schools community, CACC also serves the community through a variety of Career and Technical Education programs and courses for all ages.


Planetarium Sound & Lighting

The Columbia Public Schools (CPS) Planetarium received a grant to upgrade the facility’s sound and lighting. The Planetarium features a full-dome projection system presenting an ever-growing library of entertaining and educational shows while treating visitors to a unique view of the universe in which we live. Since its opening in 1974, the Planetarium has hosted school children in kindergarten through 12th grade from all over mid-Missouri, as well as regular events for the whole community.


Show-Me Careers Educator Experience

Show-Me Careers Educator Experience, a program of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, provided CPS educators with firsthand experience to learn about the workforce skills needed to be successful in today’s workplace. The program’s goal is to expose students to career opportunities by bringing teachers, counselors and administrators into advanced manufacturing, technology, healthcare and other targeted job sites where employers have identified a need to develop a career pipeline for area youth.


Boone County Nature School

CPSF funded $100,00 for the Boone County Nature School, the largest single donation in its 25-year history. The Foundation’s funds will be used for furniture and equipment for the classrooms and lab space at the new nature school. A native Missouri dogwood tree was also dedicated as part of the Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration. The Boone County Nature School is a partnership between CPS and the Missouri Department of Conservation.  The school’s goal is to give students from all Boone County schools the opportunity to engage in place-based learning.


Grant Funds Requested: $100,000

$2,500 to each CPS school to celebrate 25 years

CPSF celebrated its 25th anniversary by awarding each Columbia Public School (CPS) with a $2,500 grant. The Foundation visited all CPS elementary, middle and high school buildings throughout the month of April to award the funds. The funds come directly from the Kay McLeod donation, a $1 million donation from the estate of Kay McLeod. McLeod was a lifelong public school teacher who began her career with the Columbia Public Schools. Funds are to be used in keeping with the Foundation’s mission to enhance and enrich public education.

100,000 Masks for Students

CPSF donated $14,000 to support the purchase of child-sized disposable masks for students at Columbia Public Schools (CPS). The donation allowed the district to purchase 100,000 child-size masks for students. The masks were distributed to CPS buildings by the district.

Grant Funds Requested: $14,000

Flu shot clinics

CPSF worked to keep our students and community healthy by providing a $14,250 grant to the Columbia Public Schools to provide free flu shot vaccines to CPS students. During October, flu vaccines were available free of charge to all students in grades pre-k through 12. Students and families were notified by their home school when the vaccination clinics would take place.

Grant Funds Requested: $14,250

Kits for Kids

CPSF donated $70,000 as part of its Kits for Kids campaign to provide school supplies for elementary students at CPS. In 2020, because of the pandemic, each elementary family was responsible for purchasing a pre-packaged school supply kit for their students. For some families, this price was out of reach. The Foundation pledged $25,000 and asked donors to raise an additional $25,000 to offset the cost. In total, the Foundation raised $45,000 from donors and sponsors.

Grant Funds Requested: $25,000 (*$61,675 donated)
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