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The Old Mission Peninsula Education Foundation (OMPEF) announced that they’ve received funds from the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation and the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula in support of the new charter school.

The school, which received a charter from Grand Valley State University last year (read more here), is on track to open its doors to students in September 2018. Enrollment and the hiring of new teachers will begin in early February.

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During their December giving cycle, the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation awarded the OMPEF a $1,000 grant. The grant was chosen through their Youth Advisory Councils, groups of high school students in the local five counties which review the applications and make recommendations.

Also, the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) have donated $8,000 to the OMP Education Foundation in support of the new school.

“The ownership of Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula appreciate being a part of the strong community on the Peninsula,” said Sherri Campbell Fenton, Communications Representative for Black Star Farms, a member of WOMP. “A special aspect of this community is our unique elementary school, of which many have personally attended, or had children and grandchildren attend. As the school goes through a transition, we are honored to present a matching gift of $8,000 to the Old Mission Peninsula Education Foundation to help carry on its tradition of excellence.”

WOMP has a long history of giving back to their community through local nonprofits and charities. “The Old Mission Peninsula Education Foundation is thrilled to have the continued and generous support of the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula who have supported fundraisers towards education on Old Mission Peninsula for years,” said OMPEF President Allison O’Keefe. “Our school parents and community members stepped up and helped grow their money, knowing WOMP would match every dollar up to $8,000.”

The donation will help to fund start-up costs for opening the new Old Mission Peninsula School, including purchasing curriculum, providing professional development for teachers, hiring leadership, and providing technological infrastructure, computers and security equipment to the building.

“Our hope for the future is to be able to incorporate the importance of our farming community back into our children’s curriculum,” noted O’Keefe. “We think it is imperative that these children understand the value of what they see outside their classroom windows.”

She added, “OMPEF sees a future of a long-lasting partnership with WOMP through educational opportunities for our children and adults regarding agriculture, science of farming, business and the importance of giving back to the community. Overall, this partnership will ensure the value of community that is an integral part of our relationship. We are fortunate to be the recipient of WOMP’s generous gift and are thankful they continue to support education on Old Mission Peninsula.”

To learn more about the new Old Mission Peninsula School, visit the OMPEF’s website here.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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