Allendale Community Foundation grants benefit schools, youth

For more than 20 years, the Allendale Community Foundation has supported its hometown.

In November, the foundation’s board awarded $12,473 in grants to support the Allendale community, the majority of which focus on area schools and youth. This includes almost $6,000 awarded in Teacher Mini-Grants to 26 individual projects. 
The Allendale Community Foundation awarded Teacher Mini-grants for 26 classroom projects.
“The best way to make lifelong readers is to instill the love of reading,” said Stephanie Nederveld, a teacher at Allendale Christian School who received a mini-grant for her classroom library. “I know that new books that are of high interest will excite these kids, and they are sure to be well-loved for years to come.”

“During these challenging times, this gift will lift so many spirits,” said Sherri Ginn, a teacher at Allendale Public School who received a grant for “Choice Time — Learning Through Play.” “Play is the ‘work’ of the young child,” Ginn says.

“Choice Time is a 60-minute time each day where students engage in activities that are of interest to them. Play improves the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. These skills impact the study and work skills needed for future academic success.”

Foundation history

Founded in 1999, the Allendale Community Foundation was created by community leaders and visionaries who dreamed of starting a philanthropic vehicle to ensure that Allendale’s quality of life would be enhanced for today, tomorrow, and future generations.

Township representatives contributed the first $2,000 to open the Allendale General Fund, which established the Allendale Community Foundation (ACF). A $10,000 challenge grant from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation (GHACF) created the momentum for the people of Allendale to raise the first $50,000, and from there, community members stepped forward to help.

Today, the ACF has more than $3.2 million in assets in 43 funds, and almost $400,000 has been given back to the community in competitive grants and scholarships. In 2020, the ACF awarded more than $7,000 in scholarships to six local graduates, and the grant committee awarded nearly $20,000 in grants to area for-impact organizations.

As an affiliate of GHACF, the ACF has an advisory board made up of local community members that provides invaluable leadership, guidance, and oversight. The ACF follows all policies set in place by the GHACF Board of Trustees, which also supports the work of the GHACF team and the advisory board.

“The Allendale Community Foundation has been able to meet the needs in our community as those needs evolve, which is vital in a year like 2020,” said Kristi Roelofs, chair of the ACF. “Because our community is guided by visionary leadership and an unwavering spirit of philanthropy, we’re doing important work today and will continue for generations to come.”

Awarded grants

The teacher mini-grants were awarded to the following:

Allendale Christian School Mini-Grants — $4,011.12:
  • Preschool — $250 for “Adapting to COVID”
  • Preschool — $250 for “Literacy Outdoors”
  • Young 5s-8th — $250 for “Art Centers”
  • Kindergarten — $250 for “Traveling Kit”
  • Kindergarten — $230 for “Literacy Centers”
  • Kindergarten-8th — $241.12 for “Cardio Drumming”
  • Kindergarten-8th — $240 for “Robust Learning — Nearpod style”
  • 1st — $200 for “Growing Readers with Piggie & Elephant!”
  • 1st — $250 for “Getting in the Swing of Reading”
  • 2nd — $250 for “Literature Options and Flexible Seating”
  • 3rd — $250 for “Classroom Library”
  • 3rd — $250 for “Flexible Seating and Reading”
  • 5th — $250 for “Classroom Library”
  • 5th — $250 for “Game/Chess Club”
  • Middle School — $100 for “Books from Around the World”
  • 6th-8th — $250 for “Independent Reading”
  • 7th and 8th — $250 for “Growing our Ukulele Exploratory

Allendale Public Schools Mini-Grants –– $1,961.97:
  • Allendale High School — $250 for “Woodworking Planer”
  • Early Childhood Center, Y5, K — $238.28 for “The Art Selfie”
  • Early Childhood Center — $250 for “Choice Time — Learning through Play”
  • Early Childhood Center — $250 for “ECSE Tasks Boxes”
  • Evergreen Elementary — $250 for “Math and Reading Learning Puzzles”
  • Evergreen Elementary — $233.69 for “Sensory Kits”
  • Oakwood Intermediate — $240 for “Celebrating Newbery & Caldecott Book Awards”
  • Oakwood Intermediate — $250 for “Oakwood Communitarian Kudo Award”

Borculo Christian School Mini-Grant — $250
  • 3rd — $250 for “Classroom Library”

Additional grants include:
  • Allendale Public Schools — $3,000 for Fifth-Grade Classroom Libraries. The fifth-grade teaching team is utilizing the metaphor of mirrors and windows to describe the impact of the classroom library selections — mirrors, which will be books that students see themselves in, and windows, which will be books that provide students experiences different from their own.
  • Arbor Circle — $1,000 to support the Ottawa Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Northeast Quadrant Subcommittee’s work to expand parent education initiatives in Allendale. In particular, the OSAP NE quadrant is striving to educate and empower parents and/or caregivers with the resources necessary to nurture and develop relationships with their children.
  • Borculo Christian School — $250 to support their teachers and classrooms.
  • Greater Ottawa County United Way — $1,000 to support the 2021 Community Assessment.
  • Love INC of Allendale — $1,000 to support their greatest needs in the Allendale community as the organization continues to respond to COVID-19.

The next grant deadline, for area nonprofits, is March 26, 2021. The grant application can be found at

Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.