Community Foundation of the Ozarks grant will benefit the Houston School District.

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The Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation presented a grant for $3,000 to the Houston R-I School District. The grant will be used to purchase training and materials for social and emotional learning.

The grant is part of a $90,000 program that will support students and educators in 21 rural school districts. The grant program is a collaboration between the Coover Charitable Foundation and the CFO’s Rural Schools Partnership, which advances rural education through a variety of programs. The CFO administers grantmaking for the Coover Charitable Foundation, which is managed by Commerce Trust Company.

To guide this year’s Coover Regional education program, the CFO conducted a survey of educators in its network of school partners and received more than 400 responses. Among funding priorities, the health and mental health of both students and teachers were identified as areas of greatest need in rural school districts.

“Supporting students’ physical- and mental-health needs, which often aren’t covered by traditional school-funding sources, can make a significant improvement in their ability to learn,” said Jill Reynolds, senior vice president at Commerce Trust Company. “These grants are an example of how philanthropy’s flexible funding can complement other resources for the overall benefit of children and schools.”

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. Since then, the Coover Charitable Foundation has awarded more than $7 million in grants to nonprofit agencies and rural schools across the Ozarks.

Founded in 1973, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks is the region’s largest public charitable foundation serving a network of donors, 53 regional affiliate foundations — including the Houston Community Foundation — and nonprofit partners across central and southern Missouri through with assets of $394 million as of June 30. 

Locally, the school is supported by the Houston Education Foundation, which raises funds to help the district.

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