Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation

For good. For ever.

Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by attracting and holding permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grant making and providing leadership on key community issues.

Ganiard History Project Scholarship Fund

The Ganiard History Project is an ongoing, living history project that crosses generations and was started by Ganiard Elementary first grade teacher, Val Wolters. Val began the Ganiard History Project after teaching at the elementary school for 23 years. After conducting some research, Val fell in love with the photographs, maps, drawings, and personal stories that pieced together the puzzle that was the history of Ganiard Elementary. "Learning is meant to be shared," says Wolters. She started the Ganiard History Club with 3rd and 4th graders at Ganiard Elementary, and there are currently 134 students in the club! The students work with local authors, Jack Westbrook and Loren Anderson, photographer Rachel Foster-Lifson, art teacher True Muszynski, and numerous other volunteers to produce great projects that help preserve the history of Ganiard Elementary.

Originally, a one-room school with a basement was built in the 1890s, at the southwest corner of Lyons and Adams Street. It was called the West Side School. Over time, it doubled in size. As local industries grew, and as country schools closed, more students meant overcrowded schoolrooms. A new school was authorized for those who lived west of the Chippewa River. Initially, the new school at 101 South Adams was called the "West Side School," and contained just four classrooms. Built during the Depression as part of the Public Works Act, it opened in the Fall of 1934. Superintendent George Ganiard was present in February, 1935, for the Dedication of the K-4 building. After Mr. Ganiard's death in 1939, the PTA unanimously decided to honor the man who led the district for 25 years. Several additions and improvements now form the block-long present-day Ganiard Elementary School.

The purpose of the fund shall be to provide scholarships to graduating seniors from Mt. Pleasant High School, who attended Ganiard Elementary School as children, so that they may advance their education at an accredited college, university or trade school.

Applicants must meet the following criteria to apply for the Ganiard History Project Scholarship.

Ganiard History Project Scholarship Criteria:

  • Applicant shall be a graduating senior from Mt. Pleasant High School; and

  • Applicant must have attended Ganiard Elementary School as a child (indicate which grades and teachers in the essay application); and

  • Applicant must plan to attend an accredited college, university or trade school

Scholarship Preferences:

  • Applicant academic ability as demonstrated by a minimum 3.0 GPA

  • Applicant financial need (as expressed in the application)

2019 Scholarship Award: 3 - $1,000

Application Deadline: March 8, 2019