Classroom Grants

We are now accepting applications for our GLE Classroom Grant Program for the 2021-2022 school year! School districts in the Great Lakes Energy service area that educate children of GLE members can receive a grant of up to $2,000 to fund innovative programs, particularly those involving technology or equipment that enrich students’ education. Preference will be given to projects which feature technology or tangible equipment or materials that can be used more than once, enhance learning, are not currently being funded through the school’s budget, and are likely to be fresh and exciting to students. The project does not have to involve the study of electricity.

Teachers and administrators of public or private K-12 schools may apply. Multiple projects within the same school district can be combined to a maximum award per district of $2,000 per year. We reserve the right to take photos of the winners and they may be printed in local publications, Michigan Country Lines (our member magazine), and/or appear on our website or in other electronic media.

Grants awarded for the 2020-2021 school year bring the total to just over $213,000 for 147 projects since GLE launched its classroom grant program in 2012.


classroom grants

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.
Grant fund recipients will be notified mid-November 2021.
Checks will be delivered when photos are taken following grant announcements.

For more information, please contact Whitney Gilland at [email protected], or 888-485-2537, ext. 1334.

  • Public or private schools that have children of Great Lakes Energy members enrolled may apply for an Education Grant. The school or school district does not need to have electricity supplied by Great Lakes Energy.
  • If your district is very near or within the shaded areas on the map, you are eligible to apply. Schools far from the shaded area will most likely not be eligible. Contact us with questions.
  • Each separate school within a school district may apply for a grant; however, multiple schools within a school district will be limited to a collective total of $2,000 for this grant cycle. Please note that your request can be for less than $2,000.

We serve areas in these 26 counties: Allegan, Antrim, Barry, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Kent, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Montcalm, Montmorency, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Oscoda, Ottawa, Otsego, Wexford.

Please note: We serve limited areas in each of these counties, so your school district or specific schools within your district may not be eligible. Review the map for coverage areas and contact us if you have a question.

For your convenience, the following questions and criteria are provided to assist in preparation before filling out the Classroom Grant application. Before applying be sure you can respond to the following: 

  • Describe the proposed project/program. What purpose would it accomplish? How will it use technology in an innovative, educational way?
  • What is the estimated cost of the project/program?
  • Are outside funds needed?
  • Please attach supporting documents such as an itemized list, if appropriate.
  • Who and how many would benefit from this project/program?
  • How many students are in your school?
  • Explain how the program will meet the objectives/goals of the grant program?
  • How long would the project/program be able to benefit the students?
  • Will this project/program have a community impact?

When selecting applications to receive a Classroom Grant, the following criteria will be weighted and considered:

  • Promotes innovation in the classroom
  • Will enrich the learning experience for students
  • Impacts a significant number of students at the school
  • Establishes potential for long-term benefit to the student body
  • Includes measurable indicators of success
  • Clarity of application (all areas are addressed; rationale and budget are thoroughly clear)

These schools received classroom grants for the 2020-2021 school year:

  • Allendale Christian School, Allendale, $1,400 for Wi-Fi boosters and portable projectors
  • Beaver Island Community School, Beaver Island, $500 for Flip cameras
  • Boyne City Elementary School, Boyne City, $500 for STEM materials
  • Boyne Falls Public School, Boyne Falls, $950 for Virtual Math Manipulative Platform
  • Boyne Falls Public School, Boyne Falls, $239.90 for Drawing/Tracing Light Pads
  • Concord Academy Boyne, Boyne City, $300 for Student Created Podcasts and a Walking Outdoor Classroom
  • East Jordan Middle/High School, East Jordan, $2,000 for Integration of a 20kW solar array
  • Grayling Elementary, Grayling, $1,650 for Lego Robotics
  • Harbor Springs High School, Harbor Springs, $1,895 for DJI Mavic Enterprise Dual with regular and IR Camera
  • Hesperia High School, Hesperia, $700 for iPad and Apple TV
  • Johannesburg Elementary School, Johannesburg, $2,000 for iPads
  • Mason County Central High School, Scottville, $1,500 for Headphones
  • Newaygo Elementary, Newaygo, $2,000 for Coding Critters
  • Oceana County Early Learning Center, Hart, $2,000 for iPads
  • Otsego Christian School, Gaylord, $1,975.86 for Document cameras
  • Patricia St. Clair Elementary, Hesperia, $1,300 for iPads
  • Pentwater Public Schools, Pentwater, $500 for Heart Rate monitors
  • South Elementary School, Coopersville, $1,269.67 for Sphero Robots
  • St. Mary School, Big Rapids, $1,928 for Robotics materials
  • St. Mary School, Charlevoix, $1,000 for STEM kits and supplies

Energy Optimization Seminar

Attendees of these free events learn about home heating and cooling options and energy efficiency programs that offer incentives to help co-op members save energy and money. Co-op members will learn more about other incentive programs offered by Great Lakes Energy, as well.

Experts from GLE and local heating and cooling companies cover topics such as:

  • Heat pumps
  • Split-system heat pumps
  • Energy efficiency programs
  • Geothermal systems
  • Michigan Saves (a State of Michigan financing program for energy efficiency improvements)
  • Heat pump water heaters
EO Seminar

These events are only available to current GLE members who must register as space is limited. Door prizes are awarded with winners receiving energy saving gifts.

Weathering the storm

Want to learn more about how we restore power outages? Our employees provide a glimpse of what it takes to get your lights back on this four-minute video.

Generator essentials

Portable generators are great to have during a power outage, but you need to make sure you use them correctly to avoid causing serious injury or even death to others. Please take four minutes to watch our new generator essentials video. It could save a life.

Smart strategies during outages

We are ready for a storm. Are you? Please be prepared and stay safe. Watch this three minute video for some important strategies to power through outages.

Severe weather safety

Severe weather can be very dangerous. Make sure you’re stocked up on essentials in case of outages and keep yourself and your loved ones safe following these tips.

Residential Applications

2023 Community Grant Giveaway Recipients

North Region

Brave Hearts Estate

“They do so much for our Michigan veterans and run totally off their fundraisers and corporate and personal donations to do this. Veterans and their families can stay at Brave Hearts Estate free of charge.”

Central Region

Uplift Pine River Area Kids

“Uplift Pine River Area Kids was created to help feed children living in rural poverty and who are food deprived. Uplift will provide a bag of food to help supplement their weekend meals and snacks.”

South Region

Trinity Lutheran Church Food Pantry

“Trinity Lutheran Church is proud to host the oldest and largest Community Food Pantry in Oceana County. Trinity Lutheran and its congregation promote a tradition of true community involvement and provide aid regardless of religious affiliation.”

2024 Community Grant Giveaway Finalists

North Region

“They do so much for our Michigan veterans and run totally off their fundraisers and corporate and personal donations to do this. Veterans and their families can stay at Brave Hearts Estate free of charge.”

“Our Mission is to reduce suicide through prevention education and to assist and empower those in crisis. Our organization helps with financial assistance for mental health through counseling, therapy, and outpatient care. We also fund conferences on suicide prevention in our area, suicide prevention training, and provide booths at many events raising awareness of the importance of mental health. We have many resources for places in our area to receive help, numbers to contact for assistance, and how to help those who are suicidal. Knowledge is key in providing HOPE.”

“Crossroads Industries, Inc. focuses on community integration and employability for adults with disabilities in the community of Gaylord. Crossroads has a job readiness program which assists clients with obtaining jobs independently in the community as well as internal employment in several departments within the company. The mission of Crossroads is ‘We create opportunities for employment and social independence!’ Crossroads is a staple in the community for adults with disabilities, with recently achieving their 50th anniversary as a non-profit in Gaylord!”

“This organization helps pets, vets, families and children with community events, scholarships, lunch funds, student pantries, and so much more. The group works with other organizations in Antrim, Kalkaska, and Otsego counties to find and identify needs in the area and provide support however needed.”

“Harbor Hall, Inc. provides services to include substance abuse counseling, behavioral health counseling, residential treatment, transitional living and primary care services to our community. Harbor Hall, Inc works with adults at all locations and adolescents at the outpatient offices. Harbor Hall, Inc. accepts most private insurances as well as medicaid. Harbor Hall, Inc has three locations to meet the needs of the community. This grant money could be used to help individuals who struggle with their copays and or paying for services in general. The money could be used to educate the community on dangers of drugs and alcohol and what to look for in kids. Harbor Hall is working with families and therapy tools could be purchased to help with family therapy.”

“The Mancelona Food Pantry and Resale Shop is a Non-profit organization serving Antrim County and the surrounding areas. The Community Lighthouse is a non-profit in Mancelona and is operated on a volunteer basis. It services between 400 and 900 families a month, providing people with food and low-cost clothing.”

“We are a Northern Michigan shelter serving those in homeless situations since 1988. They help the homeless by giving them a place to sleep at night but make them also do chores and look for work during the day. They do not take government funds. There is also a shelter for women.”

“All the funds raised go to assisting those diagnosed with cancer. Personally a family member received help and I have been personally involved with fund raising for years.”

Mission Statement: Northern Michigan Cancer Crusaders are here to help our local families and friends cope with the impact of cancer.

“WRCNM provides confidential support, advocacy, counseling and the Safe Home to people in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet and Otsego counties. WRCNM is a dynamic organization that: Provides many specialized services for adults, children and families that seeks positive solutions in crisis situations.”

Central Region

“Caritas is a service of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Custer Michigan. Serving Mason, Lake Oceana and Manistee counties. Their mission is: Caritas Food Pantry is dedicated to reducing hunger in Mason and surrounding counties through community cooperation making the best possible use of all available resources.”

“Circle Rocking S Children’s Farm is a 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization that has been operating for more than 25 years, providing touch therapy and recreation free of charge to people with disabilities. Circle Rocking S Children’s Farm serves, on a normal year, more than 1,000 people with special needs, and depends on donations to provide all programs and animal maintenance. Donations Your donation is greatly needed and all money goes toward the special needs programs.”

“COVE serves multiple counties in the GLE area ensuring people have access to shelter, protection and advocacy if they are unfortunate victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. They also provide education on ways to help prevent and deter violence at the root. They have limited funding, but do critical work that is not covered by other agencies in the area.”

“Crossroads Recreation Connection is a dedicated group of volunteers to bring FREE recreational opportunities to residents of Reed City and surrounding communities with an emphasis on providing activities for our youth. Their goal is to promote health and wellness for all ages and income groups through outdoor activity. They intend to build a Pocket Park in downtown Reed City: a four-season amenity anchored by a splash pad and including public restrooms with a warming/cooling observation area, a fire pit, an ice-skating rink, a covered pavilion, and ample seating areas with shade.”

“This program provides community living support and inclusion for adults with developmental disabilities. It’s the only day program in the area with no functionality requirements, they accept clients no matter how high or low functioning. They rely on donations for field trips and community outings so a grant that they could use for an extra outing would be great for the participants!”

“Located in Lake County, they provide food for approximately 100 to 120 families a month. We used to be able to purchase food at a reasonable price through Feeding America, however, due to lack of food through them, we are forced to purchase food at market price, a great burden on our small church.”

“Lakeshore Food4Kids is a program to feed preschoolers-12 graders with food insecurity at home, for the weekend. This organization provides breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to these students every Friday to take home.”

“MCCH is a new Hospice Home located in Reed City and serves people of Lake, Mecosta, Osceola counties and neighboring communities during the end of life journey. They provide care, comfort, assistance and education to terminally ill clients and their loved ones. MCCH is a non-profit facility which relies solely on donations and community support.”

“Uplift Pine River Area Kids was created to help feed children living in rural poverty and who are food deprived. Uplift will provide a bag of food to help supplement their weekend meals and snacks.”

South Region

“4 One 2 Care is an organization created to increase mental health awareness and aid in suicide prevention. They are such a beacon of light in our community. They are brave enough to share personal experiences to start hard conversations. With the way the world has changed since the beginning of the pandemic, supporting organizations that create these opportunities to normalize hard conversations and awareness are even more important than ever.”

“Angels of Action is a non-profit organization that serves children and families in both Mecosta and Osceola Counties. Angels of Action is home to nine programs that work to assist our community in several ways, addressing physical, emotional, and educational needs.”

“Arbor Circle offers over 50 programs and services for children, youth, families, and adults who need supportive resources during tough times. Arbor Circle is a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform the lives of children, adults, and families facing mental health, substance use, and family concerns. They have services in 11 different counties, many of which are in the Great Lakes Energy region, including Allegan, Kent, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Ottawa counties.”

“The HCPAA exists to provide quality arts education experiences to students in Oceana County, free of charge to local schools. Over 20+ years they have brought in world-renowned musicians and artists to educate and train staff and students, enriching their lives and learning through outstanding events and services. The HCPAA operates solely based on donor contributions and the generosity of patrons.”

“Helping Hands has been organized as a response to the needs of our community. Located in Howard City, they are a united effort of the Tri-County area, providing emergency food assistance, referral for counseling, and a place to learn how you can help others.”

“This organization is focused on providing veterans and their families opportunities to connect and become emotionally closer. Outdoor events and activities include using the natural resources available to make maple syrup, walking color tours, hay rides and boat tours on the beautiful Muskegon River.”

“They provide a multitude of food and basic services to those in need. We currently serve approximately 240 families per month annually. At 40 meals per person, this means we provide 13,000 meals per month.”

“Trinity Lutheran Church is proud to host the oldest and largest Community Food Pantry in Oceana County. Trinity Lutheran and its congregation promote a tradition of true community involvement and provide aid regardless of religious affiliation.”

“The Wings Home is an end-of-life care home that provides compassionate care in a home like atmosphere to Wings of Hope Hospice patients during the last days of their lives. There is no cost to live at Wings Home.”

Grant Application

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