Foundation Makes Major Grant to Owosso Schools Performing Arts
The Cook Family Foundation is proud to announce a $1.1 million commitment to the Owosso Public Schools for the completion of an auditorium in the new Owosso High School/Middle School building. “We believe we are at our best as a community when we come together to accomplish big tasks,” said Tom Cook, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “When I think back over the last 25 years, I can think of no greater collaboration and no more important achievement than the passage of the Owosso Public Schools bond proposal on November 7, 2017.”
That bond measure provides funding for a multi-purpose performance space. The grant from the Cook Family Foundation will fund enhancements to create a true auditorium for theatrical performances as well as band and choral concerts.
The enhancements include theater rigging and arbor pit, theatrical drapery and orchestra shell, lighting and audio visual equipment, and an orchestra pit with cover. “We believe the arts are a central component of a quality education, and this auditorium will enable excellence in the performing arts in Owosso,” said Tom Cook.
“The arts develop well-rounded individuals who are creative thinkers, communicators, and problem solvers,” notes Andrea Tuttle, Superintendent of the Owosso Public Schools. “With a true auditorium Owosso students will have daily accessibility to a space that will foster cross-curricular learning to develop communication, technology, and public speaking skills,” notes Tuttle.
The Cook Family Foundation has a long history with the Owosso Schools. It’s benefactor, Donald Cook, graduated from Owosso High School in 1920, as have several other family members. Two trustees of the Foundation, Jacqueline Cook and Laurie Caszatt Cook, previously served on the Owosso School Board. Trustee Anna Owens currently serves on the Performing Arts Committee.
Previously, the Foundation has provided grants for implementation and teacher training for the International Baccalaureate Program, mini-grants for classrooms, and landscaping. In addition, the Foundation has provided over 150 scholarships to Owosso High School graduates to attend the University of Michigan.
The $1.1 million grant is extraordinary funding above and beyond the Foundation’s usual grant-making, which last year totaled $719,000. “We are committed to the Shiawassee County community,” said Tom Cook. “We have no plans to scale back our support for early childhood and other educational endeavors, our Nonprofit Capacity Building Program, or environmental efforts centered around the Shiawassee River and the Saginaw Bay Watershed.”
To learn more about the bond project, contact the Owosso Public Schools