Zaneis schools receive $10K grant for enhanced campus cleaning

Michael D. Smith
Zaneis Public School announced Monday a $10,000 grant from The McCrory Foundation. School administrators say the grant will help offset cleaning costs incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

Administrators at Zaneis Public Schools recently received a phone call from a local foundation and were told to watch their mailbox. Once the mail arrived on Monday morning, school officials felt a sense of relief.

The school estimated nearly $10,000 of extra costs due to the pandemic, and in the mail was a check for $10,000 to help cover the entirety of those costs.

The McCrory Foundation provided the grant money to help the small school system with increased sanitization efforts. Superintendent Ryan Cole said the grant will be important to make sure the school keeps students and faculty safe.

“This donation was crucial in making sure we were able to continue to provide the sanitary needs for our campus,” Cole said in a Monday statement.

Schools across the country spent the summer preparing for a new academic year in the shadow of a coronavirus pandemic. While items like masks have been a discussion centerpiece for pandemic response, Zaneis school administrative assistant Rachel Nowell said cleaning supplies could not be overlooked.

“Sanitation wipes, disinfectant sprays, we even looked at getting a cordless electrostatic backpack sprayer,” Nowell said by phone Monday. “We’ve been paying for the extra sanitation supplies, which we have to do to try to keep our campus clean and sterile enough for all of our students to remain here, which is our goal.”

Zaneis schools last year performed sanitization at the end of each day but has since moved to sanitizing between each class change, according to Monday’s statement. Nowell said the school estimated more than $9,800 in extra costs to expand the school’s sanitization schedule. 

With Monday’s grant, school officials no longer have to worry about how to pay for increased cleaning and disinfection of the campus.

“We are so grateful and speechless. The McCrory Foundation has no idea how much they have helped our school of little wildcats,” Nowell said.

The McCrory Foundation was established in 1993 in memory of the McCrory family, who owned a ranch and mineral interests west of Springer, according to the foundation’s website. The foundation focuses its support primarily for humanitarian projects in Carter County and distributed nearly $1.1 million to groups and organizations across southern Oklahoma.