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Press Release

GE Foundation COVID-19 Community Response Grant Supports Grand Forks Public Schools “Smart Restart” Initiative

August 25, 2020

$100,000 Grant Helps District Offer Students Face-to-Face and Remote Learning Options
for the 2020/2021 Academic Year

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Aug. 24, 2020 – GE Foundation today announced a $100,000 COVID-19 Community Response Grant to the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region, which will support the Grand Forks Public Schools “Smart Restart” initiative.  The grant will help the district offer students the opportunity to choose face-to-face or remote learning options for the 2020/2021 academic year.

The grant will allow 18 schools in the community retrofit their spaces to better meet COVID-19 safety standards such as providing access to personal protective equipment (PPE), protective barriers, and sanitizing supplies. The grant will also provide funds to help students access distance learning classes and support professional development for educators as they shift to more online teaching.

“The greatest gift we can give our country is educating our future,” said Dr. Terry Brenner, Superintendent, Grand Forks Public Schools. “Within the COVID-19 pandemic framework, we have been faced with enormous financial challenges beyond our budget’s capacity.  Through the generosity of the GE Foundation, specifically to the sum of $100,000, we will be financially better positioned to absorb the extraordinary costs of personal protection equipment for students and staff, thereby continuing to focus general fund dollars on teaching and learning.  In public education, there is no such thing as a 'windfall' of revenue.  The GE Foundation just changed that. This surprise announcement is exhilarating and will benefit 7,500 students and 1,500 colleagues in the Grand Forks Public School District.  On behalf of all district stakeholders and the entire community of Grand Forks, we are grateful.”

“The Foundation has worked tirelessly to support the people of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and the surrounding region. We have partnered with many community leaders to determine our greatest needs and where we could make a significant impact to overcome the many challenges associated with COVID-19,” said Becca Baumbach, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region. “We learned that preparing for a safe return to school is a top priority for our community, and we're delighted to have the compassion, connection, and support of the GE Foundation. Through this collective effort, we know we will overcome many of the immediate challenges facing our schools and neighbors, and we fully believe in the strength and resolve of the students, their teachers, and the school staff across our region.”

"The entire GE family has come together to support COVID-19 response efforts around the globe," said Linda Boff, President, GE Foundation, and Vice President for GE. "We’re proud to be part of the Grand Forks community and are pleased to provide these critical funds to ensure the safe reopening of public schools for students and staff."

LM Wind Power Grand Forks Plant Director Tom Leighton-Haggy said, “LM Wind Power has worked to be a good corporate citizen during our twenty years as a major employer in the Grand Forks community.  On behalf of our employees, we are proud to partner with the Grand Forks Community Foundation to support this important initiative as part of a community-wide effort to address the impact of this global pandemic.”

GE and GE Foundation are supporting the fight against COVID-19 worldwide. GE Foundation pledged financial support to the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and Boston Resiliency Fund and contributed to disaster-relief organization Americares to deliver 1.4 million protective masks to healthcare workers across the U.S. Learn more at

About Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region

The Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region is a nonprofit, community foundation created by and for the people of the region to encourage a spirit of philanthropy. Working in partnership with individuals, families, businesses, and trusted advisers, the Community Foundation manages charitable funds and provides grants to qualified nonprofit organizations and causes. The Foundation has over $12 million in assets and has granted over $7 million to create stronger, more vibrant communities within the region.

About GE Foundation

GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, is committed to transforming our communities and shaping the diverse workforce of tomorrow by leveraging the power of GE. GE Foundation is developing skills by bringing innovative learning in community health globally and STEM education, scaling what works, and building sustainable solutions. GE Foundation is inspiring others to act by connecting GE people with communities through matching gifts, leading on emerging issues such as the opiate crisis, and convening community leaders to maximize our impact. Learn more at or follow the us on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.

About LM Wind Power

LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, is a world leading designer and manufacturer of rotor blades for wind turbines, with a global manufacturing footprint that includes blade factories in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, India, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United States, as well as technology centers in Denmark, The Netherlands, India, the US and UK. The company has produced more than 228,000 blades since 1978, corresponding to more than 113 GW installed capacity and global savings of 242 million metric tons of CO2 annually. In 2018, LM Wind Power became the first carbon neutral business in the wind industry. Follow us at, on, or on

For media inquiries, please contact:

Jeff Caywood
Director, Sustainability & Headquarter's Communications
+1 857 337 4101
+1 617 443 2993
[email protected]
Amelia Indvik
Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region
[email protected]
Tracy Jentz
Grand Forks Public Schools

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