Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation

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The Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation was founded in 1989 to receive and administer monetary gifts that will enhance education in USD 383. The Foundation provides an avenue for citizens, businesses and organizations to contribute financially to the school district whenever they have an interest in doing so.

The Foundation is an independent, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization headed by a Board of Directors that meets to grant awards and decide future direction of the Foundation. The Foundation works with the USD 383 Board of Education, to maintain educational excellence in Manhattan and Ogden public schools.

The Foundation does not fund educational programs that are financed by tax dollars. There is no intent to assume responsibility for the basic support of our schools.

9th Annual Early Expressions

Early Expressions is a celebration of art within our school district. In collaboration with the district's art teachers, the Beach Museum of Art and the Strecker-Nelson Gallery, the Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation is sponsoring the 9th annual district-wide art contest for elementary and secondary students.

This fall, students of all ages will submit nearly 2000 pieces of original artwork which will be juried, and the winning artwork will be showcased at the Beach Museum of Art in February 2017. Students and family will enjoy a public reception of Saturday, February 18, 2017, at the museum, celebrating the winning artwork.

How can you help?

You can support art in the schools with your involvement in this program. the first few years were supported by a short-term grant that has since expired, leaving a significant need for event sponsors. Please click here for the sponsorship opportunities available.

For more information, please contact Jim Morrison at 785-776-9209 or

The Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation is pleased to announce they have received a donation of $3720 from The Pathfinder, a locally owned outdoor and bike shop in downtown Manhattan. The Pathfinder declared August of 2015 their Education Appreciation Month and pledged a portion of their monthly sales to the Foundation.

Foundation president Jim Morrison said “This is such a special gift in that it was the idea and effort of The Pathfinder’s owners and management to seek opportunities to give to the community… a hearty thank you to them.”  The Foundation is grateful for partnerships with local businesses which keep local money in service to our community.

The Pathfinder is celebrating their 40th Anniversary this month. As former teachers whose children and grandchildren have attended Manhattan schools, owners Bill and Erma Riley are proud supporters of Manhattan schools and education in general. They chose the school district’s foundation as the recipient of this gift due to the foundation’s commitment to improving the education experience for students and educators.

The Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that receives and administers gifts from citizens, businesses and organizations who wish to financially support activities that aid and enhance the school district. By working in cooperation with the school district, the Foundation seeks to enrich the public school experience for children within our school district, enhancing the work done by the teachers and staff.

For more information on how to donate to the Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation, contact Jim Morrison, 785-776-9208, or write to P.O. Box 191, Manhattan, KS, 66505-0191. The Pathfinder is located at 304 Poyntz, Downtown Manhattan, 785-539-5639.

Results from the 2015 Major Saver Campaign -- Major Saver presented a check to the Foundation in the amount of $26,002.50. Major Saver also made a $2,500 donation to the Foundation. The Foundation will be giving back 85% of that money to the schools that participated. THANK YOU for purchasing a Major Saver card and supporting our schools!

Manhattan Ogden Public Schools Foundation 25th anniversary

The Manhattan Ogden Public Schools Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary this summer. The Foundation was started by a $2,500 gift from the Class of ’64 at its 25th class reunion in 1989 in a spirit of support for the school and programs. After 25 years, this meager start has led to an ending balance of more than $1,800,000. There are approximately 16 scholarship funds providing 21 scholarships, with 3 providing multiple year awards. In addition, there are five teacher awards based on their selection for excellence and five staff awards.  The Foundation continues to grow and it is not finished.

Recent donations have led to two new program funds:  the Barbara Withee Teacher Skill Enhancement Awards to provide support for  teachers in classroom improvement, and the Pat Lamb Award to enhance secondary science teachers in the classroom. These two “new” funds are in addition to the Scheibler Award for teachers in elementary classrooms with preference to 4th grade and the Steve Shaner Award for math teachers.

During the last three years the Foundation has been serving as a financial clearing house for support of the Summer Fun Camp, which, in conjunction with District 383 and many others, provides a continuum of classroom, recreational and social learning for children on the Autism Spectrum. This is a very popular, necessary and expensive program for the children’s families and for the general support of the children’s education.

Early Expressions, the annual art show supported by the Foundation each February, is open to all students in District 383.  In 2015, the public reception will be held on Feb 14th from 2:00–4:00pm at the Beach Museum at Kansas State University. All are invited to this 7th annual show.  More than 20% of the district’s children have participated in this juried event in the past.

The Foundation has not had formal fund raising efforts/events in the past but has relied on word of mouth and people having a desire to actively change the outcomes of children’s lives. Although we believe the evidence proves that this approach has been successful, it is not without a lot of work done by the all-volunteer Foundation Board.  If you have an interest in supporting the Foundation financially or as a volunteer please contact us. We are open to your ideas. Our unofficial motto is “if it helps kids, education and is not illegal, we'll give it a try”.

Contact information: Manhattan Ogden Public Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 191, Manhattan, KS 66505-0191. You may call Jim Morrison at 785-776-9208 or e-mail

James W. Morrison, President