CORVALLIS - The Science and Math Investigative Learning Experience, or SMILE Program at Oregon State University has received a grant from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund to support operation of SMILE clubs at two elementary schools.

A grant of $16,000 will support SMILE at the Grand Ronde Elementary School in Yamhill County and Independence Elementary School in Polk County.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde created the Spirit Mountain Community Fund as a way to practice their age-old traditions of sharing and giving back, officials say. Each year the fund distributes 6 percent of the profits from the Spirit Mountain Casino to worthy non-profit organizations in the 11 western Oregon counties that were the ancestral homelands of tribal members.

SMILE helps elementary and secondary school students acquire skills and interest in science and mathematics and prepare them for higher education. Now in its 13th year of operation, it has served more than 2,900 students and recently received the 1999 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

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Eda Davis-Butts, 541-737-2388