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Funds from largest donation ever will be used to enhance literacy efforts across the school district

COURTESY PHOTO: GRESHAM-BARLOW SCHOOL DISTRICT  - The $37,500 Tokola Properties donation will benefit all students in the Gresham-Barlow School District. The Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation just received its largest donation ever, $35,700 from Gresham's Tokola Properties.

Last year Tokola, a property management, development and construction firm headed by Dwight Unti, donated over $12,000 to give the foundation's annual Phone-a-Thon a big kickoff.

"This incredibly generous gift is the largest donation we have received in our 25 year history. The funds will positively affect every student in our district," said Vicki Moen, executive director for the Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation.

The donation will be used to fund foundation projects including classroom innovation grants that provide classroom enhancements and student-focused technology.

Moen said "students will be able to access culturally diverse books in all school libraries and district classrooms will have additional technology and innovative educational programs as the result of this donation."

Headquartered in Gresham, Tokola Properties has a portfolio of over 1,500 market-rate apartments and mixed-use developments in Oregon, Washington and Arizona. Tokola recently diversified its business activity with the addition of boutique hotel development under the Trace Hotel brand. The company's first hotel in Independence, Oregon, opened in May 2019.

The Foundation has funded a program called Destiny Discover, which connected every library in the district, much like a county library system. That connection will improve student access to printed books, e-books, audio books and research materials.


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