Established in 1992, the Foundation has relied on the generosity of businesses and individuals who wanted to go the extra mile to enhance educational opportunities in the system. A number of foundation chairs were named as contributions began coming in to build an endowment that will benefit students into the future. That amount has grown to almost $700,000.
Donations haven’t come in as strongly during the recent economic downturn, and the interest rates on the program’s certificates of deposit have dropped — factors that have dealt a double blow to the amount of grant money available to be awarded each year. Special fundraisers to help boost that amount have filled some of the gaps, and potential donors are reminded that the program is still a 501-(3)(c), which means contributions may be tax-deductible.
This year the program funded 69 grants for 54 faculty members (15 teachers had two grants funded) for a total of $18,104.
Faculty members submitted 120 grant requests, almost double the number of grants awarded. It would have taken $34,353 to fund them all.
The Foundation was established as a way for businesses, organizations and individuals to join together to promote excellence in education, primarily through its annual grants. Its board of directors is composed of 17 members who have demonstrated vision, dedication, enthusiasm and concern for youth in the area. Current president Jason Goodgame had special praise for work done by Deanne Lawley in fundraising and Jackie Robinson in administration for the program.
It’s encouraging to see a volunteer group working with private donations to help motivated teachers make a difference in their classrooms.