Friday, February 23, 2007

Blogging the Foundation

Educating Each Student to be a Thriving Citizen.

February 23, 2007

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier this week I wrote to invite you to the Trivia Bee which is sponsored by the Education Foundation for the Bend-LaPine Schools. Since then I realized that perhaps you were not all aware of the work of the Foundation and what it is. So, this week our blog will address the Foundation.

Before I get into the Foundation, I want to mention an e-mail I received this past week. The e-mail came from the editor of a national education magazine. I believe he is in Washington DC. It seems the staff of the magazine had been surfing the internet and came across our blog – I was surprised that they had found it and then sent me an e-mail. I guess we never know who is checking us out in cyber space.

Back to the Foundation. The Foundation is designed to be the fund raising arm of the school district. It currently impacts every school and potentially every employee and student through its fundraising. Since 2003, thanks to an increasingly generous community, the Foundation has provided over $493,326 in support to our teachers, classrooms and students

Foundations are common in higher education - how many solicitations have you received from your alma mater? Or from the college your children attend? COCC has a foundation that raises significant money for scholarships and other programs. St. Charles also has a foundation that recently announced that they had raised $10 million for a building program. So what about our Foundation?

The Education Foundation for the Bend-La Pine Schools is an independent, non-profit 501(c) (3) organization founded by parents, concerned citizens, civic and business leaders, and educators. [501(c) (3) is an IRS code designation that enables people to donate funds and receive a charitable tax deduction.] The Foundation was originally established in the late 1980’s to help fund programs that were threatened by the loss of funding. Specifically, significant dollars were raised to maintain the athletic program. As financing stabilized, the Foundation went dormant until it was resurrected in 2002 to support our schools.

The Foundation believes that a vibrant public school system is essential to the social and economic well being of our community. Their mission is to mobilize resources to ensure exceptional public education that enriches our community.

Specifically they seek to:

-To give teachers the tools needed to teach effectively
-Increase educational opportunities for all students
-Foster scholarship and professional development
-Encourage creative and innovative curriculum

The programs they sponsor currently are:
Classroom Impact Grants provide invaluable resources to our teachers and students. Annually, teachers and district staff submit grant requests to the Foundation for valuable educational initiatives or projects. Grants are reviewed by the school’s site council to ensure they are consistent with the school’s educational objectives and school improvement plan. The Foundation has awarded over 125 classroom grants in the past 4 years. Unfortunately, the Foundation has not able to meet all the funding requests. For more information on applying for a grant, visit

The Activity Fee Scholarship Fund has directly benefited more than 644 local high school students. This fund provides financial support to students who cannot afford the pay-to-participate fees for sports and the participation fees for performing arts and club activities. Many of our students would not be able to participate without outside support.
The Foundation also administers special projects like the Summit Initiative to Reduce Class Size, special scholarship funds and district wide educational projects.

Funds are raised in several ways:

-The Annual Trivia Bee is the main fundraising activity of Foundation.
-Proceeds from the Mt. Bachelor Ski for Schools program.
-Annual campaigns have solicited individual contributions to the Foundation.
-Businesses are solicited and provide contributions.
-Employees make monthly payroll deductions to the Foundation.
-Individuals and businesses provide funding unsolicited.

Recently, the Foundation hired an Executive Director, Sharon Leighty (lick – tee). Look for her name more as the Foundation continues its work. The Foundation has been governed by and the work done by a volunteer board of dedicated citizens. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

For more information, please visit the Foundation website:

I hope this gives you an overview of our Foundation and the importance it has for all of us.

Have a great week.


Students First * Success Focus
Data Driven *
Positive Relationships