Educational foundation creates opportunities for Montgomery County Public Schools
iPads for preschoolers, musical instruments for a primary school, a greenhouse for an elementary school, math acceleration software for a middle school – these are the types of resources provided by the non-profit Montgomery County Educational Foundation (MCEF) in their first ever grant cycle. The Foundation funded nearly $3,000 in grants to five schools in Montgomery County this fall and plans to increase that amount to at least $5,000 in their next grant cycle, set for spring 2013.
The President of the MCEF, Joe Ivers, has been working toward this moment since he and fellow School Board member, Phyllis Albritton, took up the mission to revive the Foundation nearly two years ago.
The Montgomery County Educational Foundation, which was incorporated in 1987 by community leaders in the county, lay dormant for many years until Superintendent Fred Morton reactivated it as a vehicle for receiving donations to help fund public education. In recent years the Foundation provided support to the Winning Choices programs in schools throughout the county.
Recent school budget cuts prompted citizens to further develop the Foundation as a resource to supplement public funding for innovative projects that enhance learning opportunities. Ivers and Albritton teamed with Susan Morikawa to pull MCEF under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of the NRV, secure its future with an endowment fund, and build a Board of Directors that includes citizens, business leaders, and school employees from across the county.
The recent grant cycle, funded entirely by donations, yielded awards to five area schools – Auburn Elementary, Blacksburg Middle, Christiansburg Primary, Gilbert Linkous Elementary, and Prices Fork Elementary.
Dollie Cottrill, Principal at Prices Fork Elementary, expressed gratitude for the people who are willing to support teachers with creative ideas that just need a little bit of money to implement those ideas. She said, “The grant funds will give these children access to technology they may not have at home. This technology is their future!”
Carolyn Mills, Music Teacher at Christiansburg Primary School, is going to purchase a new instrument for her Orff Ensemble with the award she received. The grant will nearly double her budget this year, which was only $639. Mrs. Mills said, “This grant will kick start the effort to grow and improve the fine arts program at CPS.”
To fund the spring grant cycle, MCEF is holding a benefit concert on February 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm in the Blacksburg Presbyterian Church sanctuary. The Foundation is currently holding a poetry contest and the winning entries will be on display at the benefit concert.
For more information or to make a donation, visit their website at www.montcoef.org or call (540) 315-2156.
–Submitted by Connie Froggatt, Interim Vice President for Montgomery Co. Educational Foundation
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