By Cindy Andrews
“Back to school” is not only an effective ad campaign, but it is also a mindset we adopt every year as summer ends and fall begins. Our kids are “back to school,” beginning a new academic year with all the extracurricular activities and programs that enrich their lives as students. They may be looking forward to participating in fall sports, auditioning for the spring musical, or joining a community service club.
We here at the Community Foundation of Lorain County are also “back to school” with our School Endowment Fund program. School Endowment Funds enable every public or private school in Lorain County to access additional dollars to support programs that directly benefit students.
Think of School Endowment Funds as permanent savings accounts where the balance (principal) is left untouched to grow over time, and only the interest is spent to support various programs for students. School Endowment Funds provide continued financial support year after year.
Examples of this support include scholarships for high school seniors, and grants for service clubs, choral groups, and academic enrichment programs. Currently, we have 122 School Endowment Funds which distributed close to $625,000 last year. That’s quite an impact!
School Endowment Funds are more important than ever, given the challenging environment for school district finances. Faced with declining state financial support, declining tax revenue, and changes in curriculum, many school districts have had to make budget cuts to programs students enjoy.
School Endowment Funds can help fill this financial gap by providing steady and sustainable monetary support regardless of current economic conditions.
Let’s look at some specific examples of School Endowment Funds making a positive impact in students’ lives. While many of Wellington’s 24 School Endowment Funds provide scholarships for graduating seniors, its other Endowment Funds have made grants to enrichment programs including Geometry in Motion, Young Authors, an Eastern Hemisphere Food Fair, and a Kindness Campaign.
Lorain County JVS has established a Scholarship Endowment Fund in memory of a beloved teacher. Its General Endowment Fund has provided money for Special Olympics, Dress for Success, and a Building Trades Expo. By providing consistent financial support, school endowment funds can really make a difference in the lives of students.
We invite you to join us in supporting our students through the School Endowment Fund program. If you have a student in school, become involved by serving on your school’s Endowment Fund committee or board.
If you attended school in Lorain County, support your alma mater’s Endowment Funds by making a tax-deductible donation or an estate gift. If you are a teacher or a member of school district staff, donate through an automatic payroll deduction plan.
If you are interested in setting up an Endowment Fund to benefit your school, please contact Community Foundation of Lorain County. We look forward to working with you to build a brighter future for Lorain County students.