Writer / Jessica Pflumm
Photographer / Ron Steimert
Formed in Nov. 2014, the Greenwood Education Foundation (GEF) is gearing up for an exciting inaugural year. The GEF board consists of three groups of passionate advocates: teachers, parents and local business professionals — all of whom have volunteered their time and services to bring this foundation to life.
Led by President Donna Jones, a longtime supporter of the Greenwood school district, this foundation will serve the six Greenwood public schools. This group was established to help raise funds and public awareness. Dr. Kent DeKoninck, superintendent of Greenwood schools, states, “This group of people has a genuine desire to help our students.”
With federal and state budget cuts in education, this foundation will serve to improve the lives of students and teachers by providing grants, programs and overall support to enhance opportunities within all Greenwood public schools. “Teachers have learned to get even more creative with the budgets they are given. However, this foundation will supply teachers with even more opportunities to create programs and supplies that will help each and every student,” explained Jones.
The Greenwood school board wanted to form a foundation out of the basic desire to meet students’ and teachers’ needs that were otherwise unable to be met due to budget constraints. In its infancy stage, the GEF has spent the past few months working on organizational items — forming the board and its members, developing a mission statement, outlining desired goals and working on overall business development within the foundation. These core elements will allow a successful start, so that once underway, the foundation will be solidly supported and organized for a successful future.
Moving into 2015, the GEF is planning its first private fundraiser to gather those within the community and to raise awareness and funding for everything the foundation plans to accomplish. This semi-formal evening will allow invitees to become aware of and provide support for the foundation’s mission.
Other events that will take place in 2015 will be announced as well. This will allow the Greenwood public school community to learn more and become more involved in many supportive ways.
The GEF’s primary goal is to have mechanisms in place to support all teachers and students. One of its first established goals is to create a teachers’ grant cycle. This will allow Greenwood public school teachers’ resources to apply for mini-grants to help with their classrooms and with special program needs.
Since every child learns differently, these grants will allow teachers to support their students as they see fit. Whether it is a technology need for the classroom or support for clubs such as Robotics, teachers will fill out an application for these needs, and the board members will review and subsequently approve as funding allows. Overall, having a foundation gives schools the resources they may not have had access to.
By linking the community, the educators and the economy, the GEF will not only help teachers to support their students but will also allow for students to reach their full potential by allowing specialized programs to meet the individual’s needs. Forming this needed foundation allows Greenwood schools to be competitive with other Indianapolis schools as far as what programs and support they offer.
“Our goal is to provide students with the best possible advantages throughout their Greenwood school experience, so that when entering college, they are best equipped to succeed,” explained Jones.
This foundation will have a positive impact on all of those involved. “With Greenwood being such a family-friendly community, we wanted to take this sense of community and use it cohesively to work towards the best possible outcome for our students,” stated Jones.
Further into 2015, the GEF plans to have a social media presence as well as a website, which will be hosted within the Greenwood public school site and will allow private donations to be made. This site will also promote the foundation and educate anyone looking to find out more about it and all it has to offer.
The Greenwood community welcomes this foundation and its critical support for our teachers, students and local businesses. For more information on this foundation, you may contact Foundation President Donna Jones at email@example.com.