Excellence in Education Foundation funds Chromebooks, Challenge Day | SierraSun.com

Excellence in Education Foundation funds Chromebooks, Challenge Day

Shelley Purdy
Special to the Sun
From Left: Rebecca Maas and Ed Hilton, TTUSD Technology Department employees and Kelli Twomey, coordinator of Parent & Community Relations stand with the 900 new Chromebooks for the 1:1 Technology Program.
Courtesy photo |

When it comes to education, there is no shortage of new ideas, innovations and techniques for teaching in a way that engages and interests students.

But, a lot of those new ideas and innovations come with a price tag. There are new books to purchase, science equipment to update, new technology to explore and more needs to be met inside the classroom.

Organizations like the Excellence in Education Foundation help bridge gaps in funding so students have the opportunity to experience and learn from those new ideas, innovations and techniques.

CLASSROOM NEEDS

The Foundation was established in the Tahoe-Truckee community over 25 years ago to help meet some of those classroom needs. Community volunteers serve on the Foundation’s board and over the years have created fundraising programs that have allowed the Foundation to distribute about $250,000 per year directly to teachers within the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District. A new grant cycle is available each year, and every teacher is encouraged to submit an application to help fund programs, supplies and other items they need to better interest and engage the students in their class.

Some of the Foundation’s fundraising programs have been around so long many people don’t even realize where the money is going and what it’s being used for. If you’ve ever bought a Dining for Schools card, a Golfing for Schools card, participated in a Skiing for Schools day or attended the Martis Camp Home Tour, you have supported the Excellence in Education Foundation.

Your support has made a direct impact on Tahoe Truckee Unified School District students.

‘BIG BANG’ GRANTS

In addition to providing grants directly to teachers, the Foundation sets aside funds from the Foundation’s endowment fund (currently over $2.5 million) for what they call “big bang” grants. These projects are board designated and tend to be awarded directly to the school district for big projects.

Some of those “big bang” grants helped purchase Chromebooks for every student in eighth to 12th grade, supported the Aim High program for middle school students, funded Challenge Day, provided seed money for programs like Harvest of the Month and Arts For the Schools Artist in Residence, as well as funds for in-depth literacy training for district teachers.

The Foundation’s goal is to enhance public education within TTUSD in order to strengthen every student’s learning experience.

The Foundation has succeeded because of partnerships with local businesses, service groups, other nonprofits and individuals.

It is that common goal of providing our children with the best possible education that has kept the Foundation fiscally strong. In addition to the fundraising programs, the Foundation also offers a Friends of Education membership, which start at $35 and are a great way for individuals, businesses or other organizations to support education.

For more information about the Foundation or to become a Friend of Education visit http://www.exined.org.

Last school year, the Foundation proudly contributed nearly $300,000 in grant funding to the classrooms and programs of TTUSD.

Shelly Purdy is an Excellence in Education board member.