by: Shelley Wheeler
Flagler County Education Foundation
Adapting to change has been a common theme over the last 14 months for everyone. This has certainly been true for the Flagler County Education Foundation.
The direct-support nonprofit organization for Flagler Schools has had to adapt its entire way of fundraising during the pandemic, from completely changing the way of honoring 150 seniors who have received over $350,000 in senior scholarship money, to fundraising without in-person events.
The Education Foundation also launched a PPE campaign last year, sending a personalized kit to over 500 community members. Each kit included a mask, hand sanitizer, lanyard, as well as information about how they could support the initiative. The $45,000 raised was used to purchase over 14,000 masks and desk partitions for all students and staff. Every student going back in person received a personalized packet with a mask and lanyard for the start of school. It is through the generosity of local businesses and community partners that this was possible.
The teacher grant process continued, although a little later than usual, thanks to the generosity of Beaver Toyota and funds received through the matching grant program through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations. The Paul B & Constance D Hunter Charitable Foundation also continued its support for the Classroom to Career Flagship programs. This afforded the foundation the ability to award $115,000 in classroom grants to teachers and schools for projects during the 2020-2021 school year.
Some annual events were canceled but some were able to adapt and continue. The Josh Crews Gala, which supports the Josh Crews writing project and created 56 new published authors this year, was able to move to an outside venue. The event raised over $39,000.
The 31st-annual golf tournament was held, albeit on a later date, May 3, with the support of the staff and volunteers at Grand Haven Golf Club.
Continuing with the year’s theme of adapting, the Ed Foundation created Partnership in Education with 24 local businesses to raise $145,000 to support the Teacher Grant program, Career Coaching, STUFF Bus, and Take Stock in Children program.
Another goal achieved in 2021 was the Peter & Sue Freytag Take Stock in Children program reaching the four-year goal to get over 100 students active in the program. The 2021-22 school year will see 40 new students enter the program. This means that goal has been reached one year early.
David Alfin, Education Foundation Board President said, “The hard work and innovation that Joe Rizzo and his staff have accomplished this year has been amazing. They didn’t miss a beat when everything changed. They strived to continue fundraising and promoting the good work we do here in the foundation.”
To support the Flagler County Education Foundation or to find out more about their programs visit their website at FlaglerEdFouncation.org.