BROCKWAY — The Brockway Schools and Community Education Foundation worked with local businesses to assist classrooms and projects in the Brockway Area School District.
Two donations went to the elementary school, $250 from Brockway Drug to help with the math facts on the stair risers, and $250 from Dr. James Devlin to help out at the library. $500 from the Brockway Sportsman’s Club went to the ag classroom to buy pelts for animal identification.
The pelts may seem like a strange request, but in the animal sciences and ag classes, the pelts are helpful.
“We use them to teach students how to identify different animals,” Brockway ag teacher Matt Holt said. “We have some now, but we need better-quality ones as well as ones that we didn’t have before. Our class can then use them to learn about different animal species.”
Teachers were asked to make a small, one-time donation as a Friend of the Foundation before asking to find a project. Then, the Foundation looked for businesses to match up with the requests.
“Businesses could adopt a specific classroom, grade level, or department depending on their own company’s goals,” Lisa Rutherford, the executive director of the foundation, said. “Requests were then paired with the corporate donation which most closely matched both parties’ goals.”
Getting funding for the project was a long process for Rutherford, who found she had to both clarify the mission of the Brockway Schools and Community Education Foundation as well as raise money.
“I walked down Main Street, cold-called each business, introduced myself and the Education Foundation,” Rutherford said. “I had to explain how the Foundation enhances the educational experiences in Brockway through tax-deductible donations.”
The Foundation pays for enrichment and enhancements that go beyond the regular K-12 public school curriculum. The Foundation focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math opportunities, commonly abbreviated as STEAM. It is funded through corporate grants, alumni donations, bequests, fundraising, and gifts, but is an entity independent from the school district.
The Foundation is seeking to do more for the school district, holding its annual gala event on April 26. Rutherford said that the donors help keep Brockway’s educational offerings in line with those of larger school districts.
More information about the Brockway Schools and Community Education Foundation can be found at www.brockway.k12.pa.us/Foundation.