The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Education 2011

February 26, 2011

Building the foundations

Organizations work to meet needs of the Enid and area school districts

ENID — foundation (foun-da-shen) n. 1. The basis on which a thing stands ... or is supported.

Several foundations support Enid area schools by raising funds for educational expenses not in the budget of the school districts.

Enid Public Schools

Kim Blankenship, executive director of Enid Public School Foundation, said teacher grants are awarded twice a year, in the spring and fall. Funded by interest earned on the foundation’s endowment, grants total about $15,000 per semester, Blankenship said.

Teachers submit requests for grants early in the semester, she said. Requests are reviewed and grants recommended by a committee made up of community members.

“We obviously can’t fund all of them,” Blankenship said. “They’re all good, but it’s just down to the wire on what we can spend.”

Grants awarded have included math enhancements, project materials, science initiatives, library media and even a book project that included a teleconference.

The foundation is in the midst of a special fundraising campaign to purchase SMART Boards for classrooms that do not yet have them. The aim of the 100 Percent Smart campaign is to add 69 of the interactive white boards to Enid classrooms.

“Four years we needed to purchase 458 SMART Boards,” Blankenship said.

Many were obtained with a “buy one, get one” program and with funds raised by PTAs and donated by Barnes Family Foundation.

Most of the 69 classrooms still awaiting the technology are middle school classrooms, Blankenship said.

“We asked every student to bring $1, and that raised $7,250,” Blankenship said. “Then what we did with that money is we went to the community and asked people whether they would be willing to be a Smart partner and match what the kids raised or just give a donation.”

So far, about $120,000 of the targeted $250,000 has been raised, Blankenship said.

The foundation holds two annual events, one of which — Festival of Stars — is a fundraiser.

This year’s Festival of Stars — set April 25 at Enid High School’s food court — will feature vendors and music performed by the middle and high school bands.

A Hall of Fame banquet, held each October, honors those who have made a strong impact on Enid Public Schools, Blankenship said.

She said the foundation set up an office in the building that formerly housed Harrison Elementary School in January and officials always are interested in hearing from those wishing to serving on the foundation’s committees and board of directors.

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Education 2011
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