The foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit that generates and distributes resources to support teachers and students through a variety of events. Executive Director Jane Richards said 100% of the funds raised stay within the district.
“Our mission is to raise funds to support teachers and students,” Richards said. “We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. A lot of people in our community still don’t know about the Education Foundation. One of our goals this year is to get the word out.”
Richards said the funds raised by the foundation go back to the district through the Star Teacher Grant Program. The opening of the application process is announced each year during convocation in mid-August. The recipients are awarded their grants in November during Star Grant Patrol. The foundation has awarded up to $100,000 in some years and last year awarded around $70,000 in grants.
Teachers apply for funds to support classroom projects and programs, such as a chicken coop to raise chickens or a robotics program.
“That’s why we need to get the word out about our mission. The more money we raise, the more we can give back,” Richards said.
A closer look
This fall, the foundation will kick off the year with a new fundraising event, an annual giving campaign.
The foundation will also host its annual golf tournament and silent auction in the spring.
Eventually, the foundation will focus its efforts on one big campaign each year, Richards said. The foundation and its board members will be out in the community this fall, reaching out to community and business leaders and educating them about the purpose of the foundation.
“We want to tell the community what we do and how we do it so they will be better informed,” Richards said.
Also of note
A volunteer board of 21 active members and 25 total members serves without compensation and represents various sectors of employment in the two communities. The group helps raise money to help in a variety of ways. Here's a few notable facts about the foundation.
- All donations are tax deductible and can be made on the foundation’s website.
- More than $3.5 million has been distributed in program funding, and over 2,000 grants, scholarships and other projects have been awarded since the foundation was started in 1998, according to the website.
- The foundation has set aside more than $1.4 million for an endowment fund that will generate a perpetual source of funds through interest revenue, Richards said.
- During the upcoming New Educator Luncheon on Aug. 2, an event to welcome new educators to GCISD, an Adopt a Teacher drawing will be held, in which teachers could win a $100 gift card to help them prepare their classrooms for the upcoming 2023-24 school year.