When the term foundation is used as it relates to education, the image of some stuffy college administrator begging alumni from the school for money may come to mind.
But the Carson City Schools Foundation’s intent is to be about much more than that. Sure, money is a big part as the foundation has set a goal to raise $200,000 by the end of the year.
And the foundation is already off to a flying start as even before it officially launched on Wednesday, foundation president Ian Hill announced it has raised $27,500.
But what the foundation exactly is may be difficult to understand and even Carson City Schools Superintendent Richard Stokes admitted he at first had trouble grasping the concept during the foundation’s official launching Wednesday at Carson High’s Senator Square.
“I wasn’t sure if I knew what that meant,” said Stokes about being told about the idea for a foundation for the district.
The foundation is: An entire community effort of educators, parents, students, those from higher education, government, businesses, manufacturers, philanthropists — basically everyone in the community — coming together to make sure K-12 students in Carson City schools have the resources to be successful in the 21st century.
Yes, a big part of that is to provide funding for programs not provided from federal funding and funding from the state Legislature. School board president Ron Swirczek put it best when he told students Wednesday, “We now have an avenue to provide you something way beyond what you have in the classroom now.”
Stokes said the idea for a foundation was first proposed by former CHS principal Fred Perdomo in 2003 and as a result of the district’s strategic plan, the foundation is now a reality.
What the foundation provides ranges from sponsorship programs in which businesses work with students and teachers to provide real world curriculum to micro grants of up to $100 for teachers who pay for supplies out of their own pockets.
Mike Jackson, from Carson City manufacturer Micromanipulator and a foundation board member, said manufacturers are excited about partnering with the district through the foundation.
And the foundation has partnered with the Foundation of Western Nevada, which obviously has expertise in raising money.
Valerie Dockery, Carson City schools director of grants and special projects, said she’ll continue to seek grants for the district, but the foundation will make sure projects will stay permanent as opposed to the grants she applies for which are temporary.
“We need to be in charge of our own destiny,” she said.
Bryt Lewis of Carson City’s Abowd and Rose Financial Group is the foundation’s secretary and in charge of technology and reaching out to alumni. He’s about as far away from a stuffy college administrator asking for money as you can get. He’s a 2007 CHS graduate.
Lewis said what alumni are interested most in is “how will my contribution make a difference.”
Those who want more information or would like to make a donation to the foundation can go to www.ccschoolsfoundation.org.