● By J. Chambless
A group of the founding members of the Avon Grove Education Foundation.
A very talented group of
individuals in the community volunteered when the Avon Grove Education
Foundation was being formed in 2018. The reason for the enthusiasm? The goal of
the foundation is to support education programs in the Avon Grove School
District that benefit the students.
Landenberg Life caught up with Mike Adams, one of the board members, to
talk about who serves on the Avon Grove Education Foundation, what some of the
goals of the organization are, and how the community can get involved.
Q: The Avon Grove Education Foundation (AGEF) was established in 2018. Can you talk about the mission of the foundation?
A: The intent of the Avon Grove Education Foundation is to supplement the curricular and extracurricular education program in the Avon Grove School District for the benefit of the students in the district.
The foundation has already started accepting submissions for grants. Can you talk about that grant program, and some of the opportunities that it might create for students in the district?
Generally speaking, funds from the AGEF are used within the district schools to provide for the quick creation and evaluation of pilot educational programs, or for supplementing existing programs. These programs are chosen through a process of collecting and prioritizing teacher-defined grant applications and could then be evaluated by the district administration for larger scale long-term funding.
We have a variety of grant requests already, and while we are actively looking for donations to fund them. We have a few which we’ve already been able to grant. We were able to support the first-ever STEM night at Avon Grove Intermediate School, enabling roughly 600 children and family members to get a taste for STEM activities, with the hope of sparking interest in pursuing a path in this area. We were able to provide funding to significantly increase the size of our AGIS LEGO Robotics Club, which currently must turn away about 75 percent of applicants due to lack of equipment. We also funded a request for seat licenses to vocab.com, providing teachers a powerful tool to assist in student vocabulary development.
What are some of the other activities that the foundation is currently working on?
The AGEF also plans to drive initiatives not tied directly to teacher requests. One example would be a pilot Spanish language/culture immersion program which board members have proposed in conjunction with administration and community input, and for which we are currently looking for funding.
Who is on the Avon Grove Education Foundation board?
A: Current members are: Mike Adams, Tara Burns, Sebastian Cioaba, Louis Chance, Brenda Deaner, Carolyn Hammerschmidt, Roger Horowitz, Debra L' Heureux, Tracy Litchfield, Scott Lucas, Courtney Michener Miller, Maria Navarrete-Olvera, Nancy Rowan, Bob Ruddy, Kyle Shah, Leslie Wallace, and Bob Weidenmuller. We also currently have a couple Board positions open and are seeking applicants.
What led you to personally become involved with the foundation?
I am particularly passionate about the critical importance of education (and for me, STEM education in particular) in moving a society forward, and believe a community plays a critical role in helping to provide the best educational experiences possible for its children. An investment in our kids today pays off multifold for the community in the long-term, and in many forms, such as entrepreneurship and small business creation, a more highly educated tax base, and the continuous cycle of reinvestment caused by having a more attractive school system. I probably speak for all the board members when I say that I am genuinely excited to contribute to this effort.
Does the foundation have any fundraisers or other events planned during the rest of 2019 that the community should be aware of?
We are currently planning a couple events over the course of the next 12 months and would certainly welcome community involvement. We will certainly keep those interested informed as details come together.
What are some of the ways that residents in the community can support the Avon Grove Education Foundation?
Donations are always welcome, as this is the most direct method of helping the AGEF achieve its goals of supporting the children of the district. Anyone interested can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Since we intend for corporate donations to be a significant part of our funding, we would also appreciate any contacts or insights from community members who know of corporations (or other entities) which would be willing to contribute to the AGEF cause. Anyone with this type of information can contact us at email@example.com.
For anyone who would like to contact the foundation, what is the best way to do that?
The best place to go to contact the AGEF on a variety of topics would be www.avongrove edfoundation.org/contact-us.