NEW 200 Foundation sets $42,000 fundraising goal
Supporters of the revitalized NEW 200 Foundation told the Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 school board they are hoping to raise $42,000 by the end of the year to support materials and projects in schools that otherwise wouldn't have any funding.
"We made great strides this year, and yet there's still a lot more that we can do to meet the demands of rapidly evolving technology and curriculum," said NEW 200 volunteer Andy Johnson.
Last year, the foundation -- which was established as a nonprofit in 1992 to "enrich the education of District 200 students" -- awarded $3,000 for the purchase of web-based math programs at all the middle schools, more than $1,000 for robotics courses and $1,500 to support entrepreneurship curriculum at Franklin Middle School.
The foundation also was able to expand its volunteer base after being dormant for the last 10 years or so, Johnson said.
"We're trying to get more involvement from the community," Johnson said, adding that new fundraising initiatives like Minecraft meet-ups and a pizza tasting are being explored.
Due to increasing budgetary issues, many school districts across the suburbs are looking to start a foundation or take existing foundations to the next level.
The foundations' missions are different from parent teacher associations, which typically focus on the needs of specific schools.
Superintendent Jeffrey Schuler thanked the foundation for its work and said it's just one example of how the district can partner with organizations that want to help fund education.
"One of the goals that the board set this year was to look at, or maximize, any opportunity for funding outside of the district," he said.
Foundation volunteers already have determined how they would distribute the money they raise this year, should they hit their $42,000 goal. It includes:
• $10,000 for online math programs;
• $10,000 for supplemental fiction informational reading materials;
• $8,000 for parenting seminars dealing with social emotional learning and Internet safety;
• $6,000 for a grant for a teacher who wants to start a new project;
• $5,000 to increase technology in the classrooms;
• and $3,000 for more science equipment in the district's middle schools
In addition to raising money, the foundation is collecting nominations for its annual Distinguished Teacher Award. One teacher from each school level -- preschool/elementary, middle and high school -- will be given an award for going above and beyond to enrich the educational experiences of District 200 students.
The deadline for nominations, which can be submitted online at www.new200.org, is Sunday, Feb. 22. Any teacher currently district is eligible for nomination. Classroom aides are not eligible.
The foundation's next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the district's School Service Center at 130 W. Park Ave. in Wheaton.