The gift of education

Friday, November 12, 2010

There's a new opportunity to give in the local area. The Cassville Education Fund (CEF) has been established as an endowment under the Cassville Community Foundation, providing individuals with the opportunity to make tax-deductible donations to a fund that will directly impact education at the local level.

The CEF is currently engaged in a fundraising effort to raise $20,000 for the fund by Dec. 31 in order to take advantage of a matching fund program offered through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks that will award an additional $10,000 to the local endowment fund if the fundraising goal is met. So when you donate to the CEF between now and the end of the year, your dollars will be generating an additional 50 percent for the fund, which is a great return on your investment.

The Cassville Education Fund is set up as a permanent endowment, which means the money donated to the fund remains intact as the principle and grows as more donations are made to the fund. Grants awarded from the fund come from earned income on the principle. CEF organizers have big plans for the fund and hope to see it grow well beyond the immediate $20,000 target.

Grants awarded through the CEF will benefit academic programs at the Cassville R-4 School District. Teachers will submit grant applications to the CEF for consideration. Award decisions will be made by an independent citizens board separate from the school district. Grant money will be used to enhance educational opportunities for local students, and in a time when state and federal budget cuts are looming, these local funds will become even more valuable as they provide the additional investment needed to ensure the R-4 District maintains its reputation for academic excellence.

According to CEF organizers, programs selected for grant funding must promote student learning and development. Some examples of possible grant projects include supplemental books for classrooms, speakers, lab equipment, maps, computer software and teaching materials.

When you give to the Cassville Education Fund, you can know you are helping young people achieve their dreams by strengthening their educational opportunities. If you are an alumnus who has fond memories of your time at Cassville, a parent who appreciates the education your child received or a business owner who realizes the value of a strong school system, the Cassville Education Fund is a great way to invest your money in the future of this community.

The CEF has developed a website that allows individuals and businesses to donate to the fund online. The website also offers information about the fund. To learn more or to donate, visit http://cassvilleeducationfund.org.