[EAU CLAIRE, WI] Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation has reached a unique milestone: its millionth dollar granted in support of Eau Claire Area School District schools and students.
Established in 2011, Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation (ECPSF) is the charitable giving partner of Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD). Since its inception, ECPSF has provided over $1 million to supplement the tax-based funding of ECASD schools. The support comes in the form of classroom grants, special projects, annual teacher and staff Golden Apple Awards, college scholarships for district graduates, and more.
Local public education foundations are becoming an increasingly significant source of support for public schools as state and federal funding become unpredictable. While Eau Claire’s tax dollars provide strong support for programs, facilities and staffing, ECPSF is the funding source for classroom innovation to ensure that today’s students have the same opportunities that previous years’ students had.
Dan Market, a Founding Partner of ECPSF, served as the first Board chair. He and his wife, Debbie, hold a donor-advised family fund at ECPSF that awards grants for school programs and projects. “Strong schools are an important part of a community. When we first established ECPSF, one of our primary goals was to make sure today’s kids have the same opportunities that Debbie and I had growing up,” he shared. “The Foundation is doing great work to support our school district’s teachers, students, and needs, and Debbie and I are thrilled to be a part of that.”
Some of the more than $1 million in grants awarded include funding for field trips; new before- and after-school clubs; musical instruments; school visits from authors, artists, and musicians; updating playground equipment; addressing the needs of students from low-income families; and more. The grant that secured the millionth dollar granted was Solar on Eau Claire Schools, the unique project that brought donors together to support the design, installation, and maintenance of the 360-solar-panel arrays atop North and Memorial High Schools.
Superintendent Mike Johnson shared his gratitude for the impact that $1 million has had. “Our district is so fortunate and grateful to have a foundation, and such a generous community supporting our schools. We must be extremely efficient and cautious in our budgeting as a result of the pandemic,” he said. “ECPSF is so creative and passionate in their support of supplementing funding, connecting donors with ECASD, and bringing unique and enriching opportunities to our students and staff.”
With over 50 funds supporting the district’s 20 schools, ECPSF offers fund types for varying donor interests and district needs. Each of the 20 schools has its own Fund for Today, and special interest funds support specific needs and supplementary programming at the schools. Through charitable donations gifted from community members and businesses, ECPSF is able to provide schools with their greatest needs, support educator creativity, and grow endowment funds to enable future giving.
To learn more about the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation, or to start your own fund to support an ECASD school or need, visit the ECPSF website at www.ecpsfound.org, or contact Executive Director Sarah French at [email protected]
Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation is a nonprofit, independent organization that connects the community and Eau Claire Area School District to inspire and enhance the educational experience of our students. Through charitable donations gifted from community members and businesses, ECPSF is able to provide schools with their greatest needs, support educator creativity, and grow endowment funds to enable future giving. www.ecpsfound.org