Annual DCSF giving campaign is under way

Published 10:29 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2010

During the past two years of tough economic times, the Demopolis City Schools Foundation kept its promise to teachers.

“Thanks to our generous and loyal supporters, the Foundation managed to provide funding to every teacher in the school system,” said Foundation president John Northcutt.

“Because the tough times aren’t over, we are calling on them to step up again to help foster and promote excellence in the Demopolis public school system.”

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The annual Giving Campaign is underway, and the Foundation is asking current, former and new supporters to join its program of providing the resources that teachers need to influence the success of all their students.

Although the Foundation designates levels of giving and awards for each, any contribution is welcomed. Even small donations, when pooled with others, go a long way to make sure children in Demopolis schools have access to the best resources available, Northcutt said.

Until last fall, the Foundation awarded grants annually to teachers through an application process. When the state budget demanded proration and eliminated all teacher-fee money, the Foundation board of directors approved a change in grant distribution.

“Teachers often used their own money to provide supplies for their students, even when they received some funding from the state,” said Northcutt. “The board decided to step in and help by dividing the $50,000 budgeted for grants among all the certified educators in the system.”

In October, the first half of the money was distributed to the schools, and the second half was delivered earlier this month. Each of the 172 teachers received a total of $292.40. The money can be used individually or pooled with other teachers for special purchases.

The Foundation’s grants committee will review the financial outlook in the spring to decide the course of action for the next round of grant funding.

Since the Foundation began in 1993, grants totaling more than $756,000 have found their way into the city’s classrooms to pay for projects, programs and equipment that cannot be purchased through the school system’s budget.

For information on the Foundation and how to become a member, call 289-2226.