SchoolFest offers friendly competition in support of DCSF

Published 8:25 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Local schools are holding SchoolFest 2017 activities throughout May to support the Demopolis City Schools Foundation’s Classroom Grants Program.

Demopolis High School hosted a play in the fall and a talent show this week. Demopolis Middle School will hold outdoor events for their students on Friday, May 5. Westside Elementary and US Jones Elementary will have a day of fun on Friday, May 12.

The funds raised by the events are used to support the Classroom Grants program, providing projects, programs, and equipment that foster excellence in the classroom.

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The school that raises the most money through SchoolFest receives a trophy and an extra $1,000 grant.

“Competition is fierce between the schools for the trophy each year. The principals do some friendly 11‘trash talking’ in the fall,” said Amanda Barnes, executive director of the foundation.   “SchoolFest is an opportunity for the teachers and students who directly benefit from the classroom grants program to help raise funds for that program. It’s a win-win for the students, parents, and teachers — all of the money raised goes to support the classroom grants.” 

The original SchoolFest was held in the Spring of 1993 at the City Landing and moved the following year to the school campuses. Since then, the event has raised over $400,000 for the foundation’s classroom grants. 

Board Treasurer and US Jones parent Gabby Lewis sees the connection between a successful SchoolFest and a superior classroom experience. 

“We encourage parents to make sure their children attend and support SchoolFest. This is the foundation’s largest fundraiser, bringing in almost $20,000 last year,” Lewis said. “This allows us to make grants for computers, robots, art supplies, library books, and curriculum resources.  The foundation grants really make the difference between an adequate education and an excellent one.”

The Demopolis City Schools Foundation is an independent nonprofit established in 1993 to encourage private philanthropic support of the Demopolis public school system. Governed by a 33-member board of directors, the foundation has provided over $1.1 million in classroom grants since its inception, including over $60,000 in 2016. The foundation also holds over $1.1 million in reserve and endowment funds to ensure continued support in the future.