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Blaine County Education Foundation Gears Up for School Year
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Tuesday, July 27, 2021
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

With school a month away, the Blaine County Education Foundation is trying to rally donations from parents, foundations and others to support public school students in their endeavors.

Last year the nonprofit organization:

  • Helped ensure that students from Carey to Ketchum had access to internet for online learning by paying for internet service for families in need.
  • Purchased 330 web cameras to allow teachers to educate students from home, outdoors or classroom.
  • Upgraded the school district’s software system to the more advanced and safer Education Google Suite Software, with help from donations from the Heinz Family Foundation, Silver Family Foundation, Spur Community Foundation and an anonymous donor.
  • Provided 300 backpacks filled with school supplies in partnership with Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Crisis Hotline, Nancy Eccles and Homer M. Hayward Family Foundation and Cox Communications.
  • Distributed $16,000 among the eight public schools to supplement their COVID-related supply needs.
  • Worked with the Idaho Social Learning Center to provide social-emotional support for students struggling with isolation anxiety due to hybrid learning.
  • Offered $500 scholarships for tutoring with the help of a gift from the Rixon and Cronin Charitable Fund.
  • Offered a “whole child” program that provide one-on-one tutoring from The Space, as well as movement activities supervised by Idaho Base Camp to get students outside and away from computer screens.
  • Awarded $35,000 in teacher and school-wide grants to provide teachers with additional materials, such as a Shakespeare book set, above what the school budget provided.

“COVID threw a curve ball at schools and teachers,” said Kristy Heitzman, Blaine County Education Foundation executive director. “They weren’t sure what supplies or services were going to be needed to support students. We provided additional funding to help them keep students safe in the classroom and keep teachers connected to their students when they were at home.”

This year the Foundation is trying to determine what special needs students might have following a year of part-time learning, Heitzman said.

The foundation does not receive government or school district funding but, rather, depends on donations from parents and organizations like the Wood River Women’s Foundation. To learn more, visit www.supportbcef.org. Or, call Heitzman at 208-720-9473.


 

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