Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for January 16, 2014
Kane Schools Foundation celebrates 10 years
Kane School District, citizens and educators mark the 10 year anniversary of the Kane Schools Foundation. The Foundation was established as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit partner to the Kane School District in January of 2004. In 10 years of operation, it has raised over $375,000 to nurture educational excellence in the seven Kane County public schools.
Early on, the Foundation received a favorable final IRS determination that it was a public charity, and became a member of the Utah Association of Public School Foundations. It developed a website, began to administer scholarship donations, buy books for schools, fund teacher training, and became involved in community events such as the Western Legends Round-Up. Donations from local businesses and entities began during this time.
Fundraising/donations. The Foundation held its first live charity dinner auction in 2006, and subsequently held two more, in 2008 and 2011. “Diamonds & Denim,” the 2011 dinner auction, brought in more than double the amount of the previous two events.
The Partner in Education Program was begun in 2006 and the Kane Schools Foundation endowment was established in 2007, with $10,000. Also in 2007, ARAMARK Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas donated a seven day, Lake Powell houseboat trip to the Foundation, a donation which it has generously continued to give annually since then, bringing funds in and allowing our supporters to enjoy a spectacular part of our county.
Partner in Education donors also include Best Friends Animal Society ($6,500 since 2006), Zions Bank ($5,000 in 2006); and Adobe Realty, ERA Utah Properties, Garkane Energy, Kanab City and Zion Pharmacy at the $1,000 and above level. All business donors are noted on our donor page at.kanesf4students. org our-donors.html.
Outside corporate donations to the Kane Schools Foundation have grown steadily Since its inception, the Foundation reached out beyond Kane County, broadening its donor base to corporations such as Costco, Target and Wal-Mart; and such entities as Ballet West, Brian Head Resort, Bryce Canyon Natural History Association, Colorado River Discovery, Dillards, Dixie State College, Little America Hotel, Natural History Museum of Utah, Page Lake Powell Hot Air Balloon Company LLC, Stampin’ Up! The Utah Museum of Fine Arts, The Walt Disney Company, and Utah Jazz. From 2009-2013, in its second five years, the Foundation raised over $255,000, double the amount raised in the first five years.
Yearly audits of the Kane Schools Foundation for Students by the independent public accounting firm Wiggins and Company of Brigham City, Utah, consistently give the Foundation a clean bill of health, concluding that the Foundation’s financial transactions are proper and in compliance with all applicable existing laws. It is also a certified nonprofit on Guidestar.
The Foundation is committed to managing its resources intelligently and efficiently, so that 100 percent of donated funds directly benefit students. It provides a secure tax advantage for donors and those wishing to leave assets for an important and far reaching purpose.
Support/grants to schools. In the schools early on, the Foundation brought school library improvements and the STAR Reading Program to Lake Powell School (2006), the district’s smallest and most remote school; and helped procure and provide matching funds to Kane District for a federal library grant for web-based library systems for 10 schools in five school districts, greatly improving access to library services for rural students (2008). The Foundation also, through funding, helped the district move to online writing programs to provide students with greatly increased and effective writing feedback .
In 2011, the Foundation began a mini-grant program for Kane District schools, seeking to more directly impact curriculum and classroom practices. Technology based grants in the last three years included supplying a middle school math class with handheld graphing computers to enrich their math understanding; iPads for reading assessments for K-6 students, cutting the time it takes teachers to do the important assessments in half; and technology for toddlers in the district’s special education preschool to enhance the learning of pre-literacy skills in young children.
Academic enrichment grants provided in the last three years include providing fully integrated common core materials for a second grade classroom; updating a sixth grade classroom library which had lacked books that engage older elementary school kids; supplying comprehensive writing aids to all district third grade students to create a stronger writing program; and purchasing a classroom microscope with flex camera to support hands on science exploration for middle school students. In the area of music, the Foundation awarded a grant to expand 7-12 grade students’ music appreciation and cultural understanding through the purchase of traditional string instruments.
With the recent establishment of the Michael J. Alvey Memorial Endowment Fund, the Kane Schools Foundation has now grown its endowments to over $51,798.
The existence of these endowments ensures the ability of the Foundation to remain a stable and permanent part of public education, supporting current and future K-12 students in our community.
Partnerships. In 2011, the Foundation, through a partnership with Desert Dog Productions, a local nonprofit that brings musical performances to Kanab and involves local music students, began to receive portion of the profits from concerts for music education. In 2013, the Foundation, in partnership with the Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners group, helped purchase GPS units for Kanab High School’s Natural Resource Management classes to be used, in part, in a native plant restoration project
In addition to raising money to help improve and enhance district programs for students, foundation staff and board members have helped students by mentoring Sterling Scholars, facilitating opportunities for outdoor science experiences through partnerships with local land management agencies, assisting with grant writing, contributing to community music programs, and providing mini scholarships for students involved in high school activities at the state and federal levels, and by serving as ambassadors for the Kane School District – educating the public about our schools and developing support for our students.
Board of Trustees. Tremendous credit goes to the Kane Schools Foundation Board of Trustees. Past members of the board include Bruce Barnson, Colene Brinkerhoff, Lex Chamberlain, Corey Child, Dixie Brunner, Marietta Eaton, Jack Gisler, Joyce Hunsaker, Jim Koons, Lloyd Laycook, Dottie Ratzlaff, Carol Sullivan, Lynette Shelley and Paula Zutes. The current members of the Board of Trustees are Karen Alvey, Paul Altherr, Harry Barber, Laurel A. Beesley, Neal Brown, Stephen Dahl, Michael East, Carol Kershaw and Marty Ott.
Having such dedicated and generous volunteers deeply involved in the support of the schools also generates ever-expanding community awareness of the value of the district’s endeavors with our children. Together with Foundation Director Tracy Hiscock, School District Superintendent Robert Johnson, Business Manager Cary Reese, and School Board member Wendy Allan, they make up the Kane Schools Foundation for Students.
The Kane Schools Foundation for Students is proud of its accomplishments over the last 10 years and looks forward to continuing its important work. In addition to accepting donations and volunteers, we encourage partnership arrangements and new ideas to further our mission. Throughout this year, we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary with “Ten for Ten,” a program to raise $10,000 through $10 donations. We invite individuals and business to join in supporting our students with a simple $10 gift. Contact Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (435) 644-2555 ext. 9.