Melrose educators have great ideas. They want to challenge and engage their students and instill in them a love of learning. They want to pursue professional development opportunities, try out new methods of instruction, and bring original projects to the classroom to enhance student learning. Most importantly, they know that our students will graduate into a world of unimagined innovations and challenges, and that they need and deserve a school district that will help them thrive and succeed.
But finding sufficient funding to implement innovative ideas in the classroom is a very real roadblock. This is particularly true during the school year, once the district’s resources have been fully allocated.
[box]Our Vision: The Melrose Education Foundation envisions a community mobilized in support of a high-performing, innovative, school district that engages all students, empowers educators to try bold, new ideas, and creates a student body that makes a difference in an ever-changing world.[/box]
Now Melrose educators have another place to turn to put their new ideas into practice: the Melrose Education Foundation. The Foundation, officially launched this month, is a nonprofit organization that raises private funds to provide grants for initiatives that will enrich curriculum and offer opportunities that are beyond the reach of the district’s budget.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors that includes parents, educators, and community leaders; Mayor Rob Dolan and Superintendent Cyndy Taymore serve as ex officio members of the Board. The Foundation will offer grants in various sizes to individuals or teams of educators. The Board expects its grant portfolio to promote excellence, rigor, and innovation in teaching and learning and benefit students across the system, from preschool through high school. Over 40 communities across Massachusetts, including many right here in Middlesex County, have active education foundations that convene stakeholders, provide grants, and partner with parents, educators, PTOs, the school district and the local business community.
Lisa Lewis, Melrose Education Foundation President, explained, “Our goal is to support innovation and excellence in our public schools. We look forward to working collaboratively with the City of Melrose, our school leaders and especially our educators to enhance the educational experience of all students in the district.”
Mayor Rob Dolan said, “As a graduate of Melrose High School and the parent of children in the Melrose Public Schools, I couldn’t be more enthused about the Melrose Education Foundation. The dedicated leadership of this group has put into action something the City has talked about for many years. It is an incredible opportunity for any Melrose resident to support our schools and staff and see their contribution at work directly helping students achieve greatness. I ask all citizens to embrace this foundation, and I am confident of its success.”
Superintendent Cyndy Taymore added, “Having served on the boards of two other Education Foundations, I appreciate the support that foundations provide in enabling educators to ‘think outside the box’ and pilot new ideas. Most often school districts do not have the funding for research and development. The funds from the Melrose Education Foundation will help our staff to explore new approaches to teaching and learning and to find new resources to support our students. We look forward to adding the Melrose Education Foundation to our network of family and community partners.”
Jen McAndrew, the Foundation’s Vice President, said, “It is clear that the Melrose community wants to come together to support an innovative school district that encourages our educators to take risks and pursue their best ideas. The Foundation will provide the funds to help make it happen.”
Joan Ford Mongeau, Board Member and Executive Director of the Melrose Chamber of Commerce added, “Whether we are parents, business leaders, or dedicated community members, we all have a stake in making sure that our school district is the best it can be. Many cities and towns in our area have active education foundations. The timing is right for Melrose to start a foundation, and I believe it will have a great impact.”
The Foundation wants your help! Want to join us, make a donation or volunteer? There are many opportunities to get involved. Please join our mailing list, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MelroseED and on Twitter @MelroseED.