Instead of new tree ornaments or other store-bought items as holiday gifts, Parkland School District’s new Education Foundation is hoping parents and students will consider a donation to the foundation in honor of district teachers, bus drivers and other staff members.
School board member Robert Bold, who is the board's liaison to the foundation, announced the holiday season campaign at the board's meeting on Tuesday.
He said the holiday campaign will start the week after Thanksgiving.
The Education Foundation, which is creating new reveunue streams for the district, held its first meeting on Aug. 22 and has since received its non-profit status, district spokeswoman Nicole McGalla said Thursday. The non-profit organization already has raised $19,000 in pledges through employee payroll deductions, said McGalla, the district liaison to the foundation.
The Education Foundation will spread the word about the holiday season campaign in several ways, in the district newsletter, websites, Facebook, Parkland TV on Channel 264 on Service Electric and in presentations at PTO meetings, McGalla said.
Also, it will be possible for people to make donations online to the Education Foundation through a website that will be launched in November.
Various school districts in the state have been setting up non-profit foundations to help during tough budgetary times due to shrinking state and federal subsidies and lower commercial property assessments. The National School Foundation Association counts about 4,500 foundations nationwide.
Several other districts in the Lehigh Valley have non-profit foundations, including Saucon Valley, Southern Lehigh, Allentown, Nazareth and Bangor school districts.
Thirteen people serve on the Parkland Education Foundation’s board; more volunteers serve on four committees to help the non-profit do its work. Volunteers include business people, the parents of Parkland graduates and alumni.
“It’s a diverse group,” McGalla said.
In addition to creating new revenue streams for the district, the Education Foundation provides tax benefits for businesses that make donations. Businesses accepted into the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit Program can make tax-deductible donations.
The foundation aims to foster creativity and innovation, in new monies and enrichment opportunities for district students and staff.
For more information, or to make donations, contact McGalla at email@example.com.