The Northern New York Community Foundation (NNYCF) announces a new initiative, Safe Schools Endeavor. Given a point in time where school safety is being discussed across the nation, this local fund was created with a mission to empower and support students, parents, and faculty in creating the safest school possible with a vision that every child is safe at school. The Safe Schools Endeavor, in partnership with NNYCF, embodies awareness, empowerment, and action and will provide funding to support that objective.
This fund is established for Jefferson and Lewis County school districts. Students, faculty and parents will be eligible to apply for funding for projects approved and supported by the respective school districts. Concepts may be anything that the applicant can demonstrate will foster a safer school environment. Examples of projects include costs associated with guest speakers or materials for movements out of national school safety initiatives, changes to the building/facility, advocating for county, state and/or federal sensible policy change, or raising public awareness.
This endeavor is led by a steering committee with representatives from both Jefferson and Lewis Counties, including perspectives of parents, faculty, and students. Erika Flint, will be leading the committee, currently consisting of nine individuals, with potential growth to approximately 12 members. In addition to Ms. Flint, members include; Ms. Beverly Brown, NNYCF Board Member, Mr. Stephen Todd, NNYCF Board Member, Ms. Jennifer Hodge, Ms. Marjorie LaVere, Ms. Brigitte Gillette, Mr. Todd Green, Ms. Kylie Simpson, and Ms. Jessica Bowline. There will also be participation from the Community Foundation and its Youth Philanthropy Council, comprised of students from local high schools.
Ms. Flint brought the concept of this endeavor forward to NNYCF and has led the formation of the steering committee. “The purpose of this program is beyond the funding, it is to create a very clear message that the Safe School Endeavor values children as our greatest gift, our future. Safety is not the school system’s burden to bear alone, it is our responsibility as a community to support and empower students, faculty and parents in a nonpartisan effort. It is very apparent to me that the NNYCF embodies community and is the perfect partner in this endeavor. We are beyond grateful for their partnership and support,” said Ms. Flint.
The steering committee has begun work with a focus on fundraising and awareness. Applications for school districts will be created over the summer with the intention of two open request periods per school year beginning the 2018-2019 school year. The Community Foundation provided some additional momentum for the endeavor by designating a $20,000 dollar for dollar matching opportunity for all gifts made to support the initiative.
“We are glad to be able to help in any way we can as this caring, dedicated group sets out to do what they can to take proactive steps to help keep our community and its students safe. When there is a desire by citizens to encourage empowerment to move something positive forward, we want to be there with resources to make it a reality,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation director.
Gifts (that will be matched) can be made to the Northern New York Community Foundation,131 Washington Street, Watertown, NY 13601 with Safe Schools Endeavor in the memo line and also online at www.nnycf.org.
The Northern New York Community Foundation makes grants to support the work of non-profit organizations and provides scholarships to individuals in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties. The Foundation has been built and added to from gifts (both while living and through their legacy plans) by individuals and organizations committed to meeting the changing needs of Northern New York, as well as supporting specific charitable interests and passions.