For its continued commitment to supporting District 54 students, the District 54 Education Foundation was named 2019 Volunteer Organization of the Year by the Village of Schaumburg.
The honor was announced April 15 at the village’s annual Volunteer of the Year Luncheon, which recognizes adults, young people and organizations that help make Schaumburg a better place through their volunteer efforts. The Foundation was nominated by Katy Garcia, who won the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2016 for her extensive community service, including serving as a member of the D54 Foundation’s volunteer board.
“Congratulations to the District 54 Education Foundation volunteers who are so critical to the success of our community’s next generation of leaders,” Schaumburg Village President Al Larson said. “The work being done by this group of volunteers ensures that students are given the best chance to succeed in life, which ultimately benefits the entire Schaumburg community when we’re able to support the well-being and growth of our youngest residents.”
The Foundation’s focus is providing breakfast to students from financially struggling families to ensure that they begin their day ready to learn. When the Foundation launched its Food 4 Thought campaign in late 2016, it had enough revenues in reserves to provide breakfast programs at eight District 54 schools. With the goal of raising money to feed students in need at all 27 elementary and junior high schools, Foundation trustees began calling on local companies and embracing every possible opportunity to share the mission. The Foundation is currently funding breakfast programs at 19 schools, serving nearly 1,600 students from financially struggling families.
“The Foundation’s fundraising activity enriches and helps to transform the lives of children in our community,” Garcia wrote in her nomination letter. “The simplest of these is the Food 4 Thought program, which provides a basic essential that most of us take for granted: breakfast for children who might not have that available to them at home. Having a good start to the day with breakfast helps students so much throughout the school day to focus on learning instead of hunger, and the emotions hunger can invoke which hamper the learning process.”
The Foundation also funds grants to students from financially struggling families so they can participate in extracurricular activities. Last spring the Foundation funded all 330 grant applications students submitted, or about $29,000, for activities such as karate, swimming, dance and math classes. In addition, the Foundation funds STEM enrichment programs so District 54 students have the opportunity to become innovators, practice collaboration and be prepared for exciting opportunities in their futures.
“We are so grateful to all of our donors, sponsors and volunteers whose contributions make it possible for us to impact the lives of District 54 students,” Foundation Chair Thomas Manzardo said. “It is wonderful to be part of a community that is so supportive of education, and we are incredibly honored to be recognized as Schaumburg’s 2019 Volunteer Organization of the Year.”
#article_video width:100%;margin:25px 0;overflow:hidden;