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Asheville school foundation receives $100K gift



11/7/2012 - Asheville school foundation receives $100K gift
by Asheville Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE -- The Asheville City Schools Foundation recently received the largest gift in the organization's history. A couple who wish to remain anonymous have given $100,000 to the foundation to strengthen current programs and to serve as matching gifts for the next three years.

This gift will be divided among the current and next two fiscal years as a part of the organization's "Changing Futures" theme.

This year's portion of the gift will help fund a full-time volunteer to work at the Asheville City Schools preschool to work with the more than 100 children in poverty there.

The Volunteers in Service to America worker will focus on enhancing relationships between the schools and the families of the preschoolers served. The goal, the foundation said, is more informed parents, more capable of supporting the learning and the children's success.

Also with this gift, the foundation will be able to fund several initiatives at Hall Fletcher Elementary, where 80 percent of the student population lives in poverty. The Music Mentors program will provide funds to purchase instruments to create a performance group of students.

Also, older students will mentor younger students, and all students will learn about leadership and team-building.

Also at Hall Fletcher, this gift will provide kindergarten enrichment by providing an experienced, certified teacher to pull out small groups of students throughout the school year to increase access to hands-on projects in science, technology, engineering and math. This will increase the ability of teachers to focus on those falling behind and to challenge those on grade-level.

First-grade teachers at Hall Fletcher will also expand their students' home libraries by providing home e-readers loaded with books at a range of reading levels. According to the foundation, results from last year show that students with access to the e-readers spent more time reading and were more confident readers.

The gift will provide an entire class with e-readers.

In the next three years, the gift will provide $45,000 for teacher innovation grants and foundation fellowships and will serve as a matching gift to encourage others to contribute to the organization's annual campaign.

"The results of this generous gift will be that many more children will have access to effective and engaging teaching," the foundation said in a statement. "Their classrooms will be better equipped and their teachers better trained. The long-term effects will make the ACSF stronger, having more donors to support the mission, ensuring that the voice for children and for public schools will thrive for many years to come."

The mission of the Asheville City Schools Foundation is "to promote educational success for all students in Asheville City Schools by engaging the entire community to support enriching and innovative educational activities."

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