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D60 Education Foundation LogoDr. Henry Roman and his wife, Anna help assemble pensOne of the many drawbacks resulting from the global pandemic was the fact that the District’s Education Foundation was unable to raise the proper amount of funds needed to award teacher grants.

But respectful and cognizant of the efforts and labor of all District employees during a most challenging time, the Foundation’s board wanted to offer a token of appreciation for this commendable dedication.

This week, some 2,600 staffers will be receiving a branded Soft Touch Accent Gel Pen with colored stylus, along with a card bearing the Foundation’s rebranded logo and this message: “Thank you for all your great work and resilience over the last school year. We appreciate you!”

On Friday, Dr. Henry Roman, Education Foundation President and his wife Anna, together with D60 School Board Member Tommy Farrell and Director of Communication Dalton Sprouse and his mother Lil Sprouse, spent several hours attaching the cards to the pens and then preparing the cache for delivery to all buildings within the District.

“I’m happy to be able to put these together to recognize our staff,” said Board Member Farrell. “Of course, I wish we were able to do more, but I’m glad that we are able to do something.”

The Education Foundation was formed to seek financial support for the enrichment and improvement of the overall quality of life in our community through investments in educational programs that will assist our children to achieve their full potential.

That mission is encapsulated in the phrase “Supporting Educators-Building Futures” that anchors the Foundation’s new logo.

One of the Foundation’s hallmarks is the awarding of grants to teachers for projects and endeavors that will benefit the scholars of the District. The global pandemic, however, severely hampered fundraising efforts to do so.

The Foundation’s Board still wanted to remind the District team that its commitment and unwavering loyalty in these unprecedented times did not go unnoticed.

“Every year, we usually give about five grants to our teachers for educationally worthwhile projects,” said Dr. Roman, a past Superintendent of the District. “But because of COVID, we couldn’t hold our fundraising activities.

“So instead of funding five grants, we decided on a gift to all teachers and employees within the District. It’s just a way to say ‘thanks’ for all they did during the year of COVID.”Dalton Sprouse and Tommy Farrell open up bags of pens at the admin building.

On the plus side, the pandemic allowed the Foundation time for assessment and reflection, with the result being a rebranding and a renewed sense of optimism.

Explained Dr. Roman: “We asked ourselves: ‘Where are we now compared to where we should be, especially in this day and age?’ Dr. Edmund Vallejo founded this Foundation way back when – and it was a great idea to have every employee fund the Foundation by donating a buck a month. And it worked well.

“But we realized that many of those teachers who were here then are no longer here. We have a whole new generation of people and we have to let them know that is a great organization with a primary purpose of funding grants for educators. 

“But we need revenue to do it.”

While educator and staff payroll deductions still help fill the Foundation coffers, donations from private individuals and community agencies can now be accepted through the Foundation’s revamped Website.

“Even though our former employees may no longer be involved with the District, they can still contribute to its students,” Dr. Roman said. “It’s a way for us to reach outside of the District, and to do so with a new image.”

The Foundation’s Website also hosts a link for an Employee Deduction Authorization Form.

For more information, call 549-7147.