I promise to stop talking about treasures that keep turning up in the basement, but I do want to mention this last one. It isn’t about writing. It’s about when a small group of us started the Springfield Public School Foundation (later changed to Foundation for Springfield Public Schools) in 1990. In a folder I found the memorandum from Tom Field addressed to Larry Dixon, David Harrison, and Jackie McKinsey suggesting we pick a date for our organizational meeting. What we had the privilege of starting has grown over these past 29 years as described on the Foundation website:
“Since its beginning in 1990, the Foundation has worked with our generous donors and volunteers, the community, district administrators and teachers to put dollars exactly where they are needed – in classrooms to fund new technology, innovative learning projects, scholarships for graduating seniors, and many more, powerful tools for education.
What began with a handful of volunteers, putting together a Foundation that would take donations and manage funds to benefit the schools, has grown to become a Foundation that manages over $5 million and more than 150 funds and scholarships.
To date, the Foundation has given more than $17 million to the Springfield Public Schools and its students to accomplish the Foundation’s mission to raise, manage and distribute private investment to benefit the students of Springfield Public Schools.
The vision of the Foundation is to promote educational excellence for every child by working with the public school system and the community.
Among the Foundation’s landmark achievements are the Telethon for Technology, the annual Teacher Appreciation Banquet, annual Back to School grants program and Pick-a-Project – an online, fundraising site for teacher-submitted, classroom projects.
In 2016, the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools ranked number seven out of 188 of the top education foundations in “Stepping Up: The Nation’s Top K-12 Education Foundations 2016.”
I stood in the basement for some time, holding the folder in my hands and reading again after all these years our original documents of intent as we organized for the future. I felt taller when I came back up the stairs.