By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Westborough – The Westborough Education Foundation (WEF) recently presented a check for $25,000 to Superintendent Amber Bock to support Westborough schools.
“We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and we support innovative educational programs in the schools that are outside of the normal school budget,” explained WEF President Maureen Johnson. “We raise funds a number of different ways with projects and programs from the annual Turkey Trot, which began in 2014, our CARE program (Celebrate and Appreciate Remarkable Educators), annual Trivia Bee and more. We award scholarships and grants as well.”
Africa Day, United Nations Summit, Religions Symposium, Robotics, Family Book Club, Dance Ensemble and Poetry Power are just a few of the programs originally funded by the WEF that are now an integral part of the curriculum, she added.
“It is so rewarding to see the innovative programs funded by the foundation that eventually become part of the regular curriculum. All of this promotes an enhanced learning experience for our students,” said Johnson.
Last year’s Turkey Trot raised funds to purchase things like mobile devices, iPads, Chromebooks and technology upgrades for the foreign language lab at the high school.
“Last November over 700 participants ran, walked and trotted for our schools,” Johnson said. “This phenomenal turnout, paired with our generous sponsors who lend their name and financial support to the race, allowed us to raise $25,000 for technology initiatives. We also just gave a grant of $7,000 for musical instruments. We are so busy all year long making money to support grants.”
Planning has already begun for the 2016 Turkey Trot, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 19. Registration for this race opens Friday, July 1. The proceeds from this race would be used toward technology initiatives in the schools.
“Since its inception in 2014, the Westborough Turkey Trot has contributed over $55,000 to supplement initiatives in the Westborough public schools,” said Johnson.
The WEF’s largest fundraiser, the annual Trivia Bee, will be held for the ninth year Monday, Oct. 24, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Westborough.
“All of the proceeds fund grants in the Westborough public schools,” Johnson said. “All of the hard work and effort put into the Trivia Bee, the CARE program and fundraising in general is so worth it when the Ed. Foundation can proudly award grants each year and promote excellence and innovation in our schools.”
She noted that the WEF, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year, has awarded over $350,000 to date.
The WEF is seeking sponsors for both the Turkey Trot and the Trivia Bee.
“Education and giving back to my community is very important to me,” Johnson said. “We are very fortunate to have such wonderful teachers and a great school system in Westborough. Seeing all the creative and collaborative projects and programs in the schools, many of which have been funded by the Westborough Education Foundation, make all the time and effort that goes into the foundation worth it.”