LEFE grants over $11k in funds for educational improvement to LCSD

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Lafayette Endowment Fund for Education Inc. recently donated more than $11,000 to fund 18 grant requests aimed at improving education in the Lafayette County Schools.

“It is a total of 18 grants for teachers in the district to fund items within their classroom that the regular school budget can’t fund, but will definitely enhance the education of our students,” said Pam Swain, president of the foundation.

Five grants will go to Lafayette Lower Elementary School for a total of $3,840, four to Lafayette Upper Elementary for a total of $2,615.79, seven solely to Lafayette Middle School and two crossover grants for both Lafayette Middle and Lafayette High School. LMS received funds for $3,739.59 and LHS received $1,000.

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“As a former teacher, I know grants like this mean a whole lot to the classroom teacher because we’re always needing things,” said Lafayette County Schools Board member Kathy Worley. “These grants just come in handy.”

The foundation presented the funding at the Board of Trustees meeting on Monday.

LEFE is a non-profit organization of individuals dedicated to better meeting the educational needs of the children in the LCSD. As a nonprofit organization, LEFE accepts tax-deductible contributions. Through its board of directors, LEFE seeks input from parents, teachers, and school administrators in determining the most effective application of funds raised.

All county teachers are eligible to submit an application for a grant and the LEFE board meets to review grant applications to determine the projects that best enhance the educational process for all our children.  The LEFE Board of Directors awards final grant approvals directly to the teacher.  Grant projects generally range from $250 to $2,000. 

Funds for the grants come from local families, corporations and businesses in the Lafayette-Oxford-University community.

LEFE Treasurer Sara Nowell said the grants contribute to a wide range of items teachers could possibly use. Many teachers submitted interesting and well thought out proposals.

“There was a grant for some pickleball equipment to get students moving a little bit more,” said Nowell. “There was a basketball grant and some STEM equipment, but a lot of it went to books to build their classroom libraries, which I think it’s great to encourage readers.”

Nowell said the LEFE grants are a good way to utilize community resources and connections to pull together funds for classrooms when the need arises.

“I want us to grow and I want to see us get bigger and I’d love to get our name out there a little bit more,” she said.

“It’s people like [the LEFE] that help us do the things for children that we maybe can’t do all the time with district funds,” said Superintendent Jay Foster. Foster said the LEFE’s efforts and contributions are greatly appreciated by the district board, the staff and the students.

For more information on the Lafayette Endowment Fund for Education, how to donate or how to apply for grants, visit the LEFE page at www.gocommodores.org/our_district/lafayette_endowment_fund_for_education.