Foundation for Lovejoy Schools Enhances the Educational Experience
The Foundation for Lovejoy Schools was established in 2003. Interim Executive Director, Vicki Deerman said, “The Foundation for Lovejoy Schools involves the community in generating and distributing funds, property, and gifts that enhance the educational experience in the Lovejoy ISD. The Foundation for Lovejoy Schools benefits the students, faculty, graduates, and staff of LISD.” The Foundation is made up of 20 volunteer directors, which is made up of community members throughout the district and three ex-officio directors, a designated LISD trustee, Superintendent Ted Moore, and Deputy Superintendent Dennis Muizers.
Henri Friloux is the current FLS Board President. He said he joined the board in 2015, “After seeing what an active role they play in the Lovejoy school district. We moved to Lovejoy in order for our kids to receive an exemplary education and the Foundation has a major impact in helping the educators provide this. The Foundation is a place where people can give back and it has a direct impact on our community.”
All of the funds are used to support Lovejoy, mainly through innovative classroom grants. Board member Cyd Elliott provided a few examples of classroom grants awarded in the 2018-19 school year: Willow Springs Middle School Fine Arts department - portable glassless dance mirrors, Lovejoy High School Journalism Department - 10 Canon camcorders and tripods. Elliot said, “(This) allowed the Lovejoy News Network broadcast staff to grow and build on their growing success. They enhanced their productions of programs covering the district and community.” Sloan Creek Intermediate School Special Ed Department - Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Intervention system – a supplementary intervention proven to improve literacy achievement of struggling readers. In addition to the grants funded, every year the Foundation funds “Learning at Lovejoy”. This is two weeks of professional development held each summer for all LISD teachers. It is also open to teachers from any district who pay to come and hear the latest teaching ideas and great speakers. Deerman said, “The Foundation also supports the Lovejoy Alumni Association. This organization is still in the grass roots. The mission is to keep alumni connected to LISD. Once a Leopard, always a Leopard!”
Regarding how it is determined where the funds will be allocated, Deernam said, “The funds are granted to the Lovejoy school district through a process we call Invest in Excellence. Classroom teachers and staff apply for grants for items or ideas that will enhance the ability to enhance the educational experience of each child. Committees made up of teachers and staff meet to review and rank the grant applications. The list is then given to the Foundation board of directors to fund the grants based on the funds available from the year’s fundraising events. The Lovejoy district as a whole is also awarded grants to ensure that the standard of an excellent quality of education is maintained.”
Deerman joined the Foundation on the board of directors in 2004. She said, “In the early years, we were experimenting with different fundraising ideas and figuring out how the Foundation fit into our community.” She added, “We allocate 5% of money raised each year to the endowment account and then grant the rest back to the district.” In 2005, $17,498 was awarded in grants. In 2007, the endowment account began and contained $70,214. $100,000 was awarded in grants. In 2018, there was $29,824 in the endowment account and $481,600 was awarded in grants. The historical chart shows that the total for the endowment account is $247,700 and grants awarded is $3,232,471. Deerman noted, “In 2007, Pogue construction gave $50,000 to the endowment to be used for STEM grants.”
To learn more about The Foundation for Lovejoy Schools and how you can help, please go to www.foundationforlovejoyschools.org and find them on Facebook. Their events are open to the entire community.