Sunday, September 17, 2006

Brother Can You Spare A Dime?

The Fall River School Department is setting up a non-profit organization that will be able to accept charitable donations to benefit Fall River Public Schools.

unity Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts will operate the not-for-profit foundation for Fall River's schools. Community Foundation recently set up a similar program for the New Bedford School High School and is working on implementing a foundation for the Old Rochester School District.

Community Foundation's president, Craig J. Dutra believes that such foundations can promote, improve education. He also noted that donations to the foundation are not for typical operation costs associated with running the school department but are usually intended for special programs designed to improve student achievement. One purpose of the foundation is to ensure that donations are used in the manner wished by the donors.

Superintendent Nicholas A. Fischer expressed that the goal was to first build a relationship with local donors and then work to state and national foundations. Fisher stated that after establishing a "track record" potential donations could equal 7 million dollars a year.

Is this a case of Fall River turning over every stone desperately looking for extra funding or is it the realization that funding exists for pilot programs for hose resourceful enough to look for it?

Either way, the Fall River School District can benefit from the extra funds as much as Fall River's children can benefit from innovative reading programs, math workshops, science seminars, programs to support the arts and the like.

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