Elmwood Park foundation hopes to help schools
Sue Ponzio, secretary on the Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401 Educational Foundation's board of directors and principal of Elmwood Elementary School./Photo by David Pollard
Updated: February 19, 2013 11:52AM
ELMWOOD PARK — To ensure students at Elmwood Park School District 401 remain competitive, academically a foundation has been formed.
The Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401 Educational Foundation recently received its non-profit tax-exempt status and is ready to be used as a tool to raise funds to benefit students in the district academically.
Sue Ponzio, principal of Elmwood Elementary School and secretary on the foundation’s board of directors, said their first goal is to increase technology and help pay for tools to enhance education through technology. The foundation is a way to raise funds to pay for these enhancements.
“It’s going to be really good,” she said.
Elmwood Park Trustee Albert Fang who is also president of the foundation and was once a member of Elmwood Park School District 401 School Board, said the foundation was organized to assist where taxes and other revenue the school district receives may only go so far.
“It’s (foundation) basically geared for academic scholarships, programs, classes materials for classes, whatever is needed to offset some of the district’s funding needs,” he said. “Right now our first goal is to increase technology level in each of the schools.”
Fang said now more than ever, technology is becoming a part of the learning process in the classroom.
“We want a technological device in the hands of each student,” he said. “It’s up to the district to the decide what, it could be iPads or they may want projectors, smart boards, whatever they feel is necessary.”
To do that, the foundation’s first fundraiser is geared toward raising at least $10,000.
“The goal is small, but we put an amount out,” he said. “If we go over $10,0000 we’ll be really happy.”
Fang said he along with the other members of the foundation’s board of directors plan to have one major fundraiser each year, but until then they are currently accepting donations through their website www.ep401foundation.org -- and the donations are tax deductible.
“We’re hoping to have a big event in the spring or definitely by next fall,” he said.
He and the board of directors already see areas where they can help the school district in the future with the funds they receive.
“We have some aggressive plans, building a science lab at the high school and possibly an addition on to (John) Mills School. We could help with funding on that.”
“We want to go out and get the community involved,” Ponzio said. “You can’t just count on the members of our school board and the taxpayers. When funding gets cut you have to look at other means to continue moving forward.”