The Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation celebrated its 15th anniversary on September 15th with a “Day of Giving.” The Education Foundation ran a social media campaign, sharing photos, videos, and graphics highlighting the organization’s major milestones from the last 15 years (https://www.facebook.com/SFPSEF). Public School Proud Grant winners, Sioux Falls School District administrators, current and former Board members, and donors participated in the online videos.
Supporters donated $15 in honor of the Education Foundation’s 15th anniversary, and the organization raised more than $4,000, enough to fund 20 First Time Teacher Grants, two Public School Proud Grants, or catered meals at five elementary schools.
The Education Foundation received its nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2008. A group of volunteers managed the organization for ten years. In July 2018, the Board of Directors hired its first full-time executive director. She assumed the responsibility of day-to-day management.
When community supporters chartered the Education Foundation, they focused on funding classroom enhancement grants, and they will surpass the $1,000,000 mark in overall funding for this program in the spring of 2024. In 2011, the group started awarding $200 First Time Teacher Grants. Eighty first-time, first-year educators received money to purchase bulletin boards, classroom sets of books, art supplies, organization kits, and more in August 2023.
Working collaboratively with the school-based social workers, the Board of Directors created the Student Success Fund in 2018. Through this initiative, school staff can connect students and families with personal hygiene products, emergency food assistance, winter gear, school supplies, and gas gift cards.
In recent years, Education Foundation staff and volunteers have expanded teacher appreciation efforts by providing breakfast and lunch in low-income schools, delivering donuts to every building in the fall, and surprising educators with cupcakes during Teacher Appreciation Week.