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Oxford School Support Group Breaks Record, Sets New Goal

OSDFPhoto-HTWhen school is fun, more learning gets done.  That’s the thinking behind the Oxford School District Foundation’s (OSDF) newest fundraising efforts.  OSDF provides grants to implement innovative teaching ideas in local classrooms, and this year they’re poised to do more than ever.

“I think there is more awareness of OSDF now and parents are probably getting more involved and trying to find a way to give back,” said Lolita Gregory, the group’s membership chair.

The group is already on pace for a record fundraising year with an all-time high 164 members and more than $10,000 from the district’s specialty car tag sales.  If the group makes its goal of signing on 200 members this year, they could grant teachers as much as $50,000 to help make classrooms more innovative and engaging for students.

Dr. Dan Mattern’s family has had an OSDF membership for decades.  He no longer has children in the school system, but they contribute to the foundation because they believe public education is important to society in general and to children in particular.

“We want all of the children in our city to be well educated and to participate effectively in society,” said Mattern.  “The more education we have, the better society we have.”

Money from grants awarded to Oxford teachers last year is already making a difference.  A new indoor/outdoor science classroom, new maps for teaching world geography and books of particular interest to beginning readers are just some of the ideas funded through OSDF already in use this school year.

You can help with this year’s grants by becoming a member for as little as $25 or simply make a donation, if you don’t want to join.  The group has also created a Facebook campaign for the holidays.  If you have no idea what to get your child’s teacher for a gift, consider joining OSDF in his or her name.  Your child’s teacher will receive an OSDF T-shirt, a note card collection designed by students, as well as an “Inspiring Teacher” certificate with your child’s name included.  You’ll receive an email after you join that asks which teacher you’d like to honor.

Gregory says it’s a win-win – you take care of that teacher gift and you know you’re making a difference in the schools.

“There are always parents who want to be involved in the schools, but they work or have too many other challenges,” said Gregory.  “This is a way to get involved and contribute and directly influence learning in the classrooms.”

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