By Alyssa Schnugg
The Oxford School District Foundation will be awarding grants to local teachers who come up with creative and innovative ideas on how the district can close its achievement gap.
The nonprofit organization. Made up of Oxford residents, families and businesses, was set up in 1986 with a focus of improving academics and opportunities in the school district.
“The focus is trying to fund innovative projects for teachers and staff members as well,” said OSD Foundation president Matt Campbell. “
The Foundation has a grant cycle every year and teachers are invited to apply for grants. Some past projects that were awarded grants include the book vending machine at Della Davidson Elementary, purchase of Virtual Reality and robotics equipment – including a 3D printer; and helping to fund the RISE Oxford High program, which is a peer-to-peer wellness education initiative.
Campbell said for the upcoming grant cycle, the Foundation will be asking teachers to come up with projects to address the district’s achievement gap.
“We’re going to keep data on these different approaches and be able to provide that to the school district,” Campbell said. “I know it’s been a concern in Oxford for several years. We have some really high achievers, tremendously high achievers, but we have to take care of everyone.”
The Foundation receives donations from local citizens and businesses; however, its biggest fundraiser is the Mississippi state specialty car tags. When you purchase an Oxford School District car tag, some of those funds go to the Foundation.
The money from the car tags is placed into an endowment. Campbell said the Foundation’s goal is to grow the endowment to $1 million.
Last school year, the Foundation gave out 14 grants worth about $32,000.
Any individual or business can become a member of the Foundation for a minimum donation of $25.
Visit the OSD Foundation online to become a member, make a donation or learn more about the foundation.