PRINCETON — North Gibson Education Foundation welcomes sponsors, and is making plans for the organization's second annual Night for Kids Dinner and Auction fundraiser.

NGEF is an Indiana non-profit corporation established to raise funds to provide scholarships, teacher education, capital programs and other special programs for the school district.

“What we’ve used the funds for, so far, is to provide teacher innovation grants where teachers can write grants up to $500,” explained North Gibson Assistant Superintendent Eric Goggins.

NGEF President Jamie McClure said that during the October 2018 grant cycle, six grants totaling about $2,500 were awarded. “We just had our second grant cycle in February and we had 16 applicants. We will be awarding those around April 1,” she said.

During the first grant cycle, many items such as books, band instrument tuners and sensory items for life skills programs were requested. The second grant cycle requests include art supplies, easels, a therapy dog, neuroscience materials and more.

Princeton Community Primary School teacher Jill Wright was a grant recipient in the fall. “It was fascinating that I got the money because that would usually come out of my pocket. It was several hundred dollars that I got to keep, but kids got a wonderful experience from it. They earn points if they do their homework and for attendance. It is easy for them to get the 15 points in order to get the book at the end of each month. They are so excited when they get the books. I write a message inside the books saying, ‘Congratulations! You earned this book. Love, Mrs. Wright.’ So, it’s really cool….It builds their home library too,” said Wright.

The NGEF board is made up of staff and administrators, parents and other members of the community. Community member and parent Katie Ellis is treasurer of the foundation. “I grew up in North Gibson, and we are raising our kids here... so I feel it is important to continually strengthen our educational opportunities for our youth. I served on the steering committee as a community member and parent representative to help create and form the foundation. I’m happy to now be a member of the board of directors and serve as the treasurer for the foundation. I’m excited to see what great things the foundation can do throughout NGSC with the community’s support,” said Ellis.

Ellis agrees that the foundation is important for the education of children. “I could see gaps between what the school corporation is able to fund and what teachers have to pay on their own. Those factors limit what educational activities are available in our school system. My hope is that the foundation can bridge those gaps by giving financial resources to teachers and staff through our grant process, which will allow the teachers to think outside the box and incorporate activities in their classrooms that will enhance hands-on activities and allow for more educational opportunities for all students.”

Finding sponsors and having fundraisers is where the funds for the grants come from. Goggins explained that all fundraising goes back in the classrooms for students and teachers to do projects, but there are hopes to grow larger causes for the foundation.

“With the money we raise, we also are looking into possibly starting a clothing closet for students in North Gibson, providing something reflective for bus safety to protect our students — and we would also like to do something with school supplies to maybe lower the cost for some of the parents. We're not sure what direction that will take, but possibly something we can buy in bulk and take off the supply list,” said McClure.

“In the future we would like to provide professional development for staff members...something that the corporation can’t cover...like attending conferences and conventions,” she explained.

Although the state allocates money to schools, the money doesn't necessarily fully cover all areas. “Money from the state comes to the school and it’s kind of earmarked, like this has to be used for busing and so on — so the foundation can cover some of those gaps,” said McClure.

The main fundraiser for the foundation so far is coming up soon as tickets are on sale for the 2nd Annual Night for Kids Dinner and Auction April 13. The event brings the community together for an evening of dining and entertainment at Princeton Community Middle School Cafeteria. Social time and silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6 p.m.

Entertainment will be provided throughout the evening by North Gibson students, staff and former students. Tickets ($25 each) are available for purchase at Old National Bank in Princeton and all school offices in NGSC.

The list of silent auction items is growing. Some items include Mesker Park Zoo tickets valued at $38, Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort valued at $328, dinner for six by Chef Matthew Mejia from Fun Apetito at your kitchen valued at $450, New Image Fitness four-month gym membership valued at $129 and others. The foundation is still looking for silent auction donations.

Sponsorships are available at several levels, icluding platinum, gold, silver, bronze and red. The sponsor levels indicate the number of tickets the sponsors will receive to the dinner and auction.

The sponsorship levels:

• Platinum donation of $2,000, receive 20 tickets to “Night for Kids” Dinner and Auction.

• Gold donation of $1,000, receive eight tickets to the “Night for Kids” Dinner and Auction.

• Silver donation of $500, receive four tickets to the “Night for Kids” Dinner and Auction.

• Bronze donation of $250, receive two tickets to the “Night for Kids” Dinner and Auction.

• Red sponsors, donation of $100 and can purchase tickets for $25 each.

All sponsors are recognized on social media and mentioned at the Night for Kids Dinner and Auction.

So far,2019 donors are:

Gold: Barnes and Thornburg LLP, Byers Accounting Service LLC and Watson Insurance.

Silver: German American Bank, Old National Bank, Susan Traynor Chastain and WDM Inc. (Taco Tierra).

Bronze: Alpha Mechanical Service Inc, Ellis Machine Shop LLC, Marcus Lunghuhn with State Farm Insurance, Mike McConnell in memory of Jan McConnell and Morris Dermatology LLC.

Red: Mark and Terry Lunghuhn, Mission Manufacturing and Stanley Madison.

For more information, contact Jamie McClure at jmcclure@ngsc.k12.in.us.

Donations can be mailed to NGEF at 1104 N. Embree St. Princeton, Indiana, 47670.

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