The High Peaks Education Foundation supports Keene Central School’s International Student Program.
When philanthropy and eduation get together, scholarships are a common result. And while financial aid is critical to the success of students the world over, scholarships aren’t the only way to improve and enhance educational outcomes.
Each year, more than a third of the grants through Adirondack Foundation go to organizations, projects, and people who support education in the region. We also help schools team up with generous people to create endowments that support students and teachers, now and in the future. Our crowdfunding website, Adirondack Gives, has become a tool for classrooms that need a little bit of money to turn an idea into reality. And the emerging Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance strives to give future students the best start in life.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways the Adirondack Foundation community comes together to strengthen education in our region.
Established in 1999, the High Peaks Education Foundation (HPEF) joined Adirondack Foundation’s family of funds in 2006. HPEF grants have supported a variety of projects at Keene Central School, including the purchase of Smart Boards, national and international field trips, professional development for teachers, and author visits.
In neighboring Lake Placid Central School District, the Educational Opportunity Fund at Adirondack Foundation has a similar goal. “Lake Placid is already an excellent school district, but a large percentage of our students—39 percent—come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, making it diicult for them to maximize their potential in school and in life after school,” Superintendent Roger Catania said. “I am hopeful that our fund can help bridge this opportunity gap by supporting and promoting ideas for innovation and enrichment.”
In fact, when Adirondack Foundation staff meet with school leaders and parents there is consistent agreement about the need to invest in enrichment funds to support school programming. Charitable funds can be established to support music instruction, STEM programming, or to help defer college application costs for students.
Research shows that learning a foreign language correlates with higher academic achievement, greater cultural understanding, and improved cognitive ability for all ages. Since its founding in 2012, the Adirondack Foreign Language Enhancement Fund (AFLEF) at Adirondack Foundation has invested over $107,000 in classrooms across the region, including technology upgrades at St. Regis Falls Central School.
"I am very grateful for the grant and the opportunity to have iPads in my classroom," said Spanish teacher Jamie Leroux. "Technology makes students eager and excited to learn. I plan on using them for research, to use language apps, for group projects, and much more. There are so many possibilities."
Adirondack Foundation and AFLEF are working to convene foreign language teachers this summer to explore innovation in and new approaches to language learning. Stay tuned.
Generous Acts enriching education
Education goes well beyond school walls. Our Generous Acts Fund boosts enriching programs carried out by a variety of community organizations. Grants include funding for East Branch Friends of the Arts' Book & Blanket Players Youth Musical Theater, BackPack take-home food programs in Clinton and Essex counties, and library programs in Hamilton County.
Thinking differently about scholarships
The Ticonderoga Alumni Association established a scholarship fund with Adirondack Foundation designed to provide a deep connection between the community and student. Beginning in their freshman year of high school, students are encouraged to earn points based on attendance, academic performance, family involvement, good citizenship and behavior, and participation in extracurricular activities and community service.