ALLENDALE, N.J. — Allendale’s Foundation for Education is helping to connect students with educational experiences that extend beyond their classrooms.
The group has 25 parent-volunteers who work alongside school administration.
"It just felt like the right thing for me to do to give back to the community," said AFEE President Anne Kay, who has a third grade student in the school district. "It’s a wonderful group of people, and we are able to make a difference.”
AFEE is dedicated to raising funds so that teachers, parents or members of the community can apply for grant money for a number of projects including curriculum enhancing and enriching programs, long term programs, and after-school activities.
The group has hosted several fundraisers and raised over $150,000 last year. It has also given back $1.8 million overall in projects since its establishment 20 years ago in a borough of 6,700 residents.
Smaller projects have included author visits from David Adler and an upcoming one for Michael Northrup, who write popular young adult literature book series.
Funds have allowed students to participate in a legos robotics competition. Allendale came in second place in its first year of a state law competition that runs in conjunction with the New Jersey state bar.
Grants have allowed teachers to obtain artifacts for social studies classes or music programs for the school band. Higher-ticket requests include spin bikes and yoga mats so that non-sports oriented students can get in shape.
The district is also working on the transformation of Brookside School Library in a project slated for completion in September 2016..
AFEE continues to host fundraisers for grant money. The Harlem Wizards family fun night has sold out in each of the past three years. AFEE's largest annual fundraiser is March 11 at the Sheraton Hotel in Mahwah.
The organization earned $100,000 in total with help from sponsors.
“Teachers are applying for grants before we know what our budget is," said Kay, pointing to the 23 who applied last year. "We’ve been fortunate to fund every one of the grants, but that is not guaranteed.”
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