Farmington/F. Hills Education Foundation Inspires, Innovates, & Invests in Students
(Aimee Ergas, Foundation Trustee, June 10, 2019)
Farmington, Farmington Hills, MI -Creative teachers dream of having the resources to try innovative programs and techniques with their students, inspiring new thinking and new skills. In the Farmington Public Schools, teachers have the opportunity to make some of their dreams reality, with support from the Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation (FFHEF). Since its launch in 2012, the Education Foundation has granted more than 300 awards to teachers and schools for programs that fulfill its mission to inspire, innovate and invest in our school children. Led by a group of trustees who are parents, alumni, business owners, educators and community members, and a dedicated executive director, FFHEF has been making a difference in our public schools on many levels.
If you’ve ever watched students show their skills at a robotics competition or seen the joy on the faces of young musicians after a great performance or observed budding scientists at a Science Olympiad, you can understand how important innovation is in creating the environment for learning. This is the goal of the Education Foundation—providing such opportunities. We are proud to have provided funds for “Trash to Treasure” recycling programs for 5th graders, for on-line competition participation by advanced placement students, and for makerspace kits that travel around the district for use by elementary students. With specially designed “Keva” planks purchased through a Foundation grant, future engineers and architects create structures such as buildings, towers, bridges, and catapults, without the use of glue or tools. Special education teachers have obtained specially designed products to help them serve their students. In addition, we have provided funding for student-led groups that want to tackle issues like bullying or beautify a part of their building.
These projects and over 300 more would not have been possible under the standard school budget. Private donations and corporate support are important elements of funding the Foundation, but the majority of our funds are raised at an annual community-wide event, “A Toast to Education.” This early-November evening of wine- and beer-tasting, food, music and a giant raffle brings out several hundred adult school supporters each year. The foundation trustees work tirelessly to put on this huge event with the help of many volunteers and local restaurants and businesses. It’s all for fun and all for our students.
Because our students live in a world where technology is outdated almost as soon as it is introduced, “learning to learn” is one of the most important skills students can master. And our teachers need and deserve the resources to do their best work at teaching to learn. The Foundation’s focus is on encouraging excellence through creative teaching, facilitating student development and promoting community/school partnerships. The past seven years have proved this work to be appreciated and successful.
More information about the FFHEF is at www.ffhedfoundation.org.
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