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The District Foundation Beginnings
Having a foundation dedicated to providing support for unusual and educational initiatives is becoming more and more popular among school districts today. Other school administrators share my concerns of trying to stretch limited local funding resources to fit an expanding array of innovative programs and technologies. In 2003, our leadership team started exploring alternative sources of funding. Knowing the Derry Area has always had a tradition of producing exemplary scholars, business men and women, and successful leaders who genuinely care about their hometown, the Derry Area School District Foundation was initiated. As always, support from friends of Derry Area School District has surpassed every expectation. One of our commendable initiatives, the Barbara Thompson Early Literacy Center, is dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of Barb Thompson. In 2007, it opened its doors to providing quality preschool programs to children ages, 3, 4 and 5 in Derry, Latrobe and surrounding communities.
The foundation's second initiative was the construction of an Amphitheater and Art Gallery on the school's campus between the one room school house and soccer field. Through the hard work and efforts of the foundation, it was completed in October 2009. It provides the school district and community with a cultural center to use from April to October. This facility will enhance the already strong tradition of arts and music within the school district and community. As a result, the foundation organizes and sponsors a concert series for the community to enjoy during the warm summer months.
Finally, the foundation also supports student scholarships and special teacher classroom projects. It is always seeking some innovative idea or person who is interested in enhancing the programs or services the Derry Area School District provides for its students and community. The establishment of the KIND fund (Kids In Need in Derry) and the 100 Club are two examples of how innovative ideas turned into Foundation programs that benefit students.
I invite alumni and friends of the Derry Area School District to become actively involved in supporting our initiatives. This web site will help inform you on some of the creative and highly innovative projects the foundation has implemented. It will also inform you of some current projects the foundation is aggressively seeking to make happen. I cordially ask you for your comments, suggestions, and ideas as the Derry Area School District Foundation supports the students, programs, and traditions of the Derry Area School District in the 21st century.
Rod G. Bisi
Former DASDF President