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Manchester Education Foundation formed

5/16/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

The first recipients of $500 scholarships from the Manchester Education Foundation are, from left, Sara Shearer, Bethany Loepp and Abbigail Erb. They are shown with Manchester Education Foundation Chairman Jack Daniels.
Photo courtesy of the Manchester Education Foundation
NEW FRANKLIN — Manchester Local Schools will get a little help in educating its students through a newly formed organization designed to enhance learning opportunities for students.

The Manchester Education Foundation (MEF) was established recently to encourage and support the education of the students in the Manchester Local School District, according to MEF Chairman Jack Daniels. Other members of the Board of Directors include: Treasurer Ed Ganley, Secretary Tom Knoebel, Ex-Officio Sam Reynolds (superintendent of Manchester Local Schools), Kathy Noble, Doug Knipp, Mark Walker, Tammy Mundy, Jack Cooper, Mark Sipos and Nancy Gainer.

Daniels said the organization has been organized to raise funds through donations from businesses and individuals and fundraisers to award scholarships to graduating seniors and grants to educators in the district. It has a pending 501(c)(3) charitable organization status, but has authorization to act as such, he added.

“We are here to support education in the community,” said Daniels. “The band, sports and other groups have boosters and a fundraising arm. The math, science and reading classes do not have a supporting arm. We thought it was important that they do, so this organization was formed. This group is an academic booster club.”

Daniels added the MEF is not directed or organized by the Manchester Board of Education and operates independently, but it does have board representation through Reynolds, who has a voting voice on the MEF board.

“Right now, we are focused on getting the word out about the new organization, who we are and what we do, and on soliciting donations to support our efforts,” said Daniels.

Those efforts include awarding the MEF’s first scholarship awards. On May 7 during Senior Awards Night, the MEF awarded three scholarships of $500 each to Abbigail Erb, Bethany Loepp and Sara Shearer.

Daniels said the first round of education grants to be used by educators to provide creative learning opportunities for students are to be awarded in August. The teacher grants will be reviewed with input from building principals to ensure the project is not double funded.

Daniels said the MEF’s first fundraiser will be the Mad Hatter 5K Race scheduled for Sept. 14. He said the event will include a “world class competitive 5K race” starting at the high school on West Nimisila Road and ending at the school district track off Renninger Road. Family fun and games and a crazy hat contest also are planned to take place along with the race. Corporate sponsors are needed for the race.

More details will be available at a later date and will appear on the organization’s website at manchestereducationfoundation.com.

Daniels said this race will likely become an annual event, and other fundraisers are under consideration. For more information or to make a donation to the organization, visit the website.

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