New Name for School Support Organization
There’s a new name for a familiar local school support organization.
The board of the Grinnell-Newburg Educational Excellence (GNEE) organization, which has raised funds for school projects large and small since 2006, has voted to change its name to Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation (GNSF). Although the name has changed, the foundation’s mission will remain the same—to fund innovative educational projects and activities that benefit all G-N students.
Amy Blanchard, program manager for the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation (GPCF), explains that the GNEE board “simply didn’t feel the name represented what they did,” and by adding School Foundation to the name clarifies the intent, mission, and activities of the nonprofit organization.
“GNEE has acted as a school foundation since its inception to assist Grinnell schools by funding grants and initiatives and leading major projects such as the recent campaign for the grand piano,” Blanchard said.
Incoming GNSF President Sarah Smith said that the GNEE board voted to change its name to Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation “to state a clear message that we are and always have been a local nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to promote excellence in the Grinnell-Newburg school district.”
Since 2006, GNEE has distributed more than $256,000 in mini-grants for educational projects that benefit students but that aren’t budget priorities or typically funded by the district. The Foundation offers two annual mini-grant cycles, accepting project proposals from teachers and administrators and allocating funds. In 2016, Grinnell-Newburg students from all five schools benefitted from $16,000 in equipment and supplies distributed through the mini-grants. Examples of recent grants include $3,600 for anatomical models for the high school science department, $1,000 for literacy-enhancing PlayAway books for the middle school library, and $1,500 for an online database for all K-2 students.
Judy Hunter, one of GNEE’s founders and long-time board members, said the new name “will allow people to understand more clearly what the purpose of the organization is. In the future, the School Foundation will continue the good work that GNEE has done over the past 10 years to enhance teaching and learning in the schools.”
In 2017, Smith said that GNSF will continue to support the district through the biannual mini-grants awards, as well as “teacher reimbursement for classroom supplies, and special campaigns for high-value projects.”
As with its predecessor GNEE, GNSF will operate as a partner organization of the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation, which is a 501c3 nonprofit, charitable foundation. Blanchard explains that the name change should be seamless to donors and considered a minimal change since the mission and effort remain the same.
Donors, volunteers, and community members interested in serving on the GNSF board should contact any GNSF board member: Barbara Brown, Doug Cameron (retiring), Lynn Cavanagh, Chris Day, Judy Hunter, Chelsey Kolpin, Jon Plate, Jim Ramsey, Suzanne Redenius (retiring), Sarah Smith, Dave Stoakes, and Sherry Wallace.
More information about the Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation is available on the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation website at grinnellsf.org.
Graphic: The newly formed GNSF has a new logo for marketing purposes. Upcoming events sponsored by the Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation include a Share the Love note-writing project in February and a fundraising trivia night in early March.