With the continued strain on school budgets, additional funding is essential to continue to provide the type of excellence in education that the Oshkosh community has grown to expect. Through their Education Foundation, the Oshkosh Area School District (OASD) is committed to growing their endowment fund and providing a permanent source of support for the district.
Raising additional funds for a school district is no easy task, but Julie Dumke, the first executive director of the OASD Education Foundation is up for the challenge. She has focused her first year on the job creating awareness about the Education Foundation and helping students in need. The OASD Education Foundation also awards teachers with development grants for innovative contributions to education, with nearly $9,000 awarded at the 2019 Celebrate Education event.
Oshkosh West teacher Gillian Pakula received a grant for her program, CARE Days (Celebrating Ability Rallying Everyone). This past May, over 600 students, teachers, families and community members participated in the kindergarten-12th grade track meet and carnival for students receiving adapted physical education (APE). This inspiring event provided students receiving APE services the opportunity to engage with their regular education peers and celebrate all their abilities in a fun, physical environment which fosters success on every level.
Each year, exciting and creative programs like CARE Days are funded in part thanks to the Education Foundation. Continued support for the Education Foundation is crucial to continue to enhance the impact made in the district and the community. Investments into the Education Foundation are a permanent investment into the educational community, ensuring the success of the OASD, its students, and teachers for years to come.
“One of my biggest ah ha’s as a first-year OASD Education Foundation director was the role that the Foundation plays as an organization hub in our city. This year many agencies, businesses, services groups, and churches have come together through the Foundation to help our students in need. My hope is to continue these relationships and add our retired teachers and alumni, building a larger web of collective support so the district can continue to provide a top-notch educational experience for all students.” —Julie Dumke, Director of the OASD Education Foundation