Carson City School District launches foundation to raise money for schools

A foundation to help raise money for the Carson City School District will be launched next week during a reception at Carson High School.

“Our only mission is to support the kids in the community,” said Ian Hill, chairman of the foundation’s board. “For the first time, we’re going to be joining together all the people who care deeply about the Carson City School District.”

The school district foundation is partnering with the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, with a goal of raising $200,000 the first year.

Money raised is going to fund programs based on the school district’s strategic plan, which has been drafted with community input. Hill said the document will be used as a “lighthouse” to guide priorities for funding.

It will also augment or complement programs and activities already being provided by the district, which receives money from the state based on the number of students enrolled. The amount of money allotted per pupil fluctuates depending on Legislature that meets every other year.

“Obviously, the community of Carson City is not going to be able to fully fund the school district for us,” Hill said. “But it will be able to level the ebbs and flow of state distributive funds.”

Superintendent Richard Stokes said the foundation will help the district achieve the objectives outlined in the strategic plan, which are creating community partnerships; engaging parents; developing relevant curriculum; promoting health and wellness; and fostering exceptional administrators, teachers and staff.

“Our school district strategic plan has some innovative programs in it,” he said. “Having an ongoing source of funding will help make these goals a reality.”

Hill, a business owner and motivational speaker, stressed the foundation will not replace other fundraisers schools and parent-teacher organizations conduct.

“This is about generating philanthropy,” he said. “We aren’t trying to take any money away.”

Hill said one of the first accounts established will be one teachers could apply for micro grants of $100 or less to pay for immediate student needs, such as new shoes or school supplies.

“We want it to be the full buffet fund,” he said.

Donors can also choose which programs they would like their money to go to.

Mike Jackson, of Micromanipulator and a member of the foundation’s board, has pledged to donate $300 a month and to enlist other manufacturing businesses to do the same. The money will be specifically earmarked for science, technology, engineering and math courses from elementary through high school.

“There’s a direct benefit,” Hill said. “They’re helping guide their future employees. They’re enlightened enough to understand that to grow their businesses, they have to invest in kids.”

Although the foundation has existed for years, it’s active for the first time with a newly formed board. More than 6,500 such foundations operate across the country.

The Carson City School District Foundation Launch Party will be 10 a.m. Wednesday in Senator Square at Carson High School. Board members will announce money raised so far and outline the foundation’s vision. Refreshments will be provided by the culinary students.


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