By Stefanie Jackson – The Northampton County Education Foundation provided nearly $56,000 to support the teachers and students of Northampton County Public Schools in the 2021-2022 school year and spent less than $5,200 on its operations.
Linda Schulz, NCEF president and board chair, presented the nonprofit’s annual impact report to the Northampton school board at its June 23 meeting.
NCEF provides the means for community members to donate funding for classroom projects, field trips, and other educational enhancements that are not covered by the Northampton school division’s operating budget.
Field trips and other student activities funded through NCEF this year included:
- The robotics team, Shorebots #1908, attended the Chesapeake District Championship and won the Industrial Design Award and Quality Award.
- Occohannock Elementary School fifth graders participated in activities at the Crown Sports Center.
- Eighth graders went ice-skating.
- High school seniors visited Washington, D.C., to learn about their nation’s history.
- The band and choir went to Busch Gardens to celebrate 350 hours of practice and 30 performances.
- Marine biology students visited the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.
School events supported by NCEF included:
- March Math Madness, an event that tested the math skills of students and parents.
- Pre-K Camp at Occohannock and Kiptopeke elementary schools, which gave pre-K students a jump start to their first year of school and taught parents about child development and school readiness.
- Special end-of-year festivities at Occohannock Elementary’s field day.
NCEF also demonstrated teacher and school staff appreciation with:
- A welcome lunch and gift cards for new teachers
- Team-building t-shirts for Northampton Middle School staff
- Gift cards for eight “Mountain Movers,” NCPS teachers and staff members who made an impact on their schools.
Grants, scholarships, and other educational assistance included:
- A professional development grant for one teacher
- Assistance paying for tuition and books at Eastern Shore Community College for dual-enrollment juniors and seniors
- College scholarships for seven seniors, provided by five scholarship groups
NCEF facilitated the provision of after-school tutoring for student athletes, and no student was benched due to low grades this school year.
The foundation supported the Kids Closets that are now in all Northampton schools to provide free clothing, personal care products, and other supplies to any student in need for any reason.
NCEF also supported the publication of “Seasons of Reading” and provided individual grants for schools and teacher appreciation.
A record of 25 classrooms were adopted this year. The Adopt-A-Classroom program allows donors to direct their financial gifts to specific classrooms to keep them stocked with school supplies and whatever else is needed.
NCEF board member Kate Latham broke down the total spending of about $56,000 in three ways:
• About $28,000 was community pass-through funding (money donated by community members for specific funding programs), more than $25,000 was for grants, and $2,100 was for scholarships.
• About $48,000 directly benefited students and nearly $8,000 benefited teachers.
- Northampton High School received about $32,500, Occohannock Elementary got about $11,000, Kiptopeke Elementary got more than $7,200, and Northampton Middle School received about $5,100.
NCEF’s total funding for the year increased from about $39,000 in the 2019-2020 school year and nearly $51,000 in the 2020-2021 school year.
Additionally, the owners of Bay Creek, in Cape Charles, adopted NCEF and raised about $65,000 for the foundation, Schulz said.
NCEF requested the school board’s guidance on spending the donation. “We have a lot of money to figure out what to do with,” Schulz said.
Superintendent Eddie Lawrence told the NCEF board members, “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you’ve done for the students and the staff of Northampton County.”
Schulz said the work NCEF board members do is “our joy and our pleasure.”