Trumansburg Connection: Spotlight on: Trumansburg Education Foundation

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The Trumansburg Education Foundation (TEF), which works independently of the Trumansburg Central School District, raises funds in order to award grants in support of educational opportunities for students and professional development for staff. Fall 2018 grants helped support programs such as Lego Lunch, a Second Grade Class Book, a Broadway Musical Theater Workshop, Technology Awareness Week, Jazz Cabaret, educator grants, and more.


In addition to supporting education through grant support, TEF also has specific program areas it funds each year. The Wellness Program supports nutrition education such as Rainbow Salad Days and the state-wide Big Apple Crunch. Since 2014, TEF has been supporting the publication Trumansburg Troubadour, a student newsletter which is entirely written by students in all three schools and reports on important information in the district. Another robust program is the Kids Discover the Trail! program. Since 2010 students from pre-K through sixth grade have visited spots along the Discovery Trail. In order from pre-K through sixth, students visit The Johnson Museum of Art, Tompkins County Public Library, Museum of the Earth at PRI, the Sciencenter, Cornell Botanical Garden, The History Center in Tompkins County’s Eight Square Schoolhouse, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the Cayuga Nature Center. Each trail stop is paired with a book for each student to take home, and a coupon for a family visit.


The month of March rounded out its Youth Arts Month (YAM) and Community Art Auction. YAM provides a series of workshops for students in all three schools. Workshop focus has included mosaics, printmaking, bookmaking, Japanese flower painting, and individual storytelling. The month begins with a district-wide mural painting and culminates in a youth art show and a Community Art Auction. Pieces created by students as well as work donated by talented and generous local artists are sold. On March 29, the auction attracted over 100 attendees - double the amount from 2018 - and made over $5,000 for TEF.


December of 2018 was a big month for TEF, as it changed its name, adopted a new logo, and was awarded a generous gift from the Trumansburg Charitable Trust.


The Trumansburg Charitable Trust was formed after the death of resident Edward F. Moseley, who left his estate for the cause of “sustaining a high level of education in Trumansburg and with attracting talented and motivated people to the teaching profession,” according to the website. Awards are available to Trumansburg alumni pursuing a degree in primary or secondary education. In 2017 the Trust awarded TEF $13,000 specifically for professional development of district educators. In December, the Trust decided to further award TEF with a generous donation of $138,451, also to be used for professional development. This spring, TEF will be able to use up to $10,000 of the funds, the rest to be protected in investments, and future funding from the donation will be from earned interest.


According to a press release from TEF, Molly Buck, President of the Trumansburg Education Foundation, said, “The Foundation is honored to accept this extremely generous donation from the Trumansburg Charitable Trust. We appreciate the confidence the Trust has in the Foundation to maintain and distribute these funds to benefit Trumansburg teachers’ continuing education. We will work closely with the school district and teachers to support professional development interests and needs that have a positive impact on teaching and learning.”


Sarah Brainard, Trumansburg Charitable Trust board member adds, “We appreciate the work the Trumansburg Education Foundation has done with our original donation. Their efforts to support teacher development in our school district aligns with the mission of the Trust and extends our mutual efforts to improve our educators. We look forward to working together to put these grant funds to work in our school district.”


TEF also changed its name from TCSD Foundation, which was adopted when the Foundation was formed in 2006. Of the name change, Buck said, “Our new name more accurately reflects our mission to enrich education throughout Trumansburg. It also helps to emphasize that we are a volunteer organization, separate from the district, that depends on support from the community.” TEF also adopted a new logo, designed by board member Jackie Frank, who said, “We wanted to make the logo more lively, to communicate the vibrancy of the foundation and of the educators who do amazing things with the grants we give, and to represent the breadth of areas of education that we support. The graphics represent music, the arts, and science and engineering inside the book, which represents learning and education overall. However, we kept aspects of the original logo, including the book and the Trumansburg colors, because we wanted to stay close to the history of the foundation, which has been built by so many dedicated volunteers over the years. Finally, we wanted to increase the size of the word Foundation, to help make clear that we are a community supported organization who raises money to fund innovative educational initiatives in Trumansburg, but that’s not directly part of the district.”


TEF awards grants in both fall and spring cycles. The next grant application deadline for educators is May 31. It also offers a community service scholarship award of up to $1,000 for a graduating senior to offset post-secondary education expenses or expenses associated with joining the Peace Corps. The application deadline for that award is May 1. Both applications can be found on their website, tburgedfoundation.org.

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