Foundation provides annual update

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Amber Kiggens-Leifheit, who was named the Education Foundation's executive director in January, updated the Board of Education on the organazation's accomplishments over the past year at its regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 10.

Board president Annette Ashley presided over the meeting at the District Services Center, while other Board members participated remotely. The School Board has been meeting virtually since mid-March.

Kiggens-Leifheit reminded the School Board that the Education Foundation was formed in 2011. The Foundation realizes money is tight and resources may be limited in some ways for the District. She said the Foundation exists to help the District and to also raise awareness about what MCPASD needs.

"We believe diversity is our strength and we are working to best serve our increasing diverse population and improve student achievement across all demograhic groups,'' she said.  

Kiggens-Leifheit noted the Foundation raised more than $15,000 for the recruitment of diverse teachers and sponsored musical art performances at Glacier Creek and Kromrey featuring three local arts of color. The Foundation was also a sponsor of the Minority Student Achievement Network Student Conference that MCPASD hosted in Madison in October 2019.  
 
She was particularly proud of the Foundation's first BLOOM fundraiser, which brought in more than $57,000 to fund diverse books for K-8 classroom libraries. The Foundation worked with parent groups from every District elementary and middle school on the event.  The School Board approved the donation earlier in the meeting. All donations of $10,000 or more must be approved by the Board.

"We wanted to make sure all of our students could see themselves represented in the books in their libraries and school classrooms,'' she said.

Since school buildings were closed in mid-March, the Foundation has raised more than $51,000 for meals, $38,000 for the Weekend Food Program and more than $37,000 for personal hygiene supplies. The Foundation is currently involved in a campaign to raise $50,000 to provide internet access to students who can't afford it. The Foundation is more than 80 percent toward its goal.   
 
She noted more than 60,000 free meals have been served since mid-March. The Foundation and area churches have also distributed more than 7,800 bags through the Weekend Food Program, while 1,700 boxes of personal hygiene supplies have been distributed over the past five months.  

"Our community has come together to help each other,'' Kiggens-Leifheit said. "We want to strengthen these partnerships. ... We're more committed than ever to equity and making sure every student succeeds.''

Anne Bauer and Sean Hyland, who serve on Foundation board as School Board representatives, praised the Foundation for their work this past year and thanked the community for their support. Todd Smith also thanked the Foundation for purchasing a sign honoring every member of the Class of 2020.  
 
"It makes me really proud to be a part of such a supportive community,'' Hyland said.