Centerville foundation launches first major fundraising campaign for schools

A nonprofit organization has launched its first major public fundraising campaign in order to raise money for Centerville City Schools.

The Centerville Education Foundation (CEF) has put together the Elk Pride Never Dies (EPND) campaign, which will be an annual event with a goal of raising $20,000 this year. The money will be used to fund creative and unique projects in 23 classrooms throughout the district, according to school officials. The fundraising effort kicked off in October and will run until Nov. 20.

The foundation, founded in 1983, is a tax-exempt organization designed to provide financial support to the educational programs in Centerville schools.

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“The Centerville Education Foundation is very supportive of our schools, awarding teacher grants and recognizing many of our educators each year,” said Sarah Swan, community relations specialist for the district.

CEF President Dave Garel said teachers were invited in September to submit ideas for creative projects, activities and field trips they would like to incorporate into their curriculum, along with the estimated costs of implementing those ideas.

“These were all projects that go above and beyond the standard curriculum that is funded by the district’s budget. Fifty different proposals were submitted by teachers across all grade levels, more than double the number that was expected,” he said.

The group’s board of trustees reviewed the proposals and picked those “that would have the greatest positive impact to students and exemplified the excellence that is a hallmark of Centerville schools,” Garel said.

The trustees decided on 23 proposals and published the details of them on the CEF's website at for the community to browse.

“This is the first time in CEF’s history that we have been this transparent and open about how the community’s donations are being spent and the really innovative things teachers are doing in their classrooms,” he said. “It’s all up there for anyone to see.”

Garel said the website has a video discussing the role CEF plays in filling the gap between what Centerville teachers have available to spend on supplies versus what they need in order to deliver a quality education.

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A proposal on the website features a submission from Centerville High School teachers Dawn Adams and Kate Broerman called “The Science and Art of Precious Metal Clay,” which involves a collaboration between the Materials Science students and the Advanced Ceramic Studio art students. The teachers requested a $500 grant to purchase 2,000 grams of the copper clay and other tools required to work on the proposal.

“Metal clay is a relatively new material, and with this grant, our students could have the chance to work with it even before it is widely used in industry,” Broerman said.

Other project proposals for this year include: “Origami Economics” from Tower Heights Middle School, the “Sculpture Garden” at Primary Village North, and “Stop Motion Animation with LEGO” at Cline Elementary.

So far, the fundraising campaign has raised $2,695 of its $20,000 goal for this year.

Swan said anybody looking to make a donation can visit

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