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DF Schools Foundation Grants Many District Wishes

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- With money tight in school districts everywhere, local organizations like the Dobbs Ferry Schools Foundation aim at making budget concerns a little easier on administrators.

Dana Greco is in her first year as a co-chair of the foundation’s grant committee and said a number of different monetary grants go towards the school district each year.

“The school foundation is a fundraising organization that supports enrichment programs,” she said.

The foundation offers curriculum grants and professional development grants and the money for these are raised through raffles, an annual gala, silent auctions and donations from the community.

“You can either donate money to the foundation and they can use it however they like or someone can restrict it to a certain fund or a certain project that they support,” Greco said.

It's more than just fieldtrips the foundation raises money for, though it has been integral in the district’s success over the years, she said.

“The district didn’t fund foreign language initially, but with the help of the foundation we raised money and brought that in,” Greco said.  “We also brought in smart boards into all the classrooms. We brought in pianos for the music rooms.  Where the state doesn’t have the funding, we raise money for it.”

The grant committee is responsible for receiving all grants submitted by administrators and teachers, reviewing them and voting on them.  If approved, the foundation helps fund the various grants.  The number of grants handed out varies from year to year depending on what the district needs.

“It could be as low as $8,000 or it could be as high as $50,000,” Greco said.  “We really haven’t put a cap on anything because there is no need to.”

While the list of what the foundation supports ranges from first grade plays to technology in the classroom to fieldtrips to the Bronx Zoo, the requirements are simple to meet.

“It has to support the curriculum in some way,” Greco said.  “We try and have it affect an entire grade or a lot more of the students.”

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