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Greensburg Salem launches education foundation

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Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 8:58 p.m.
 

Greensburg Salem teachers have been wearing blue jeans the last few months to help students.

They pay $5 to wear appropriate jeans for “Denim Days” the first Friday of each month.

They have raised nearly $3,700, which has been used to file for nonprofit status for the Greensburg Salem Education Foundation.

The foundation, in its developmental stages, will help to fund academic, arts and athletic programs that are not part of the district's budget, organizers said.

Joe Maluchnik, an assistant principal at the high school and a member of the foundation's voting board, said teachers enjoy the opportunity to wear jeans to class.

“I've worked in four other districts, and that's a big fundraiser,” he said.

Maluchnik estimated 85 percent to 90 percent of Greensburg Salem teachers participate.

“In the days of very tight finances, there are a lot of things that have come out of the budget that we have the chance to cover,” community liaison Anita Rometo said of the foundation.

Nine voting members and seven nonvoting members will hold their first formal meeting Feb. 7, Maluchnik said.

The boards include administrators, a teacher, a school director, parents, alumni, business representatives, an attorney and students.

“We wanted to mix it up as much as possible,” Maluchnik said.

Three student members will be named for the Feb. 7 meeting.

A sophomore and a junior are to be named to the nonvoting board, and a senior will take a seat on the voting board, Maluchnik said.

“I feel the students need to have a say and a leadership opportunity,” he said.

Nonvoting members will offer suggestions and help to carry out events to raise money, Maluchnik said.

Organizers developed a mission statement, finalized bylaws and named board members during earlier meetings, said Rometo, a nonvoting member who is the district's grant writer.

Superintendent Eileen Amato suggested forming a foundation when she was hired, Maluchnik said.

“It's a great way for alumni to stay connected with the school and do things to support the district,” Amato said. “I think it's great.”

Teachers will have a chance to apply to the foundation for grants, Maluchnik said.

Members want everyone with ties to the district to be involved with the foundation, Maluchnik said.

Several fundraising ideas have been kicked around, and more will be discussed in February, he said.

One possibility is setting up an endowment for student scholarships.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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