Education Starts with YOU: Are Nonprofits a Lifeline for Public Schools? (by Erica Belwood, 11946)


ericapicHave you ever found yourself wondering how you can impact education within your community? Something as simple as donating one night a month to a nonprofit can directly impact your school district. The most interesting point that was brought up during my community project is how much Scappoose School District relies on grants to fund extra educational programs. I attended this school district and saw first hand how the Scappoose Parents Association helped to fund grants for the schools. The high school science program was using fifteen-year-old textbooks for their students because there were no funds to purchase new books, and then SPA stepped in to buy iPad’s for their program so they can access the newest book for their program. All though you may not

The Research and Evidence

If you don’t have children in school, you may not think of the budget cuts and how they are affecting education within your community. There are many articles written on how the budget cuts effect schools and what actions are being taken to help save some of the dying programs. It is absolutely essential to many school districts to have funding from outside sources, which usually falls of nonprofit groups.

Veronikis, Eric. “School Districts Turn to Nonprofit Foundations for Financial Help.” PennLive. N.p., 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <;.

  • The Penn Live article touches on the budget cut problem that many school districts face and how the Pennsylvania districts are using nonprofits as a life support for their programs. The Harrisburg Public School Foundation touches on the importance of their funding and how they can revamp their fundraising to raise more funds for the school district. This school foundation has raised more than $4 million dollars for the public school since 1998 when it was founded. It is absolutely incredible that by giving a lot or a little of your time, you can directly impact a donation to your local school district.

Christian, Sena. “School Districts Rely on Foundations to Keep Programs Afloat | The Press Tribune Newspaper.” The Press Tribune. N.p., 27 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <;.

  • “Last year, the nonprofit foundation gave $554,000 to the district, used to maintain computer technology, music, choir, junior high athletics, Spanish classes and summer training institutes for teachers. School libraries were also spared the chopping block with the help of foundation money.” (Christian)
  • The Press Tribune packs a punch with its short article on keeping up with the financial need of the schools. Things that were always available to us, such as music and a foreign language, in school could easily be cut out because of the state budget cuts.

“The Effect of Budget Cuts on Physical Education | SPARK PE.” SPARK PE. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2015. <;.

  • This article is fantastic for walking you through how the budget cuts have truly affected different parts of the schools that you may not realize. Down to how the drop in funds has affected physical education and what can happen based on children not getting the exercise they need for their health. It lists that 95% of parents think that physical education should be part of the school curriculum. If that many people feel strongly about not having a cut made in their school, maybe they would benefit from know how they can help to keep programs alive within their school district.

How YOU Can Help

I started my journey with the Scappoose Parents Association in 2007 because another volunteer talked so highly about the nonprofit. All I had to do was choose a shift or more that I wanted to work at the Moda Center each month and a percent of the profit would be given back to the school district. At that time the group had over fifty volunteers but slowly that dwindled and now we have grants waiting for funds for the schools because we cannot keep up, this shows how important this program is to the school district. By simply reaching out to a few local organizations, you can make a difference by volunteering what time you have available. These grants are essential to keeping up with technology and keeping the schools thriving through the budget cuts they face. Children are the face of the future, its essential to give them the right tools needed to learn. Please, reach out to a local organization when you find a free moment and ask what you can do to help the education programs within your community.


One comment

  1. Savannah Brown

    I really understand that you have a strong connection to the community work you chose to participate in. The mention of your first-hand experience in your introduction was particularly moving. I felt that you did a good job summarizing the information in your cited articles. I also think that you could have made the annotated bibliography stronger if you elaborated on the authority of your sources further. The final section could be made less vague if you listed multiple ways a reader could get involved. The importance of nonprofit organizations and volunteering is already made evident in both your introduction and annotated bibliography.
    All together I felt that this piece of writing brought something important to my attention that I was previously unaware of. I think that the cause you are spreading awareness for is very worthy and I agree that public schools need all of the volunteering and funding that they can possibly get. There’s a very emotional undertone to this piece that brings me to empathize with it as a reader. I think that you wrote from a convincing perspective. I enjoyed your work and I think you did a great job!

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