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Potsdam Educational Opportunities makes first grants to schools


POTSDAM - The Potsdam Educational Opportunities Fund (PEOF) has awarded its first competitive grants, totaling $5,761, to Potsdam Central School.

The project proposals, submitted by PCS teachers and administrators, as well as a Potsdam High School student, will support seven educational enrichment projects.

Members of the PEOF board and the Potsdam Central faculty and administration reviewed the proposals on a competitive basis. The awards will support everything from the purchase of equipment for use in classrooms to academic enrichment programs.

The following grants were awarded:

■ iPads For Use in Art Instruction, $1,000 (Ashley Eipp, art teacher).

■ C. Shaw, fourth grade annual program, $1,100 (Lawrence Avenue Elementary fourth-grade teachers).

■ Positive cafeteria materials for A.A. Kingston Middle School, $200 (Jamie Cruikshank, AAK principal).

■ Smart board for English/Special Ed classroom, $1,161 (Christine Byrnes, special education teacher).

■ Support for Jamie Utt Diversity Workshop, $500 (Gina LoMastro, high school student).

■ Support for “Providing Global Enlightening Experiences” Program, $600 (Valerie Chiarenzelli and Pam Dumas, high school teachers).

■ Purchase Shop Tools for Technology Class, $1,200 (Nick Leuthauser, high school teacher).

The Potsdam Educational Opportunities Fund is a grass roots organization formed by local community members in 2012 to provide financial support for K-12 educational activities in the Potsdam Central School District. The organization’s goal is to provide educators in the Potsdam Central School District with the resources needed to develop creative activities and opportunities that enrich the educational experience of the students.

Funding for the PEOF is provided through ongoing local public and corporate fundraising efforts. The fundraising efforts of the PEOF have been significantly leveraged through a pledge by an anonymous couple, both alumni of Potsdam schools, to match gifts to the fund up to $100,000 on a one-to-one basis for program support (an ‘annual’ fund) and a two-for-one basis toward an endowment (a ‘sustaining’ fund; note that the donors are providing the ‘2’ in the 2-for-1 match) that will carry the mission of the Fund securely into the future. The matching grant funding is continuing through 2013.

The PEOF operates under the auspices of the Northern New York Community Foundation. Anyone interested in donating can send a check to NNY Community Foundation at 120 Washington St, Suite 400, Watertown, NY 13601 with PEOF mentioned in the memo line. The NNY Community Foundation is a non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation. Donations are tax-deductible for those who itemize.

For more information about the PEOF, see or contact Devon Shipp, chair, at

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