COVINGTON - It couldn't have come at a better time.
The same week that the Newton County School System announced that it will have to make even more budget cuts to make up for millions of dollars in expected losses this school year, the Newton County Foundation for Educational Excellence made its debut.
Last week, the educational foundation announced its board of trustees, which is ready to get to work raising money and support for Newton County's public schools.
"It's hard to think about moving forward when we are facing such tough economic times," Newton County Board of Education Chair C.C. Bates said. "(The foundation) is a heartwarming thing."
During a presentation to the school board last week, foundation Chairwoman Kathie Smith said the organization is gearing up to put a framework in place and build public awareness.
"Everyone will have the opportunity to invest in children," she said. "Working together, we can prove what impact they have."
Already a steering committee has created a mission for the 501(c) 3 organization - to promote educational excellence by providing resources and support for innovative programs and enrichment opportunities for NCSS.
Now, a 21-member volunteer board will oversee the foundation. According to a statement from the foundation, each member brings different skills and expertise. As it is independent from the school system, the board will work with three ex officio members - Bates, NCSS Superintendent Steven Whatley and Deputy Superintendent Dennis Carpenter - to determine the needs of the district.
The foundation plans to secure financial support for programs to strengthen the quality of education in Newton County and build partnerships between the schools and community. Future fundraising measures include special activities and events, corporate sponsorships, grants, and community gifts.
Funds will support programs and initiatives that are not available through the normal school system budget.
The foundation can be mailed at P.O. Box 510, Covington, GA 30015 or called at 770-713-9290.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: At A Glance
Newton County Foundation for Educational Excellence
Board of Trustees
Kathie Smith, chair
Dr. Lisa Miller
Dr. Delia Nisbet
Dr. C.C. Bates
Dr. Steve Whatley