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Chamber awards 413 Foundation for a job well done

Posted Date: 02/22/2019

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Redefining the USD 413 Foundation, getting new members and support for its goals took a little longer than anticipated, but in the last 18 months, the growth, the energy and the impact on Chanute Public School’s students and teachers has soared.

The community took notice.

At the annual Chanute Area Chamber of Commerce banquet this week, the 413 Foundation was presented with the 2018 Community Investment Award, given to a business or organization that demonstrates leadership in the community.

The chamber’s qualifications for the award state that “honorees go beyond the boundaries and expectations to build bridges, create alliances, establish trust and engage others in projects and dreams bigger in scope than can be achieved by just one.”

Those words describe exactly what Foundation President Cassie Cleaver set out to do and has accomplished, with lots of volunteer help, in the last year and a half.

teachers pick up supplies in teacher roomBeginning with organizing a Prom dinner, a Prom Closet and assisting with teacher grants for special projects in the classroom, Cleaver shared her “Willy Wonka Land” vision with other supporters of Chanute Public Schools.

Last spring the idea to provide School Supplies to all elementary students took root and then morphed into funding School Supplies for all students. Then someone suggested PE Clothing for all students at the middle school and high school.

A Teacher Supply Room went from a storeroom of supplies to a real room in the former CHS Trades Building, where all kinds of everyday items are stockpiled for teachers who realize they need 25 coffee cans, clothespins, craft items, balloons or puzzles.

When teachers have a need, they fill out a form, a Foundation volunteer delivers it to the school or the teacher stops by to “shop” for anything else they might need.  

These accomplishments, affect students and teachers every day, but Cleaver’s real goal is to bring all the organizations that support Chanute Public Schools under the same umbrella.

“I think the biggest impact is from bringing multiple organizations together. Without the relationships with CES, CHS and now Lincoln - along with all of the others like Music Boosters, After Prom - we wouldn't be able to do what we do each day for our students, teachers and classrooms,” she said. “Eliminating the double-doing and double spending on certain things just gives us more time and money for all our kids.”

The Foundation’s Mission sums it up, with its goal to:

“provide resources to inspire learning, enrich teaching and create opportunities for district students through community support.”