WUFT News

School Gets New Mascot with Help from the Community and Educational Foundation

By on September 4th, 2014

After completing the Education Foundation’s Match Challenge, Lake Forest Elementary has their new mascot.

The challenge gives Alachua County schools the opportunity to post “projects” up to $1,500 on its Find It and Fund It website. The school is then required to collect half of the requested amount through donations from the community, after which the foundation funds the remainder.

Lacy Redd, principal of Lake Forest, said the school was the first to meet its goal. She wrote a grant requesting funds to purchase a dolphin costume to use as the school’s mascot.

Students of Lake Forest Elementary pose with a dolphin character, who has since become the school's mascot thanks to the Match Challenged sponsored by the Alachua County Education Foundation.

WUFT/ Photo courtesy of Lake Forest Elementary

Students of Lake Forest Elementary pose with a dolphin character, who has since become the school's mascot thanks to the Match Challenged sponsored by the Alachua County Education Foundation.

After renting the costume for meet-the-teacher-day and the first day of school, she said it was a great way to stimulate the kid’s excitement.

“I see Albert and Alberta [University of Florida mascots] and all that they do to excite kids, so I thought, ‘Why couldn’t we have our own dolphin?’ ”

Redd advertised the grant on her Facebook page and had the first $600 funded by family and friends in two weeks, and the foundation matched the amount for a total of $1,200.

Jack James, a former coworker of Redd when she served as principal at Newberry Elementary, said he was following the funding progress on her Facebook page. When the goal was almost reached, James said he was able to contribute the remaining amount with his donation.

“This was a way for me to directly affect the kids and know my money wasn’t going elsewhere,” James said. “Learning should be fun, and by having something like this [costume], it helps make the whole environment more fun.”

The Education Foundation website says it encourages” individuals, organizations and businesses to invest in the creativity of a teacher to bring amazing learning experiences to their students.”

Redd said they want to the dolphin to be a female named Diamond, complete with a “blinged out” sequined bow and tutu. The costume has already been ordered.

Diamond will periodically visit classrooms and encourage kids who meet their academic goals, while also reinforcing the fact that hard work pays off.  Redd said she believes the addition will help Lake Forest’s transformation to a friendly, positive environment.

Rachel Stimler, program director for the foundation, said that this is the foundation’s first year using the Match Challenge as a kickoff, and she’s already seen a lot more people get involved.

“There probably would never be enough money to fund all the grants, but this is a way for the community to come alongside [schools] and help,” Stimler said.

Other grant requests submitted by schools in the area include items such as iPads, end of the year trips and a class library. Requests range from about $100 to $1,500.

At press time, eight schools requesting funding are listed on the website.

Donors can continue to help fund teacher’s projects until Sept. 5 when the Match program ends. Stimler said that grant requests will stay up on the site so the community can contribute until the end of the school year.

You can find this year’s grants and fund them at http://finditfunditflorida.com/alachua.

 


This entry was posted in Local. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Peter LaMarck

    According to this article, today’s teachers’ unions aren’t really that interested in teaching: http://politi.co/X5mMK6

 

More Stories in Local

IMG_1999

Tornado Damages Homes Near Ocala Monday

More than 50 homes were damaged in two separate neighborhoods southwest of Ocala Monday afternoon as severe thunderstorms rolled through.


Cars drive past the filled-in potholes and cracks. Permanent road repairs are not expected until after July 2016. Ronnie Socash / WUFT News

No Immediate Fix for SW 62nd Boulevard Road Conditions

Despite continual repairs to Southwest 62nd Boulevard, commuters will still have to drive along the road’s potholes and “alligator cracks” until it is reconstructed in 2016. Once a project development and environment study is completed, the city of Gainesville can work on a $45.2 million project that will turn Southwest 62nd Boulevard from a two-lane road into a four-lane road.


UF football player JC Jackson was arrested yesterday for his involvement in an armed Robbery on Saturday.  He is currently in the ASO jail on a $150,000 bond.

UF Football Player Arrested After Armed Robbery, Released On $150,000-Bond

University of Florida football player J.C. Jackson has been released on $150,000-bond. Jackson was arrested Monday after turning himself in for his involvement in an armed robbery.


Scott Camil, 68, points to a cartoon depicting himself and other members of the Gainesville Eight at their trial. The original cartoon was given to him by the artist, Bill Day. The Gainesville Eight was the name given to a group of anti-Vietnam war protestors charged with conspiracy to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami.

Vietnam War Veteran Rejects Violence, Embraces Peace

Vietnam War veteran Scott Camil once believed the war to be right and honorable. Now, Camil is the founder of Gainesville Veterans for Peace, an organization that partners with other organizations around the area to promote peace.


David Cleveland sits outside his tent in Dignity Village near Grace Marketplace Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Cleveland's campsite is located on a 10 acre span of land that the city of Gainesville will lease from the state.

City Aquires Land Surrounding GRACE Marketplace

The city is finalizing an agreement to use 10 acres of land currently occupied by Dignity Village homeless encampment which could create a more regulated environment.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments