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

Troy Butler, former UF football player, said, "Why am I going to waste time on a bust when I can go on my bike twice as fast?"

Gainesville Riders Hope To Start Bike-Sharing Program

Shane Hartley and Troy Butler choose to ride their bikes to work because they know the health and environmental benefits of biking. In order to unite people like them, the Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation want to start a bike-sharing program.


The finale kicked off shortly before 10 p.m. and for many launched the holiday weekend. (Will England/WUFT News)

Photos: Scenes from Fanfares and Fireworks 2015

The 2015 Fanfares and Fireworks celebration, hosted by the UF College of Journalism and Communications, drew more than 10,000 to the campus July 3.


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Unexpected Fireworks Leave Some Veterans On Edge

Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder may face obstacles during the holiday weekend. Military With PTSD, a nonprofit organization, has started a campaign to help educate people about the effects of fireworks on people with PTSD.


The confederate soldier statue stands outside of the Alachua County Administration Building. Due to recent controversy in the nation, the monument's downtown location is raising concern for the local community.

Protesters Appeal To City Commission Over Confederate Statue

Protesters seeking to remove the downtown statue of the Confederate soldier spoke to city officials for the first time since the campaign began in late June. This is the first of several efforts that will go on over the next two weeks among protesters who call for the County Commission to take down the statue.


Grace Marketplace Reflects On First Year

Grace Marketplace has served the local homeless community for one year. The community is part of a 10-year plan, conceived in 2005, to end homelessness.


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