Foundation supports education

Published 9:32 pm Wednesday, August 28, 2019

To the editor:

I enjoyed reading about the many ways that the community has rallied around our teachers in “Clear the List.” I am always impressed by the generosity of the Suffolk community.

As the president of the Suffolk Education Foundation, I wanted to take the opportunity to share how the foundation partners with Suffolk Public Schools to provide resources for our teachers and our students.

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Immediately, there is the Teacher Supply Store at John F. Kennedy Middle School. There are multiple ways our community can partner with the foundation to support this. First, you can volunteer. The teachers are overjoyed with this opportunity to replenish their supplies on a monthly basis as well as the beginning of the year. There is no better reward than the face of a teacher when they thank our Teacher Store volunteers. You can also provide financial support or purchase from an Amazon list for the store. More information is available at

Each year, teachers can apply for instructional grants to support their students and classroom activities. Last spring, the foundation awarded $15,000 to teachers for biology labs, accelerated reading programs and field trips, to name a few. These grants are only limited by the creative minds of our teachers and for amounts up to $2,000.

To help students and teachers take advantage of special opportunities such as STEM camps, the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall or other unique opportunities, the foundation has limited funds available for discretionary grants. These funds are to support students and staff in unique academic endeavors.

To learn more about instructional grants or the foundation’s discretionary funds, go to the “Grantships” section of

Another great way to support our staff and students is through our events. This Oct. 18, we will be holding our 19th annual golf tournament at Sleepy Hole Golf course. There are still plenty of opportunities for teams and sponsors. More information is available at

In the spring, we feature the amazing (and I mean A-MAZE-ING!) talents of our students at the SEF Gala for the Arts. Then we invite local companies and organizations to test their spelling skills at our Grown-Up Spelling Bee. (The Suffolk News-Herald is always a TOP challenger).

Where I hope our community supports the teachers and staff through the Suffolk Education Foundation, I am privileged to be a part of such a generous community. Thank you for your commitment to the future of Suffolk through our school system.

Patrick Belcher

President, Suffolk Education Foundation