Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Awarded Matching Grant from Consortium of Florida Education Foundations

The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF), in conjunction with the State of Florida Department of Education recently awarded the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation more than $19,000 in matching funds through the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.

The CFEF Matching Grant funds support the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program by providing activities and resources for Take Stock Scholars. The Scholars are able to enroll in and complete preparation courses for the ACT and SAT as well as sessions that assist them in completing financial aid forms.  In addition, grant funds are expended to provide Academic Success College Prep sessions for Take Stock Scholars.

The support services and activities complement the work that Take Stock Scholars and their mentors have as a focus—successful completion of high school and transition to a college or university.  Workshops and activities began in September when senior Take Stock Scholars attended a College Night sponsored by Northwest Florida State College where they had an opportunity to speak with representatives from more than 80 colleges and universities.  College prep and academic success workshops will continue throughout the year, based on the needs and interests of students.

“We are privileged to be a part of CFEF and have their support for the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation and Take Stock in Children,” stated Superintendent Dr. Alexis Tibbetts.  “With these Matching Grant funds, we are able to maintain programs and services for our Take Stock students and their mentors.  The resources provided assist each Take Stock Scholar in achieving the dream of a college education, rewarding hard work and effort and the determination to overcome the challenges they may face.” 

The CFEF Matching Grant Program provides a dollar-for-dollar match of funds that have been raised to support the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program administered through the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  Matching funds for this project were contributed to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation by corporate partners including: Gulf Power Foundation, Bank of America Foundation, CHELCO, the Okaloosa County Chapters or Women's Clubs, 99 Eglin, Ltd., the American Society for Training and Development, Destin Commons, Ltd., and the United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties.

Because Take Stock Scholars and their families recognize the value of giving back to their community, they participate in community service activities, as well.  Partnering with Sodexo/Food Service Department of the Okaloosa County School District, Take Stock in Children Scholars participated in the annual Chili Cook-Off sponsored by the United Way.

The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) is the membership organization for local school-district education foundations throughout Florida. Established in 1987, CFEF seeks to advance student achievement by increasing private sector investment and involvement in public education.  In 2000, CFEF successfully advocated for the creation of legislative matching funds which have provided a dollar-for-dollar incentive for local education foundations to raise private contributions for eligible projects.   Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Executive Director Kaye McKinley, in accepting the CFEF grant on behalf of Take Stock in Children, stated “We are very fortunate to have legislators recognize the significant benefit that the Matching Grant program provides to our school district.  We appreciate their support once again.”

CFEF now has 57 member foundations with 1,100 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members.  Collectively, they raise more than $40 Million annually to support students, teachers and schools through a variety of programs. CFEF has provided more than $18.5 Million to local education foundations since 2002 through various private and public sector partnerships, including the State of Florida School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.

To learn more about the CFEF, visit www.cfef.net or contact Mary Chance, president, at (352) 338-0250 or marychance@cfef.net.