Traditional funding is not enough to fully support our community’s commitment to excellence. Private support is an invaluable asset that can make a positive difference in providing opportunities not otherwise possible. The Altoona Area Foundation Inc. exists to strengthen our community by offering donors opportunities to address community or educational needs.
The Altoona Education Foundation was formed in 1993. It was primarily established as a way for individuals interested in promoting K-12 education to donate funds and have the funds administered by an outside agency. This gave potential donors a way to contribute items or money to the schools to enhance the curriculum and provide teachers with another source of funding. It also allowed individuals and estates a means to designate funds in their wills to education.
As the Foundation rolled out we introduced the STAR Grant and the PARR Scholarship as our two primary ways to request and receive money.
Educators frequently use the Star Grant application process to fund curricular events that are outside school funding. We have provided dollars to a range of activities including Science Class Projects, Family Reading Night, Hands on History Activity, and many field trips allowing students to learn leadership qualities.
Our most unique award is our PARR Scholarship; this award was established after our board determined all Scholarships were awarded on past performance not future plans. As part of our application process, students are not judged on their GPA alone, but on their goals and their potential to succeed in secondary education. Students also list obstacles they have overcome or special talents that will help them succeed. The money is not awarded until the student finishes their first semester of school.
Many people have used the foundation as a holding tank for Memorial Money to advance the departments past teachers and citizens promoted while they were alive. When we lost one of our past Administrators, Einar Pedersen, money was donated by his family to further our mission. He would have been proud to know that his memorial money has funded many scholarships.
In 2009, the Altoona Education Foundation changed its name to the Altoona Area Foundation. This was prompted when an individual offered an endowment of $5,000 if we would broaden the scope of our mission statement. The Board of Directors agreed that this was opportunity for the the Foundation to evolve, incorporate a broader scope and provide donors an opportunity to address community needs as well as educational needs. The Foundation will continue to cultivate excellence through the use of private revenues, focusing intent on scholarship enrichment, scholastic and professional recognition, program innovation, technology in learning, leadership development and civic/community involvement.
The Altoona Area Foundation Inc. seeks to cultivate excellence through the use of private revenues, focusing intent on the following objectives.
- To recognize and encourage outstanding academic achievement among our district students and educators.
- To inspire creative and innovative programs in educational, literary, arts, scientific and other charitable fields.
- To encourage local business, civic and private sector involvement with the community.
- To promote the incorporation of emerging technologies
The Altoona Area Foundation, Inc. supports only those areas of education and the community that are not typically funded by a school’s or city’s operating budget, such as:
Scholarship Enrichment: Provide enriched learning opportunities beyond the core curriculum, as well as scholarships for post secondary studies.
Recognition: Recognize and reward outstanding SCHOLASTIC AND PROFESSIONAL achievements.
Program Innovation: Promote, encourage and support creative and innovative program development.
Technology in Learning: Encourage projects and programs designed to incorporate the most recent technologies into the learning process.
Leadership Development: Support staff in developing and pursuing opportunities that produce leaders in creative education.
Civic - Community Involvement: In order to enhance the quality of life in Altoona we seek to promote interaction of educational, business, civic and community representatives.