TPSD works to create endowment fund

TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District is putting together an endowment fund that would allow it to supplement its programs and activities.
The district’s grant writer, Mary Ann Plasencia, and the CREATE Foundation’s Juanita Floyd and Jan Eastman made a presentation about the fund at the district’s regular school board meeting Tuesday. It would be administered by the CREATE Foundation.
The next step will be having the endowment approved by CREATE’s board.
“I think it is a great opportunity to build some financial support for the district,” said CREATE President Mike Clayborne, who sparked the idea for the fund.
“There are a lot of people who care very deeply about the Tupelo Public School District and what it has meant to them and their families, and this will provide an opportunity for them to provide some tangible support to it as it seeks to provide an excellent education for the children of our community.”
Floyd, CREATE’s vice president, said that it would be the foundation’s first endowment set up by a school district. The foundation does have endowments that benefit districts but they were all created by individuals.
Plasencia said an advisory committee will be formed and that fundraising for the endowment likely will begin sometime in 2011.
“Our purpose is to do what we can to start building a foundation of funds so when we need to expand a program or supplement an initiative with something that can’t be supplemented by the district, that money would be available to us,” she said.
Plasencia said the endowment would differ from the Association for Excellence in Education, an organization that provides grants for Tupelo teachers to fund innovative proposals. This money could be used for a wider variety of needs. It could also be used as a match for grants.

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djounal.com.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal