Working to make a difference for students
By Kyla Hurt
There is an organization called the North Greene Educational Foundation (NGEF) that is making positive strides for students.
Catherine J. Williams works with the foundation and explains, “We provide support to the North Greene School District and have partnered with the school district and Lewis & Clark Community College to sponsor a Certified Nursing Assistant Program and two dual credit programs – Welding and Criminal Justice. All the courses are offered at the North Greene Campus.”
Specifically offered at North Greene High School in White Hall this fall were three Lewis & Clark Community College classes at the North Greene campus; the courses were Certified Nursing Assistant, Dual-Credit Welding and Introduction to Criminal Justice. Williams says that the funding for these courses is shared between the North Greene School District, Lewis & Clark Community College grants, Tracy Family Foundation grants and generous donations from the community to the North Greene Educational Foundation.
Community backing is worth a lot. The NGEF began in 2017 and the Carrollton Bank in Carrollton has supported them since the foundation’s start. They designated their 2021 donation to go toward the purchase of new equipment for the North Greene welding program. As a result of their donation, the welding program has purchased five new welding tables and welding gloves, relays NGEF. Like Carrollton Bank, the United Methodist Church in White Hall has supported the NGEF since its start. Not only have their donations provided tuition support for North Greene students attending the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program, but the church has also hosted the CNA graduation ceremonies. Additionally, plenty of individuals and organizations in the North Greene Community have generously donated their time and financial contributions to the North Greene Educational Foundation.
Funding is also heavily supported through various grants. The Tracy Family Foundation has awarded two grants to the North Greene Educational Foundation. The NGEF notes, “The first grant was awarded in 2018 to establish the Certified Nursing Assistant program and to provide tuition support for the North Greene students attending the program. The second Tracy Family Foundation grant was awarded in May 2020. This grant was expanded to continue support for the CNA program and to provide support for other vocational programs at North Greene High School.”
“Over the past several years, the Tracy Family Foundation has awarded the North Greene Educational Foundation more than $20,000 in grants because we believe that education provides opportunity. NGEF’s innovative CNA and welding programs are equipping North Greene students for thriving careers in professions that are vital to our communities,” says Tracy Family Foundation Executive Director Dan Teefey.
The Matthews Children’s Foundation has also awarded two grants to the North Greene Educational Foundation, which have been used to fund classroom supplies and equipment that is not included in school budgets. Also, a Lewis & Clark Community College Grant provided CNA classroom equipment and supplies and funded tuition for the initial CNA class. An additional Lewis & Clark grant was used to purchase welding equipment and upgrade the classroom for installation of newer and safer welding equipment.
Williams says of the North Greene Educational Foundation, “We have two primary goals – one is to make the community aware of the good work the foundation and our partners are doing, the second is to publicly acknowledge the generosity of our donors.”
Another action that NGEF takes to assist North Greene students involves working with educators and those in industries to facilitate job panels for students prior to enrollment in a course at Lewis & Clark. The idea is to participate in the job panel made up of people working in the fields for which they would be training. College instructors are also on the panel to communicate classroom expectations for students enrolled in the programs. NGEF says the job panels give the students a realistic view of the day-to-day job expectations – the positive and the downside of the job.
According to the foundation, “The North Greene Educational Foundation was created to provide support for programs, activities and facilities within the North Greene Unit District 3. The Foundation supports students and teachers by raising awareness of school needs and providing educational resources and opportunities. Foundation support has included teacher grants to purchase classroom resources, tuition for Certified Nursing Assistant students and welding equipment. In addition to financial support, NGEF has provided resources to help coordinate program startups, organize job panels and increase community awareness.”
For persons interested in donating to the North Greene Educational Foundation, tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to: North Greene Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 61, White Hall, IL 62092. Please note that donations to the NGEF may be designated for a specific North Greene program. Unless specified, monies will be applied to the general fund to purchase classroom supplies and equipment. All donations are greatly appreciated.
Photos/Submitted to The Source
(Left) Mike Painter presents a check from the United Methodist Church Endowment Fund to Cheri Madson, NGEF president. (Right) Lisa Meisenheimer, representing the Carrollton Bank, presents a donation to Cheri Madson, NGEF president, for welding equipment to support the Lewis and Clark Community College dual-credit welding program at North Greene High School.