The Lancaster Education Foundation was established in 1989 to promote educational excellence in the School District of Lancaster. Mr. Robert Scheffey, a member of the School Board 1971-1985 and the Lancaster Education Foundation’s first president said in a 1990 press release, “We intend to support a variety of school projects which otherwise would not exist, in areas of technology and learning, scholastic enrichment, arts and education, careers and vocations and cultural enrichment.”
Since its inception, the Foundation has raised and distributed over $7 million for the benefit of District students. Examples of projects funded by the Foundation include equipment for “electronic classrooms” in the District’s middle schools, the “Tools for Schools” campaign in 2000 to provide resources for course materials in grades 4-10, and the development of the small learning communities at the high school campus through the awarding of a $4 million dollar Gates Foundation grant.
The Foundation also raises money for and funds Venture Grants and Horizon Grants. Through the Venture Grant program, teachers may apply for funds to put innovative ideas into practice. These grants are effective because they put funds directly into the classroom. Since 2001, over $800,000 has been provided to teachers though these grants which are funded through donations from area business partners participating in the Pennsylvania Educational Investment Tax Credit (EITC) program and individual gifts. The new Horizon Grants allow teachers to enrich their teaching knowledge and practice by providing funding for participation in educational opportunities out of the local area. They are funded through the proceeds of our fundraising event, “Are You Smarter than a SDoL 5th Grader.”
The Foundation also manages resources for more than thirty scholarships, given annually to District students. These scholarships have been established either by individuals and families to honor a particular person or by a bequest.
Additionally, due to our non-profit 501 (c) (3) status, the Foundation is a partner with the District in applying for and receiving grants for special projects.
The McCaskey Alumni Association, established in 1994, is organized under the Lancaster Education Foundation and assists alumni in reunions, selects and honors Distinguished Alumni annually, serves as the historian for the District, oversees the 19th century Museum School located at Carter and MacRae Elementary and promotes other activities to raise funds for and support pride in McCaskey High School.