Rotary briefed on origin, purpose of Foundation for Better Schools in Upshur County

BUCKHANNON – The Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur recently learned what services the Foundation for Better Schools in Upshur County offers.

The Foundation for Better Schools president Don Nestor spoke during the April 6 Rotary meeting.

“It’s supposed to be a real benefit for the county and for the school system here,” Nestor said. “We began talking about it in early 1997, it was incorporated on Oct. 29, 1997 and we qualified as a 501c3 nonprofit tax-exempt organization.”

While the organization started in 1997, it remained fairly inactive for a number of years.

“It was originally set up because we didn’t have a bond levy, so there were a lot of the things we were not able to fund through normal means, so we had to have a way of raising money for those innovative projects and extra things, so that’s why we started and then when we started passing levies, we didn’t really have the need for it,” Nestor said. “If you go back into the actual purpose, the bylaws say its sole purpose was formed to aid in the betterment and improvement of the public school system in Upshur County, West Virginia.”

He said the organization can accept funds and disperse funds for the betterment and improvement of the public school system.

“That’s including but not limited to maintenance, facilities, capital improvements, purchase or rental of books, supplies, equipment, or education programs,” Nestor said. “It’s supposed to be a vehicle so we can collect money on behalf of people who want to do something in the school system in Upshur County. We can expend money for those purposes if someone comes up and says, ‘Hey, we’re looking for funds,’ we could be a way of receiving the funds, so it’s flexible, and that’s kind of the reason it was set up – to make it easy and fun.”

The foundation regularly works with the Upshur Board of Education because they want to be sure they are helping the school system in the most proficient way possible.

“We want to make sure the school system and the individual schools, the principals and and the Board Office agree with what’s being done and being funded and it’s a legitimate need for the county for the schools,” Nestor said. “When we have funds, we go to them and say, ‘we have certain amount of funds for some specific purpose.’”

Recently, the foundation was involved in the Upshur County Schools Backpack Program.

“Dr. Susan Aloi come to me and talked to Dr. Stankus at the Board Office and said there was a need to do some funding for the backpack program, and some of the funding was coming from foundations like the Pallottine Foundation, but that money needs to go to a foundation, it couldn’t go just into the system,” Nestor said. “We qualify because nutrition is a benefit for the students in Upshur County, it was that flexible, so we got involved.”

Read a more in-depth article about the Foundation for Better Schools and its evolution here.

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