The Seneca Educational Foundation was established in 2006 by a group of alumni and community members who wanted to provide additional support for the Seneca Area School District in the form of grants and scholarships. Their goal was enhance the educational opportunities already available at the District, specifically by providing funds for projects not available in the District’s regular budget.
Since its inception the group has awarded over $100,000 in aid to the students of the District. The largest project, recently highlighted in both the Courier Press and Independent-Scout, was an over $19,000 award for the purchase of Chromebooks. This enabled the high school to go one-on-one for grades 9-12. Teachers at the school have used these tools to enhance the learning experiences in their classrooms, integrating technology with the curriculum of the course.
Other awards over the years have ranged from supporting educational trips, such as the Advanced Placement- Government’s trip to Washington, D.C., to providing classroom equipment such as smart boards and camera equipment. The Health class goals of training all freshman students in CPR and recertifying all students before graduation have been supported with the purchase of CPR mannequins. Through a cooperative effort with the Seneca First Responders, not only are all students certified in CPR, but a select few are students are trained as CPR instructors, certified through the American Heart Association.
The board considers any project of educational value, including those of physical educational value, such as the purchase of snowshoes for afterschool activities that encourages those not involved in organized sports to take part in physical activities.
The Foundation Board has been pleased to support the teachers’ innovative projects to expand the students’ opportunities. With the addition of audio-visual equipment and computers purchased by the Foundation, Seneca students have twice been recognized at the State Education Convention with their productions. The Board recognizes the time put in by the teachers in implementing their requests and their openness to new ideas for the students.
Scholarships for graduating seniors are also a top priority. The process for selecting the recipients is done via a lottery system, with students’ names being entered once for correctly completing the application, and additional times for successes such as grade point, community service, sports involvement and other school activities.
The Seneca Educational Foundation raises funds for the foundation through ongoing community awareness and two main fundraising activities. The annual golf outing, to be held on July 26 this year, is one source of income with the accompanying raffles and auction of donated items. Another successful fundraiser is money received after an annual mailing done in the latter part of the year. The SEF maintains a mailing list of all alumni as well as other community member and past supporters, and sends a newsletter along with a brochure of information on the foundation. The response to this call for support is overwhelming and grows each year.
The Foundation is proud that all of the money received is put towards projects for the students, save for the cost of postage, printing and filing of required forms. No person from the nine-member board of the Foundation ever receives any reimbursement for their service. The Board is very proud of their accomplishments, which they recognize would not be possible without the loyal support of the tightly knit community the District resides in.