CLINTON — The Clinton School District Education Foundation has set a high goal for itself — to raise $1 million in gifts and pledges in two years.

According to Stacy Driscoll, foundation executive director, the organization was started because the local educational community expressed a need for a resource for the future to augment substandard funding from the state.

“That’s really the concept of how the education foundation came to pass,” Driscoll said. “Resources that will offset the tax dollar for such things as classroom assistance, books, staff development and computer technology.”

Driscoll says the foundation is not in the business of replacing infrastructure, “and we are not in the business of necessarily funding salaries from what we’re doing.”

Contributions may be designated for special areas, including scholarship funds to provide financial assistance for talented and deserving students to further their education; library acquisitions and programs that would support the purchase of book and online resources; and capital improvements.

The category of staff development would provide opportunities to educators that aren’t able to be funded in the current budget.

“It would give educators the opportunity to apply to us for funds to take course offerings that would enhance classroom delivery,” Driscoll explained. It would not fund classes that teachers take to maintain their teaching certificate.

“It would go above and beyond that,” Driscoll said. “They would be classes that apply to the curriculum in place here.”

Donations also could be used to finance technology enhancements.

“Federal funding and state funding five, six years ago was all about technology in school and they’ve all but taken that to zero,” Driscoll said.

According to Driscoll, the state cannot continue to decrease funding and expect districts to absorb the cost of keeping computers and technology pieces in place.

“Technology enhancements would be looking at computer labs and making sure we can keep our technology up to date. Foreign exchange students come and they laugh at the technology we have available in out educational system.”

Driscoll believes the foundation will be an opportunity to partner with athletic boosters and the school district to help fund athletic projects or the renovation of Cook Theatre.

Driscoll also would like her organization to play an integral part in organizing class reunions. The foundation has information on the Clinton School District’s Web site and includes an alumni update form and a “lost alumni” section for committees who are searching for classmates. They can now list all classmates that cannot be found online.

“We want to begin to work with our graduates, not only here locally but those who have exited our system,” Driscoll said. “We firmly believe their careers started here in this system.”

Kay Egbers currently serves as the president of the foundation board.

“We have a nice selection of community people as well as some people who are quite a distance away who are (Clinton High School) alumni on our board,” Egbers said. And the foundation is always looking for new board members. The only criteria is that they have a sincere interest in helping the educational process in the Clinton School District and are willing to serve a three-year term.

“Stacy is working real hard right now in contacting businesses. She is working through a schedule of making those community contacts,” Egbers said. “If people are looking for a ‘giving opportunity’ they can speak with their lawyer about the idea of the foundation being listed in their will.”

The foundation has currently raised $137,000 and would like to keep the momentum going with community donations.

For more information call Driscoll at 243-9600, ext. 37.