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Revenue streams eyed for grant program

February 14, 2011

SCHOOL FUND DONATION ... Scott Ainsworth (left), attorney for the North Adams Schools, recently made a personal donation to the North Adams Schools Fund which was set up within the Adams County Community Foundation (ACCF). With Ainsworth are Sirk (right) and Bellmont High School principal Scot Croner. (Photo provided)

    The fledgling North Adams Community Schools Fund is gaining support, and Superintendent Wylie Sirk said committee members are discussing "a variety of ideas to generate revenue" to allow the fund to award an increasing number of annual scholarships.
    Included are a pair of challenges — one to employees of the school district, the other to school board members — issued by Sirk.
    "I have challenged our employees to contribute $1 to the fund for each year they've been at North Adams," said Sirk during the school board's recent  meeting. "The school building with the most contributions will win a pizza lunch."
    The superintendent also asked board members to support the fund "by donating $1 for each year you've been out of high school."
    Board member Deb Bergman drew a laugh when she said, "It's a good thing Gary (former board president Gary Giessler) isn't still here."
    Giessler is considerably older than current sitting board members.
    The establishment of a North Adams Community Schools Fund, operated through the Adams County Community Foundation, is intended to provide financial assistance and support to families, students and school programs. Formation of the fund was approved by the school board in October.
    The fund was established with $3,000 in seed money through the ACCF. Donations are being sought sought by individuals, business and corporate supporters. Funds will be awarded not only for hardship students, but for programs that will be used by all students, including extra-curricular and sports programs.
    Grants will be awarded twice yearly to serve the needs of the North Adams students whose education may be stymied due to lack of support. Foundation executive director Coni Mayer said applications could come from individuals, groups or even from educators themselves. Today was the deadline for application for the first round of $100 grants.
    Tax-deductible donations to the North Adams Community Schools Fund may be made payable to: ACCF-NA School Fund. Credit cards are accepted on the foundation's website:

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