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Foundation to aid local educational programs

Local parents, residents, business people and others have banded together to provide a private sector boost to a public sector problem: diminished funding for education.

Recently, members of the Foundation for Archuleta County Education (FACE) announced the launch of their website at www.facepagosa.org with the intention of soliciting donations for the foundation.

According to the website, “FACE is a nonprofit organization that supports programs to enhance academic opportunities for students K-12 in Archuleta County, Colorado. Groups or individuals who have innovative or established educational programs are encouraged to submit proposals to the FACE board of directors for consideration. Areas to be considered include, but are not limited to:

• After-school enrichment programs: e.g., humanities, music/drama, the arts, and science and technology.

• Academic enrichment programs for groups and/or individuals.

• Support for teacher training.

• Competitive academic programs.

• Innovative alternative educational programs for special-needs students as well as gifted and talented students.”

Last year, Jessie Formwalt, Lynne McCrudden and Tim Taylor (who also serves on the Archuleta School District 50 Joint board) began meeting after Archuleta School District 50 Jt. and the District Accountability Committee (DAC) decided to pursue an education foundation following the December 2010 board meeting.

Since then, the group has filed for a Colorado nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. If awarded, that status would provide donors with tax credits and exemptions for contributing to foundation funding.

“Of note, corporate or personal contributions of $1,000 or more will be gratefully acknowledged on our About FACE page,” Taylor said in a statement provided to The SUN.

Taylor added that the foundation has already received a $1,000 contribution from La Plata Electric Association as well as a $1,000 from Taylor’s company, BiomEditor. FACE also lists MTech Internet Marketing & Web Development as one of its corporate sponsors.

After the charge to form an educational foundation was forwarded by the district board and DAC, Formwalt, McCrudden and Taylor went to work developing what that foundation would like to accomplish, how it would operate and how it would secure funding to achieve its goals.

“Since then, the three of us have been meeting regularly and have tried not to rush ourselves,” Taylor wrote in a statement to The SUN. “And we are pleased with the product thus far. The ultimate near-term goal is to begin amassing funds via donations, hoping to score some big hits if possible. We would like to begin some modest funding to curricular/extracurricular groups in 2013, but of course that will depend on how our fund-raising goes in the next year.”

While the plan for the foundation is still in the formative stages, Taylor added that he hopes the group will kick into high gear during the summer, with clear objectives and goals developed prior to the start of school in late August. To those ends, directors for the foundation will be appointed this month.

Local residents interested in participating in the foundation can contact members at face81147@gmail.com or go to the website at www.facepagosa.org.

jim@pagosasun.com

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