FACE board provides 2021 year in review


By Matt Ford | Foundation for Archuleta County Education

FACE is the Foundation for Archuleta County Education, a 501(c)(3) charity that supports programs which enhance academic opportunities for students K-12 in Archuleta County. 

To begin with, thank you to our community for your support this year. In June, Cheryl Bowdridge and Dr. Lynn Boyd were elected as new board members. 

Bowdridge has worked with Pagosa’s youth for many years, currently as the youth advocacy and education coordinator for Rise Above Violence. Bowdridge also owns a property management company and was heavily involved with Pagosa’s highly successful Destination Imagination program for many years. 

Boyd has focused her career on university-level science education and research. In 2019, she was appointed dean of sciences and mathematics at Arkansas State University. Bowdridge and Boyd add fresh experience, joining existing board members Matt Ford, Jen Pitcher and Mozhdeh Bruss. 

Although it took a bit to ramp back up, FACE had a busy year. FACE offered summer education experiences to more than 30 students attending the Town of Pagosa Springs “KIDS Day Camp.” FACE partnered with Keith Bruno of Audubon to teach students about macroinvertebrates in the San Juan River. Students counted and classified different macroinvertebrate species taken from the river and learned about their importance in healthy aquatic ecosystems. 

FACE partnered with Sally High of the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership to teach students about gardening, grow domes and the importance of local food production. 

Board member Boyd led a day of biology experiments, teaching students about microorganisms and the use of microscopes through a study of rapid yeast growth in test tubes. 

FACE also provided a matching grant to the FSFE — Food Coalition, which launched a food education program for students in the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA). These students also helped plant and maintain the new garden at the PLPOA clubhouse.

This fall, FACE awarded $4,200 to local educators from schools including Pagosa Family School, Pagosa Mountain School, Pagosa Springs High School and Our Savior Lutheran School. 

Thank you to our 2021 awardees: Andy Guinn, Scott White (Mountain School), Kelly Lewis (high school), Linda Lutomski, Katrina Thomas (Family School), and Pennie DeClark (Lutheran School). The grant program is only successful with these educators and their creative ideas to enhance children’s academic experience.

FACE is entirely supported by your donations. The fundraising goal for 2022 is $10,000, which will allow expansion of summer programs and will fund the fall 2022 grant cycle for local educators. 

Would you please consider a year-end contribution to support FACE this holiday season? We know that “fundraising burnout” can kick in this time of year, but your contribution is critical to ensure FACE starts our 2022 fundraising campaign on the right foot. 

Don’t forget: The CARES Act and subsequent legislation expand allowable tax deductions for charitable giving, including the ability to tax-deduct even if you don’t itemize your taxes. Please contact your accountant and learn about this opportunity to leverage your contributions for end-of-year tax benefit. 

Donations to FACE can be made online through our website at www.facepagosa.com; by mail to P.O. Box 2051, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147; or to make other arrangements or volunteer, please email us at face81147@gmail.com. 

May you have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season. Thank you from the FACE Board of Directors.