Education Foundation Looking To Endow Supply Depot

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November 20, 2018
Daily News-Record  11-19-18
HARRISONBURG — The Rockingham Education Foundation Inc. is kicking off a campaign to raise $25,000 to start an endowment for the supply depot, which saves teachers from having to spend out-of-pocket money on classroom supplies.
This is the Foundation’s 25th year as the fundraising arm for Rockingham County Public Schools, and to mark the occasion it has decided to create something that would generate more funds to help stock supplies, said Katie LaPira, REFI’s executive director.
The supply depot, located behind the RCPS central office at 100 Mount Clinton Pike, is open on Thursdays for teachers to stock up on everything from paper and books to art supplies and even furniture.
Donations come from businesses, community members, teacher who retire or move classrooms.
“We average about 30 teachers a week,” LaPira said.
It’s estimated that teachers spend between $400 and $600 a year out of pocket on supplies, with some saying they spend more than that, she said.
“That’s a lot, especially considering how little teachers make,” she said.
For something to be endowed, at least $20,000 has to be invested in it. The idea for the depot is to raise $ 25,000 through community donations as well as business matching, and to spend the earnings it receives, on additional resources for teacher supplies.
The campaign kicks off on Nov. 27, known as Giving Tuesday for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
REFI also will participate next April in the Great Community Give, an initiative of The Community Foundation for a single day of giving to partnered local nonprofits to promote charitable giving in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. When the organization began in 1993, the foundation had a modest amount of money for classroom grants, LaPira said.
“When it started 25 years ago they gave three grants of $250 apiece,” she said.
For the 2018-19 school year, $52,864 in classroom grants were given to Rockingham County teachers.
The foundation received 121 grant applications this year. Some of the projects included connecting cultures through music, submitted by Betsy Hulvy from Pleasant Valley Elementary School, and a coding grant submitted by Stephanie May from Linville- Edom Elementary School.
For more information on the REFI visit their website at