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Polk Education Foundation Receives Grant

Posted on Thursday, December 28, 2017 at 1:35 am

The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) recently awarded Polk Education Foundation $127,619 in matching funds through the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.
Polk Reads received $48,639 to support its reading tutoring program. Members provide one-on-one reading tutoring to Kindergarten – 3rd grade public school students at selected school sites each year. During the 2016-2017 school year, our members served at ten Polk County Schools and tutored 482 students providing over 36,000 hours of service free to our community! The selected students received three, thirty minute, one-on-one tutoring sessions per week. These sessions will target the five components of effective reading instruction (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency and reading comprehension strategies.
The STEaMing up Polk Schools grant program received $33,980 which was offered to schools in the form of grants. All K-12 public and charter schools had the opportunity to write a grant that would enhance STEM instruction at their school. $15,000 was dedicated for the School Matching Funds Grant program. This program invites schools to leverage funds from the community with the promise of a dollar for dollar match for programs that increase literacy, enhance STEM education, support low-performers, increase teaching quality, support career/technical education. $5,000 was committed to the Free Teacher Market where teachers have the opportunity to register and shop for school supplies, incentives, organizational tools, and much more without spending any money out of their own pockets.
$25,000 went to the Teacher to Teacher Idea Connection program. The Teacher to Teacher Connection is a min-grant program which seeks out teachers that have developed and successfully used innovative teaching practices in their classrooms. As part of a layered network designed to improve student achievement, these teachers called “Developers” work with the Foundation over the course of a school year to first help produce the Idea Catalog of Excellence in which their program is highlighted. Then in the fall new Developers join with Developer alumni to present their innovative programs at the Idea Expo. Teacher attending the Idea Expo have the opportunity to apply for an Adapter grant to receive funds to replicate a program they felt would benefit their students.
Through the collaborative effort of its members, the CFEF successfully advocated for the creation of legislative matching funds in 2000 which has provided a dollar-for-dollar incentive for local education foundations to raise private contributions for eligible projects. Since then, more than $87.7 million in combined private and state dollars has been employed for local projects that serve low-performing students and literacy initiatives, encourage STEM and career/technical education, improve teaching quality, and/or increase graduation rates.
The CFEF is the membership organization for Florida’s school district-wide local education foundations. Established in 1987, the CFEF maximizes the individual and collective strength of Florida local education foundations to support local partners and schools in achieving student success. The CFEF now has 63 member foundations with 1,100 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members. Collectively, they raise nearly $63 million annually to support students, teachers and schools through a variety of programs. The CFEF has facilitated nearly $43 million to local education foundations since 2002 through various private- and public-sector partnerships, including the State of Florida School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.
To learn more about the CFEF, visit or contact Mary Chance, executive director, at (352) 338-0250 or
The Polk Education Foundation is a direct support 501(c)(3) organization for the Polk County School Board and raises funds to support school programs for which tax generated dollars may not be used. For more information about the Foundation, please visit our website at