Who we are
The Gateway Education Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that formed to enhance the educational oppertunities for students of the Gateway Regional School District.
A planning committee formed in January 2011 and worked for a year and a half to develop the foundation, file non-profit status, recruit and install a Board of Directors, and begin to raise funds. In July 2012, our first Board of Directors was elected.
Our Current Work
Much of our work is done through our "Funds for Learning (FFL)" program. The Funds For Learning program is a small grants program that Gateway teachers and staff may apply to, in order to fund special programs for our students. To date, the Foundation has granted over $31,000 to 51 staff-led projects including: the start-up of Model United Nations, four school-wide musicals for Chester Elementary School, "Museum on the Go" programs with the Springfield Science Museum; an organic heirloom garden, visits by Everest Mountaineer Ed Webster, Native American Grammy and "Nammy" Winner Joseph Firecrow, children's author Billy Steers, and an ecologist from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. The fund has also supported field trips to the Mark Twain Museum, Bodies Exhibition, and Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary along with upgrades to the Smart Music band program, materials for STEM and Renewable Energy classes (hydrogen fuel cell cars, a hydraulic arm system, Finch robots, chibitronics, and LEGO Robotics), a Healthy Cooking & Eating project in the Middle School After-School Program, the introduction of Fused Glass into Jr. High Art Classes, and Summer Literacy programs for our elementary schools. For up-to-date information on these projects, please see our "News" and "Photos" web pages!
We also manage the Rob Shipman Memorial Fund. The Shipman Memorial Fund was established in 2012 to honor a beloved Gateway teacher, Robert H. Shipman. Rob taught social studies for many years at Gateway Middle School and High School. He was instrumental in the design of the sound and lighting systems for the Gateway Performing Arts Center, and served as the Advisor to the student Tech Crew for many years, including four years following his retirement from teaching. Rob died of cancer in the spring of 2012. The Shipman Memorial Fund is used to improve the operations of the Gateway Performing Arts Center, and continue Rob's legacy. Each year in May, the Annual Shipman Memorial Concert is held to raise money to replenish Rob's fund.
Gateway's budget is not able to fund the "extras" that would enhance learning experiences for our students. The Gateway member towns have been generous in supporting continuous declines in state funding. However, our budget has continued to shrink through declining enrollment, the withdrawal of the town of Worthington, and long-term state/national fiscal constraints. Now, more than ever, funds need to be raised to enhance the educational opportunities for our children. Our future is in the hands of the stakeholders of the Gateway Regional School District: parents, staff, community members and alumni!