The Cinnaminson Education Foundation was created in the 1990s by a group of parents who were trying to enhance education for the children of the Cinnaminson School District. Over the years, while committee members changed and their children grew older, the goals and the effort of the Foundation never changed, and its role within the community only grew bigger.
According to the Foundation’s website, it believes children in the district deserve the best opportunities to learn. Often, budgetary constraints limit what the teachers can do, therefore, the organization raises funds that allows teachers to provide students with an enhanced and more impactful learning experience.
“Some of the projects that we contribute to paying for include author visits and positive motivational assemblies,” said Cinnaminson Education Foundation Committee President Tom Lane. “We support a lot of clubs that may not be able to exist without us. We also fund projects such as 3-D printers, smart boards, FM speaker systems for the classrooms, educational field trips, financial literacy classes, STEM classroom funding and much more.”
“The Cinnaminson Education Foundation has been an integral partner in providing students enriching opportunities that otherwise may not be available to them,” said Superintendent Stephen Cappello. “The CEF’s support plays a key role in helping the district to educate the whole child. Throughout the many years of leadership under Carmen Saginario to the new and existing team now under Tom Lane, III, the district is deeply indebted to this group of community allies.”
Over the years, the Foundation has supported and funded hundreds of projects. According to Lane, the organization has raised around $500,000 since it began. On average, the committee supports around 20 projects per year and gives out about $25,000. Currently, the Foundation raises money through an annual golf outing however, the committee has recently decided to find more ways to fundraise.
“Right now, we raise funds through one golf tournament per year,” said Lane. “Since the organization has gone through a little bit of a change within the committee, we want to transition into doing more fundraisers for people that aren’t necessarily into golf. Perhaps the second event could be a town-wide dine out night where some of the proceeds of the tips will go towards the foundation. We haven’t figured it out yet, but we’re thinking of ideas that could be something that’s more inclusive.”
Each year, after the organization holds its annual fundraiser, the committee sits down to go over all of the proposed projects that were sent in by teachers. For Lane and many of the other committee members, the ability to raise money and use that money to enhance the education of students is great, but to directly impact your children and your friends’ children is why they do it.
“I have three little kids in town,” said Lane. “I was a Cinnaminson student, and now I have three children in the district that are 9, 7 and 5 years old. When you volunteer for a for a national organization it’s great, but when your work is going towards your own kids it’s a little different.
“This year in particular we went out and talked to all four of the schools with Superintendent Cappello,” Lane continued. “We want to build awareness and let the teachers know that we are here to help. Also, we want to make the process of getting a grant less daunting. We would rather have 50 or 60 projects and can only choose 20 than the teacher just not knowing about us.”
Those looking to get involved with the Cinnaminson Education Foundation as either a volunteer, donor or board member, or who just want to find out more information, can contact Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The rest of the Cinnaminson Education Foundation board members include Vice President Carmen Saginario, Treasurer Greg Reymann, Dave Bresnahan, Barb Korman, Pat Covert, Charlie Hanna and Sam Thevanayagam.