covid 19 - schools

Idaho Falls High School is seen on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

The pandemic has caused hardships for many families and organizations, including local school districts who have faced issues with staffing. Community members can help their local schools by giving back for the holidays.

The Idaho Falls School District 91 Education Foundation supports teachers and students across the district with donated funds. This year the foundation has awarded more than $25,000 in scholarships, provided more than $100,000 in teacher grants and helped fund special events for teachers and students.

“Our goal is to support teachers and inspire students to think beyond high school and think about what kind of life they want to build,” said Foundation director and director of Communications and Community Engagement Margaret Wimborne.

Wimborne said the Foundation is supported by generous contributions from families in the district and a number of organizations who assist in managing scholarships and grants. The Foundation has also helped fund the district’s graduation ceremonies that have been located at the Motor-Vu Drive-in the past two years because of the pandemic.

Students and staff within the district are giving back to the Idaho Falls community too. District 91 is highlighting the ways its students and staff are helping out with its D91Gives Campaign, which kicked off on Wednesday. The district will share how students, staff and schools are giving back to the community on its Facebook page until Christmas. On Tuesday, the Idaho Falls and Skyline high school choirs took part in the Jingle Jam Toy Drive & Concert. The choirs brought in more than 230 toys for Toys For Tots and Idaho Falls High School received $500 for bringing in the most toys.

“That’s just one example. Our students and staff really go out of their way to support families and the community (all year),” Wimborne said.

Other ways District 91 schools are giving back for the holidays this year is with giving trees, participating in East Idaho Credit Union’s Coins for Christmas fundraiser, toy drives, or performing holiday-themed concerts, Wimborne said.

Individuals can also donate to Bonneville Joint School District 93 through the Bonneville Education Foundation to support teachers, students and their classrooms within the district.

“We are passionate about supporting great teachers and great students to their infinite potential. By growing the community classroom we can connect the infinite resources of our caring community with the infinite potential of teachers and students to support infinite possibilities in our growing community for many years to come,” the district’s foundation website says in its mission statement.

Individuals can choose to donate to a school or specific teacher of their choice on District 93’s Foundation website and is looking for members to get involved. Anyone interested can email bef@d93mail.com

Another way individuals can support either district’s foundation is by selecting them as the charity they wish to donate to as they do their online holiday shopping on Amazon. Through AmazonSmile customers can have a small portion of their shopping purchases go to a charity of their choice on AmazonSmile and then using smile.amazon.com for regular Amazon shopping. With eligible purchases, Amazon delivers .5% of the price to whichever charity a customer chooses when they use AmazonSmile.

Wimborne said this time of year can be financially tight for many people and if they’re looking to donate, they can also do so at any time in the year when it is best for them. In May, District 91 participates in Idaho Gives, a statewide online program of the Idaho Nonprofit Center designed to raise money and awareness for Idaho nonprofits.

“We are incredibly proud of our students and our staff with how they act and engage with our community. We appreciate our community support as well,” she said.

To donate to District 91 or District 93, visit their respective Foundation websites. Both school districts are also looking for interested community members to fill in as substitute teachers and paraprofessionals.

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