THSF Raises Money to Support Students, Teachers
There are many ways to support your local schools. Some of the most well-known include joining the parent-teacher association or volunteering for school events. However, most of these avenues assume that you are a parent with a child in the school system. How can you help as an alumnus, a parent of a former student, or even as a community member?
Enter the Tucker High School Foundation (THSF). School foundations are formed as a way to raise additional money and to give citizens another way to engage their local schools. The THSF fills this need for Tucker High School.
The Tucker High School Foundation was incorporated in 2011 when the Tucker Women’s Club (TWC) voted to disband. The TWC donated $75,000 to the THSF; $20,000 went to a banquet honoring Tucker High School staff and teachers, while $50,000 was invested for the dividends and interest to support THSF activities and the remaining $5,000 went to the THSF general fund.
The THSF was founded for the purpose of supporting educational initiatives at Tucker High School. This means that the Foundation funds teachers’ and staff’s programs and projects, scholarships for Tucker High School students, and otherwise assists in financially supporting Tucker High School. The THSF supports a wide variety of programs and projects at the high school. Some of these include perfect attendance awards to staff, comic books for English as a Second Language courses, and a water distiller for the science department.
“Anytime a teacher needs additional assistance with paying for a project, they can come and make a request,” said Alecia Maclin, THSF Member at Large. THSF also collaborates with the Giving Closet, run by school custodian Carolyn Collins and profiled in the February 2018 issue of InTucker, to help students in need.
“She will tell us things that she needs or she’s running low on, and we’ve made those donations to her to help,” Maclin said. “Someone from the Foundation gave her a washer and dryer, things like that to help out. There’s always someone that needs something.
“[We want to do] anything that we can do to help promote Tucker within the community, help promote things that our students may need and help give the teachers and staff the support they need to help take care of our children. One of our pending projects that we’d like done is adding a type of banner/flagging to the Lavista street [frontage]. Some of the other local high schools in the surrounding county have put up large display banners with accomplishments…different things that you can highlight about your schools in a highly visible area.”
In addition, THSF funds scholarships for graduating Tucker High School students. For the year of 2020-‘21, they gave out three $1,000 scholarships to students. This year, they’re raising the bar: three $2,000 scholarships are available. The scholarships require a minimum 3.0 GPA and a 500-1,000 word essay to apply. Current Tucker High School seniors are encouraged to apply.
As with so many walks of life, the COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges for the THSF to overcome. When so many of their fundraisers were in-person events, how could they adapt to the spread of the virus?
“We just transitioned,” Maclin said. “Since we couldn’t have Casino Night in person last year, we made it the Tucker High School online auction.” The pandemic also brought more ways for the THSF to help the high school.
“Last year we bought the seniors water bottles,” Maclin recounted. “One of the things that we wanted to make sure with COVID going around is that they didn’t have to drink from the water fountain.…They have those water fillers now, and so we’ve got water bottles for the seniors to use with the water fillers.”
The THSF keeps up a membership of 20-25 members, and they are currently recruiting.
“We encourage parents from the middle school, from the elementary schools, and business leaders, community leaders, community volunteers,” Maclin said. “I at one time had a high schooler at Tucker High, but I no longer do.…I still volunteer just because I love it. You have to be an enthusiastic volunteer. It’s so hard to reach people and so hard to get people to donate for things. I don’t know if it’s also because of the pandemic, but there are so many kids that need help.”
From 2020-2021, THSF disbursed around $9,000 through teachers’ grants, scholarships and other student initiatives. They’ll be able to fund future projects, in part, thanks to the annual THSF Golf Tournament coming up on March 20. Participation requires a $120 donation per golfer, and there are both men’s and women’s flights. Hole sponsorships are also available; a $250 donation is required to sponsor, and this may be made monetarily or through in-kind donations.