News and Tribune

February 26, 2014

Celebrating schools in Floyd County

Fundraiser bolsters NA-FC classrooms

By JEROD CLAPP
jerod.clapp@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — Books, SMART Boards and lots of other materials are donated to Floyd County schools and paid for by the New Albany-Floyd County Education Foundation.

But to give, they have to receive.

The foundation’s third annual Education Celebration is scheduled for March 14. Last year, the event brought in about $60,000 to fund several of its initiatives to help teachers fill in funding gaps.

Tyler Bliss, executive director for the foundation, said he hopes to top last year’s numbers so it can continue to help provide support to the district.

“This is a great opportunity for anybody interested in supporting all of our public schools,” Bliss said. “We’ve got parents, business leaders who are there and it does some great, great work in our community.”

He said the event is one of the foundation’s two cornerstone annual fundraisers. Along with the installation of SMART Boards across the district, the fundraisers also bring in revenue for its Great Classrooms grants — for which teachers can apply and use for various resources — as well as programs like Junior Achievement.

“A large portion of our Great Classroom Projects are provided with proceeds from this event,” Bliss said. “They’re so numerous and all different. We provide a lot of technology through these Great Classroom grants, but iPads are very popular with these. We also give books, resources for those who teach in classes with disabled students, really, it’s a wide variety of things it funds.”

It also helps fund the Imagination Library, which gives a free book for any child enrolled from birth to age 5.

But he said the event has a couple of new twists this year. Starting on Friday, Feb. 28, anyone can bid on some of the silent auction items featured at the event. He said on the day of the event, they’ll be able to bid against some of the guests at the celebration in real-time.

He said guests, though, will have the chance to bid on some more exclusive items in a live auction at the event, including a popular returning prize. Guests can win a dinner for eight with Josh Dallas, a New Albany High School graduate and star on the ABC television show “Once Upon a Time.”

But they’ll also get a chance to see a live musical performance from administrators, teachers, other employees and students from the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp.

They include Bruce Hibbard, superintendent, and Sal Costanzo, director of technology and instructional resources, who will play in their cover band, RMB. Students  from Floyd Central High School will play in a strings section and students from New Albany High School will play brass.

Rhonda Mull, a backup vocalist in the band and director of middle schools, said she’s looking forward to the performance and the event.

“We just do this for fun, as a release,” Mull said. “I am so appreciative of what the education foundation has done for our teachers and I’m very aware of the grants that have been provided to some of them. We’re just glad we can provide a little entertainment for that event.”