The Decatur Education Foundation works to help Decatur youth realize their full potential, not only in the classroom but also through learning experiences that contribute to personal development.
We do this by generating financial support from individuals and organizations, awarding grants and administering scholarships, and engaging the community to contribute their time and talents to activities that ultimately benefit Decatur’s youth. As an independent non-profit enterprise, DEF fills a unique role in our community.
The story of the Decatur Education Foundation is made up of thousands of individual stories that have taken place since 2001, the year the non-profit organization was founded.
There’s the story of pre-K students receiving books free of charge to get a head start on reading.
The story of the Decatur High alumnus who creates a scholarship fund to “give something back.”
The story of a teacher who learns how to use cooking lessons to teach math to special education student.
And the story of parents in need who receive free cell phones so they can stay connected with their children’s schools.
In each of these stories, the Foundation was the catalyst that turned an idea into an action.
Here’s how it works: Individuals, companies and organizations contribute funds and volunteer time to the Decatur Education Foundation. With these resources and energy, the Foundation makes things happen for Decatur’s youth, awarding grants, managing scholarship funds, purchasing books and supplies and engaging in a wide range of activities that meet a need, remove an obstacle or ignite other action.
The single unifying element is Decatur’s youth. The Decatur Education Foundation works to help the youth of Decatur realize their full potential as people, not only in the classrooms of Decatur, but also through learning experiences that contribute to personal development. For example, the Foundation provided the resources to:
Help two DHS students attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Empower a Winnona Park student to launch a newspaper that allowed hundreds of students to practice journalism while also experiencing the satisfaction of helping others in the community. These students then donated proceeds from the sales of the newspaper to charitable cause.
Launch teams of Renfroe Middle School students into “competitive robotics.” Some of these students competed at the state level.
Help a DHS teacher and instructional coach guide more African American students into Advanced Placement classes.
Make it possible for dozens of Decatur children to enroll in summer camp, summer school and after-school programs.
Equip Oakhurst students with supplies to decorate rain barrels as part of a science project, teaching them water conservation. They sold the barrels and donated proceeds to Emory’s Global Water initiative.
Teach 15 Decatur teachers how to work more effectively with students with autism.
Over the past ten years, the Decatur Education Foundation has made its mark by giving Decatur’s students and teachers added support they would not have received from any other source. The organization has provided more than $200,000 in grants to support innovative teaching, awarded 150 professional development scholarships to teachers, purchased nearly 20,000 new books for economically disadvantaged students, and awarded well over $100,000 in college scholarships for Decatur High grads.
What’s most remarkable is that all of this has been accomplished through the generosity of those who give to the Decatur Education Foundation.