Cherokee Foundation for Education

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Cherokee Foundation for Education

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The Foundation for Education was created nine years ago as a long term initiative for the entire Lenape Regional High School District; however, it only maintained its presence in Cherokee, morphing into the Cherokee Foundation for Education. Mr. Lee, the original school liaison for CFFE, believes that this is because of the sincere parents who genuinely care about the welfare of all students.  He also credits its successes to Evesham being so unified. “We do a lot of good,” says Mr. Lee. Nonetheless, they are not well-known – although they should be – and continue to build their volunteer numbers. 

Unlike most athletic booster clubs, the Foundation for Education currently relies on word of mouth and its two main fundraising events: the Fall Harvest Festival and the Spring Craft Fair. Amounting to about $2,000 every year, the money raised is used for classroom and extracurricular grants. 

Over the years, some of the most engaging student experiences have been funded by the CFFE. Both bizarre and exciting, Mr. Framo’s psychology classes experimented with eating chocolate-covered crickets via a CFFE grant. Students in art classes were able to visit the Barnes Foundation, and students in Discussion and Debate were able to travel to the Burlington County Courthouse to witness a live trial. One of the most significant donations went to concert band in 2018; those students were able to perform at the renowned Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Concert choir was also able to perform at the White House thanks in part to the work of the CFFE. Our own Cherokee Scout newspaper is able to be published online each year thanks to the CFFE. We have had readers of our website as far away as Europe thanks to this publishing capability. Imagine how many of the most memorable educational experiences may not exist if not for the CFFE.

The commitment for parent volunteers ranges anywhere from attending only one meeting to obtaining an advisory board position. Ms. Valvo, the current president of the Foundation for Education, says that any help is welcome and appreciated. Parents can also bring in sponsors and supporters. Ms. Valvo states, “We’re not like the normal PTA.” It is important for the parents of high school students to also get involved in the behind-the-scenes of their child’s education.

Meetings are only once a month. The meetings allow time for volunteers to review grant requests. “They … decide where the funds should go based on how many students does it benefit/use it,” says Ms. Valvo. Mr. Lee remarks, “They’re generous with their time, supportive, they truly care what’s going on here.” The CFFE’s motto is “Academic success for all students.” It is evident that this organization cares for the students at Cherokee and wishes the best for each one of them. By doing the legwork of fundraising for special projects and learning experiences, students can focus on improving their academic careers and making the most out of their high school years.

Although the CFFE is instrumental in the day-to-day lives of students, it is not publicized as much as it needs to be. Its main form of advertising is through Facebook, but the word needs to be spread about its importance. “At Back-to-School night, teachers need to talk it up,” says Ms. Valvo. More volunteers at the meetings mean more manpower to improve the quality of education at Cherokee. Anyone can support the CFFE by attending their fundraising events or shopping through their Amazon Smile account, where with a few clicks, the CFFE will receive a percentage of your purchases. 

For the most up-to-date information, visit The Cherokee Foundation for Education online.