The Sand Springs Education Foundation is a nonprofit that was founded in 1989. The first fundraiser that helped form the base of the Foundation was the “Box Supper,” where the Sand Springs community was asked to bring school supplies or cash donations as their ticket to receive a free meal at the high school. A man named Montie Box led the fundraiser which then helped with the formation of the SSEF. The creation of the Foundation was to provide private sector and community support for the Sand Springs School System by allocating financial contributions. Their primary focus is on their Grants to Teachers program where teachers are able to write grants for supplies or materials they may need to further the students’ education and their teaching efforts. The mission of the SSEF is, “to serve as a private partner of the Sand Springs Public Schools, providing grants to support programs and teaching projects for which funds are not amiable from federal, state, and local sources.”
The Sand Springs Education Foundation has many goals, all for the betterment of the Sand Springs school system and community. With the help of those involved in the organization, they give new and greater opportunities for students and teachers. The Foundation encourages the community to become involved in various ways. Volunteers are welcome at numerous events throughout the year that are held to raise funds for the Foundation. Monetary funds can be made by calling the office at 918-245-6779. By donating your time or money to the Foundation you are helping enhance learning opportunities for students, providing enrichments to the school curriculum, stimulating creativity by funding teaching projects and materials, encouraging community involvement within the school system, and much more. Students and teachers within the Sand Springs school system are growing their education and curriculum with each donation.
One of the many ways the SSEF involves the community into their efforts is by inducting past Sand Springs students into their Hall of Fame. Since 1989 the SSEF has invited two recipients to join those who embody what it means to be a Sandite into the Hall of Fame each year. The recipients must first be nominated to be considered. To be considered, the inductees must have spent three years in the Sand Springs schools after sixth grade, spent eight years in Sand Springs schools, or spent the last two years of high school in Sand Springs schools and graduated from the high school. The individuals who receive the honor of an inductee have gone above and beyond in their personal life and professional career. They have attained a position of respect, impact, or influence in the Sand Springs community or achieved regional prominence or exceptional level of accomplishment in their field or area of speciality. The SSEF honors their Hall of Fame Inductees each year during a banquet for their support and time donated to the Sand Springs School System. During the event, the foundation also holds a silent auction with themed baskets to raise money to provide grants and other opportunities for the schools. The banquet honoring their inductees has been held since 1990.
Tirita Montross serves on the SSEF Board as the Education Foundation Director.
“SSEF strives to fill the gap in funding for Sand Springs Schools by providing teacher-written grants each year,” said Tirita. “The Board works diligently by hosting two big events to provide the funds for the grants. The goal is to help teachers expand their teaching through innovative, creative, and forward-thinking grants. The foundation has provided over $1 million in teacher-written grants!”
The two big events held by the Foundation are the Annual Golf Tournament that will be on September 19 and the Hall of Fame Fall Grants Program and Delivery that was held in April. Another event held by the Foundation is the Fall Driven to Give with Bill Knight Lincoln where people are invited to test drive vehicles and part of the funds will be given to the SSEF.
The Sand Springs community and school system has grown tremendously since the beginning of the SSEF. This town is fortunate to have the efforts that are put forth by the Foundation and the people involved.
To read previous articles about those inducted into the SSEF Hall of Fame, visit our website at wearesandsprings.com. The SSEF is a nonprofit 501c3 organization. For more information about the Foundation and their events, to apply for a grant, or to donate to the SSEF, visit sandspringseducationfoundation.com or email [email protected].