Gatorland Family of Dealerships hosted a Check Presentation at Westwood Middle School on Feb. 10 to award The Education Foundation of Alachua County with a check for $25,000. This is the second year in a row that Gatorland has supported The Education Foundation in a large way. This year, the money from Gatorland will be divided between two programs at The Education Foundation: Catalyst for Change Grants and Take Stock in Children.
Catalyst for Change is a brand new grant program launched by the Foundation this school year which awards $2,000-$5,000 to teachers and schools wanting to do innovative programs in their classrooms. This year the Foundation has awarded $100,000 to local teachers & schools through Catalyst for Change.
Take Stock in Children is a program for low-income youth in the community which combines academic monitoring, advocacy and mentoring to help students reach high school graduation. Upon graduation the students are awarded with a two-year Florida Prepaid scholarship. The Foundation currently has 240 students in this program throughout the county.
With both of these programs eligible for matching state legislative funds, The Education Foundation will be able to turn Gatorland’s $25,000 into $50,000.
“Educating our children is not just the responsibility of our school system but requires the support of a child’s family, friends and the support of the community at large,” said Gatorland COO Bob Bisblinghoff. “It also requires financial support from the business community, and we are honored to partner with The Education Foundation of Alachua County. Last year we contributed over $150,000 to local teachers in the communities in which we do business to recognize them for their hard work. This year we wanted to provide direct support to our children’s education and contribute in a manner that provides 100 percent matching funds from the state. We are very pleased to be able to meet that goal and give back to the community in the form of educational support.”