SHIRLEY — Since a quorum could not be met at its meeting, the Shirley Educational Foundation spent much of its time brainstorming for future fund-raisers.
A shorter discussion held June 21, however, indicated that the group is still struggling to find a way to get the word about its mission.
“We’re in a tough situation,” nonvoting member Gary Bourassa said. “We’re still trying to raise money.”
Still, many people don’t know who or what the Shirley Educational Foundation is, he said.
A tuition-based after-school language program for kindergarten through grade four is one example of the type of program the foundation wishes to support, members agreed.
Lura A. White School Principal Suzanne Mahoney sent flyers for just such a program home with students recently, according to member and founder Sue Jacobs, who has since moved to Sterling with her family. The flyers included information about Global Child, an organization that teaches French and Spanish at elementary schools throughout Massachusetts.
Tuition for the program is between $170 and $340, with discounted rates for enrolling a sibling.
The tuition, member Clifford Bailey said, is likely too high for families with lower incomes.
To a suggestion that the foundation provide a grant directly to Global Child in order to reduce tuition, Bailey said, “I think that we could do easily.”
“If (the community) saw that this is the kind of thing we wanted to raise funds for,” Jacobs said, “that could help.”
“I think what we’re trying to do is fill a need,” said Bailey.
Presently, the foundation has allotted $3,000 toward the upcoming grant cycle, said Jacobs.
At the same time, the foundation did not intend to generate ideas concerning where the funds might be applied at its inception.
Whether the foundation funds the program, Bailey said, something should be done to allow a discount for the program to families who can’t otherwise afford it.
The foundation’s charter was designed not to overlap with other fund-raising groups such as the Parent-Teacher Association and the Shirley Charitable Foundation, said Bourassa.
Potential fund-raisers left to be voted upon by the end of the meeting were:
* A yard sale similar to one held this year at Shirley Middle School to include a Walk-a-thon for students to collect funds for the program.
* The sale of gift cards to various stores at a reduced cost.
* Plaques or stars that may be purchased by parents indicating various levels of donations for display in a prominent location.
Finally, the foundation is seeking members who are available to attend meetings on the third Wednesday of every month, said Jacobs, and all are welcome.