To Parents, Teachers, Alumni and Friends:
It is hard to believe that the Affton Education Foundation is now in its 7th year of operation. Formed by concerned alumni and school district leaders, the Foundation’s mission is to improve and enhance educational opportunities and resources for all children enrolled in the Affton School District, and for the teacher who support them. Key to this mission is providing additional classroom resources and inspiring students to not only attend college, but their first-choice colleges.
To fulfill its mission, the Foundation has been engaged in a variety of activities. It provides grants to teachers for classroom enrichment and college scholarships to graduates. The Foundation has provided over 20 grants a year to Affton teachers, funded by the Hall of Fame dinner and other gifts. The Foundation awards three (3) $2,500 college scholarships to qualifying Affton High graduates each year, funding them from gifts and income from the Foundation endowment fund. Principally through a recently completed 5 year matching challenge grant from William (’63) and Nancy (’65) Thompson, the Foundation’s endowment fund has now grown to slightly in excess of $1.5 million. In addition to these scholarships, the Foundation awards one four year full tuition scholarship to Westminster College thanks to a separate endowed gift from Kent (’58) and Judy (Laudenslager) (’61) Mueller. Starting in the Fall of 2010, the Foundation has sponsored an ongoing series of college trips for junior and seniors visiting a variety of colleges and universities. These trips permit them to meet with students, professor and college presidents and have been truly life-changing experiences for these students. More recently, the successes from our efforts have led to another wonderful seed grant from the Thompson Foundation which has permitted the Foundation to fund a full time College Counselor and Advisor position at the High School. This counselor will focus solely on helping our students not only increasing the number of graduates going on to college, but also to reach out to institutions that they otherwise may not have attempted to access. The position has been filled for the current 2011-2012 school year and we are excited about the prospects of providing this resource to the student body.
The Foundation has now received gifts from 18 different graduating classes and more than 60 alumni. We have friends contributing to the Foundation who are not even Affton graduates as they recognize the importance of this undertake and how meaningful it is to students who might now otherwise have the means to attend college. We have been able to solicit contributions from companies and our Board of Trustees has been most generous in their contributions.
These are remarkable achievements for a Foundation supporting a public high school. But we can’t stop with what we have achieved so far. We have to do more if we are going to be able to continue to carry out the Foundation’s vision to not only enhance the educational experience of our students while in the Affton School District, but even more importantly, provide Affton graduates college scholarships for generations to come. Thus, we are now challenged to continue to grow the AEF endowment to permit us to earn additional income to increase the number and amount of our scholarships and grants as educational costs do nothing but go up as we all know. The financial conditions existing today and in recent years have made and will continue to make it a real challenge for us to grow income without adding to the endowment.
We will be undertaking more efforts in the coming months to fundraise and hope that we will be able to count on not only those that have given in the past but all the other friends and acquaintances of the Affton School District including current parents, past parents, teachers, alumni and friends to contribute to this undertaking.
We sincerely hope that all of you reading this will continue to give if you are already a contributor and if not, become a donor to the Affton Education Foundation in the very near future.
John (“Jack”) R. Musgrave (’59)