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Marietta Community Foundation launches campaign to help school districts

MARIETTA — The Marietta Community Foundation has launched the $60K for 6 campaign, an initiative to help school districts in Washington County safely and effectively reopen and provide a safe environment for education.

The goal is to raise $60,000 to be evenly disbursed to the six school districts in the county.

“This is a proactive campaign that we created to ensure a safe and effective reopening,” said Heather Allender, president and CEO of the foundation. “We want all of Washington County to know that we are here for them. We hope this campaign will inspire communities to band together and help their local students and teachers overcome this hurdle.”

While each district will work to raise funds for their individual institutions, superintendents are seeing this as a joint effort to better all of Washington County.

“It makes sense that we work together to improve our collective,” said Kyle Newton, superintendent for Warren Local School District. “The six districts of Washington County are the backbone of our community, the hubs. They are at the center of community pride and rivalry. Supporting an effort that improves schools, supports an effort that improves our community.”

To achieve the campaign goal, the foundation has committed up to $30,000 in this dollar-for-dollar matching campaign. The foundation encourages all community members, businesses and organizations to donate to the matching campaign.

“Children are our hope for the future,” said Andy Brooks, superintendent of the Ohio Valley Educational Service Center. “Our students from the youngest to the oldest deserve the best our community can give to them.”

Although the school districts are in proximity to each other, the foundation realizes that the needs facing each district could be unique. To accommodate the needs, the foundation wants to remain flexible to the districts’ situation.

“Flexibility is key here,” said Allender. “The Frontier school district might struggle with access to broadband, whereas the Marietta district students might struggle with food insecurity… The needs are so vast that we feel it’s best to allow the districts to determine what will help them reopen safely and effectively.”

On Nov. 2, the foundation will begin accepting proposals from the school districts on how they plan to use their funding. Though the districts will have plenty of freedom to determine how they will use the funds, they must do so within certain parameters.

“Cleaning supplies, PPE, technology, daily meals for remote students, student success or mental health services are all approved categories that these funds can be used for,” said Allender.

This is not the first campaign the foundation has created for the betterment of Washington County. Last year the foundation raised over $100,000 in a matter of weeks for its Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program. The foundation hopes that they can reach their current goal just as quickly and efficiently.

“The community trusts us,” said Allender. “They know that we find proactive ways to make our county better and people want to be a part of that… they want to be generous despite whatever hardship we might be facing.”

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