Lville Tops $1.6 Million in Donations to LTEF

On October 7, Head of School Steve Murray H’55 ’65 P’16 presented a $75,000 donation to the Lawrence Township Education Foundation (LTEF), which funds programs that support students and schools in the local area.

On October 7, Head of School Steve Murray H’55 ’65 P’16 presented a $75,000 donation to the Lawrence Township Education Foundation (LTEF), which funds programs that support students and schools in the local area. As one of the major community partners of LTEF, the School has donated annually to LTEF since 1995, bringing its total donation amount to over $1.6 million.

The LTEF provides grants to Lawrence township teachers who wish to initiate projects outside their schools’ budget while “fostering educational excellence, creativity, and achievement,” according to their website. Using money fundraised from community members, corporations, and local businesses, LTEF currently gives around $200,000 annually to approximately 70 programs in all seven of the Lawrence Township Public Schools. These programs serve to create a substantial and lasting impact on students in the public school system by exposing them to innovative and creative ways of learning. Karen Faiman, the Executive Director of LTEF, emphasized how important Lawrenceville’s contribution was this year, noting that the LTEF has had to face the problems of the pandemic on top of shrinking school budgets over the past few years.

“We rely heavily on The Lawrenceville’s School’s contribution because the money goes directly to fund these grants for the teachers, and especially this year, fundraising efforts are going to be a lot harder,” she said. “It was very important that the School donated this year, as we don’t know where our funding [will] come from other than the support of our corporate and our school partners.”

When asked about the donation to LTEF, Murray mentioned the significance of aiding the local community. “We want to be a good neighbor and a good partner and we believe in education broadly. The town is stronger when there are good public schools and good private schools [that] are working together and collaborating,” he said.

While the pandemic has altered LTEF’s usual routine, the organization has been working hard to continue supporting local schools. Last spring, the LTEF purchased $26,000 worth of Chromebooks for students to aid their virtual learning. While all students have been completely online this fall, Lawrence Township plans to begin hybrid learning in November. For this reopening, Murray hopes that the School’s donation will be used to bring more resources to the local public schools. Faiman thinks that the money may be used to “provide grants for technology that will help teachers improve hybrid learning.” Currently, the LTEF is looking through all their grant requests to see what they will be able to fund this year.

Before the pandemic, Murray and Faiman had both talked about wanting to expand the relationship between the School and LTEF. Rather than just donating, Murray had planned to bring LTEF more of Lawrenceville’s resources such as college counseling and the Gruss Center for Art and Design (GCAD) to collaborate with the teachers and counselors from local public schools.

While Covid-19 has halted these plans, Murray remains optimistic for the future. “It is certainly something that we would be open to getting back to,” he said. Through continued conversations, the School and LTEF plan to strengthen their relationship and create more opportunities for collaboration starting as early as next year.

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