The Lancaster Education Foundation was established in 1989 to promote educational excellence in the School District of Lancaster. Mr. Robert Scheffey, a member of the School Board 1971-1985 and the Lancaster Education Foundation’s first president said in a 1990 press release, “We intend to support a variety of school projects which otherwise would not exist, in areas of technology and learning, scholastic enrichment, arts and education, careers and vocations and cultural enrichment.”
Since its inception, the Foundation has raised and distributed over $7 million for the benefit of District students. Examples of projects funded by the Foundation include equipment for “electronic classrooms” in the District’s middle schools, the “Tools for Schools” campaign in 2000 to provide resources for course materials in grades 4-10, and the development of the small learning communities at the high school campus through the awarding of a $4 million dollar Gates Foundation grant.
The Foundation also raises money for and funds Venture Grants and Horizon Grants. Through the Venture Grant program, teachers may apply for funds to put innovative ideas into practice. These grants are effective because they put funds directly into the classroom. Since 2001, over $800,000 has been provided to teachers though these grants which are funded through donations from area business partners participating in the Pennsylvania Educational Investment Tax Credit (EITC) program and individual gifts. The Horizon Grants allow teachers to enrich their teaching knowledge and practice by providing funding for participation in educational opportunities out of the local area.
The Foundation also manages resources for more than 50 scholarships, given annually to District students. These scholarships have been established either by a bequest or by individuals and families to honor a particular person.
LEF also oversees the 19th century Museum School located at Carter and MacRae Elementary, where students experience what school was like in 1853.
Additionally, due to our non-profit 501 (c) (3) status, the Foundation is a partner with the District in applying for and receiving grants for special projects.
The Lancaster Education Foundation and the McCaskey Alumni Association join with many voices in the Lancaster community to support the elimination of systemic racism in society, especially when it involves police targeting and mistreatment of Black and other persons of color. This issue affects so many students, families and alumni we serve, many of whom are rightfully expressing their opinions through protests and speaking out for justice on social media platforms.
We stand with you, McCaskey Proud, and urge swift and fair action by all levels of government to right this mighty wrong and to bring our community, state and nation together in peaceful unity.
LEF remains committed to our mission of promoting educational excellence in the School District of Lancaster. We will continue to work to ensure our activities align with the school district’s social justice and equity efforts and that diverse voices guide the LEF and MAA boards and committees.
The McCaskey Alumni Association, established in 1994, is organized under the Lancaster Education Foundation and assists alumni in reunions, selects and honors Distinguished Alumni annually, serves as the historian for the District and promotes other activities to raise funds for and support pride in McCaskey High School.