FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is The Garrison Children’s Education Fund (GCEF)?
GCEF is a community-based, nonprofit foundation that enriches the educational experience of children in grades K-12 who reside in the Garrison Union Free School District. GCEF raises funds to support high-quality programming in the priority areas of the arts (visual, performing and literary); Hudson River Valley science, history, and heritage; academics; and physical education that helps children to foster connections to their community and environment, supports their intellectual and physical development and enables them to develop diverse means of creative expression.
Each year the Fund approves new grants for innovative programs. Anyone is eligible to apply for a grant—teachers, administrators, parents, and community members alike.
Established in 1998, GCEF has distributed over $680,000 in grants to benefit children of the Garrison Union Free School District. The Fund is a 501(c) (3) organization and a registered charity with the State of New York.
How much has GCEF raised?
Established in 1998, GCEF has distributed over $680,000 in grants to benefit children of the Garrison Union Free School District.
GCEF raised $52,500 during the 2016-17 school year. Money raised supports a variety of academic, artistic, and athletic curriculum-enhancing activities.
What is the difference between GCEF and GUFS PTA?
GCEF is a community-based, nonprofit foundation that has distributed over $680,000 in grants to enrich the education of children in the Garrison Union Free School district.
The GUFS PTA is a membership organization comprised of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members that brings parent-driven programs to GUFS such as Hot Lunch, Field Day, Parents as Reading Partners-PARP, and MAD Science Week.
In select cases, GCEF has provided funds to support GUFS PTA activities such as After School Enrichment Programs and Author Day.
How do you determine what programs GCEF funds?
GCEF gives funding priority to programs that:
• Address one or more priority areas (arts; Hudson River Valley science, history and heritage; academics; physical education)
• Have the highest educational value
• Deepen engagement with existing curriculum and facilitate mastery of curricular goals
• Extend and enliven the curriculum
• Can be readily implemented
• Include students across multiple grades and promote collaboration within the school community
• Promote collaboration between the school and community organizations
• Would not otherwise be supported by the Garrison Union Free School District Board of Education
Examples of potentially fundable programs include:
• Field trips
• After-school programs
• Special events and classes
• Guest speakers
• Artists in residence
• Equipment and materials
What are some examples of programs you fund?
You can see the current list of programs GCEF is supporting for the 2019-20 school year here.
Many past and ongoing programs are the result of collaborations with local organizations such as the Garrison Art Center, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Clearwater, the Constitution Marsh and Manitoga. GCEF has also supported grants to help local children learn from institutions outside the community, such as the Norwalk Aquarium, Lincoln Center, the Met, the Iroquois Museum, and Howe Caverns.
Over the years GCEF has supported a variety of workshops on topics such as Internet Awareness and Safely, Poetry with Ted Scheu and On-Camera Acting, and funded middle school electives on topics including Arabic Language and Culture and Journalism.
What’s more, the Fund supports activities in local high schools. We have helped underwrite costs for musical productions at O’Neill High School and SAT review courses for all of the district’s high school students.
Who can submit grants to GCEF?
Anyone is eligible to apply for a grant—teachers, administrators, parents and community members alike.
You can find out more about GCEF’s grant process here
Why is a private foundation needed for a public school district?
A private foundation has the flexibility to fund new programs, encourage innovation and support special enhancements to the school environment that might not be supported in a typical public school district budget.
Limited school budgets have caused many school programs to be reduced or even eliminated and GCEF provides a way for parents and other individuals to provide private funds to support stimulating, hands-on learning experiences.
Of special importance is the fact that a private foundation can accept “donor-directed” funds for special projects – for technology, equipment, programs, and special infrastructure. The school district is not able to accept “donor-directed” contributions.
Who benefits from the work of the Garrison Children’s Education Fund?
GCEF enriches the educational experience of children in grades K-12 who reside in the Garrison Union Free School District.
How can I help?
GCEF is supported by donations from parents, alumni and community members. If you wish to make a donation to the Fund, please send a check to:
Garrison Children’s Education Fund
P.O. Box 262
Garrison, NY 10524
Or you can make a contribution online here.
To find out more ways to help and get involved with GCEF, click here.
How does GCEF raise money during the school year?
Our annual community fundraising projects include a Fall Appeal and our Spring Thaw event, our biggest fundraiser of the year. Our most recent Spring Thaw was held in April 2019 at Bear Mountain Inn. Spring Thaw 2020 was unfortunately canceled due to Covid-19. GCEF is looking forward to Spring Thaw 2021 on April 17th at Bear Mountain Inn.
Other recent events have included a Welcome to School BBQ, winter Movie Night, a fall Golf Marathon Fundraiser.