The Duxbury Education Foundation celebrated 25 years of supporting the schools last week, presenting the Duxbury Public Schools with the largest grant in its history.

 

DEF Board members Katherine Shepler, Fleur Pang and DEF president Kathy Battistoni Skillman presented Superintendent Ben Tantillo and Assistant Superintendent Laurie Hunter with a check for $110,724 to be used to support various educational programs and needs from preschool through high school in Duxbury.

The DEF is a private, not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1989 after Proposition 2 1/2 budget cuts forced the schools to cancel many fine arts and enrichment programs. Over the past 25 years, the organization has provided money for enrichment programs, technology initiatives and professional development.

Through four annual events — the Fourth of July Road Race, Divots for Duxbury, Answer the Call phone-a-thon and the Spelling Bee — DEF receives support from the community to continue programs that have become a staple in Duxbury.

This year, the DEF funded grants include robotic kits, laptops for the Alden School, additional seats in the STEP/ HEAL program for middle and high school students who have missed extended periods of school, pottery wheels, gym equipment, an online social studies game and preschool instructional materials, among others. In addition to the money raised at events throughout the year, the DEF has received support from the Battelle Memorial Institute each year to fund science grants.

“We try to hit at least one grant per school and this year we were able to provide money for preschool through high school,” Skillman said. “It’s very exciting.”

Skillman said she is grateful to the community for their continued support of the DEF. Each year, she said, the DEF tries to make the events fresh and exciting for the community so that they will continue to help out. So far, it’s working.

“The community supports our events each year and we are so grateful for that,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”