SAINT AUGUSTINE – As the 501(c)(3) direct support organization, INK! (Investing in Kids) leads efforts to benefit educators and students of the St. Johns County, Fla. public school district. The nonprofit received funding in 2019 for A Community Thrives, a grant-making and crowd-funding program from the USA Today Network and a part of the Gannett Foundation for $25,000 to benefit its Five Learning Years (FLY) program. FLY is designed to improve children’s school readiness with the goal to increase graduation rates.
In 2020, the new grant request with a call for public donations is due by Friday, October 16 to continue support of FLY and to ensure all St. Johns County children, regardless of socio-economic circumstances are ready for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. To donate, visit the website at https://acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/organization/St-Johns-County-Education-Foundation .
INK! provides innovative programs and classroom resources to support academic success for all St. Johns County public schools. The office is located at 1 Christopher St. in St. Augustine. A Community Thrives supports nonprofit organizations with projects focused on community building and has helped to contribute more than $6.5 million since 2017. A Community Thrives has engaged participants in 46 states. INK! was one of 16 winners in education and early literacy last year.
…INK! needs to win its funding category in education with donors who contribute a minimum of $5 from the link. “If we have the most donors, we can receive a bonus of $5,000,” notes Donna Lueders. “ We have donations totaling $1,945 and need $4,055 to qualify by October 16,” she said. “INK! must be a top fundraiser in its classification to win either $50,000 or $100,000. For this campaign, we have been targeting donations on social media
and directly to our donors, and now we ask the entire community for help.”
Lueders added, some students served by INK! are on the younger side and can be developmentally challenged, especially with tactile and auditory skills. Approximately 65 percent of students in the program are minorities and many of students are living with extended family, are in foster care, qualify for free lunch, or have a learning disability. A significant percentage of students, estimated at 30 percent, have had little exposure to reading, but thrive as soon as they receive the small group intervention, and the attention they need.
For more information, contact Donna Lueders at 904-547-7120 or email Donna.Lueders@stjohns.k12.fl.us. Visit the website at www.ink-stjohns.org.