Local Education Foundation Outreach

Sample Press Release

This is a sample press release for your local newspaper. Please modify or complete as appropriate.



(name of local contact person)

(contact title and phone number)

Heather Cook
Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
(405) 236-0006

Public School Supporters Receive Training at Fall Forum for Local Education Foundations

(names of those attending), representing the (name of local foundation or school)
were among the nearly 300 local education foundation board members, community leaders, teachers, and school administrators who recently attended the twelfth annual Fall Forum for Local Education Foundations, held October 24 at the University Center of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. The Fall Forum, sponsored by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, allows supporters of local education foundations (LEFs) to receive training and network with members of other school foundations.

LEFs are private organizations (with non-profit status) that recruit assistance from area businesses and the community to raise money for local public schools. These local foundations grant money for special classroom projects and other programs that are not covered by a school district’s budget. To date, there are 153 LEFs in Oklahoma, making the state a leader in the number of LEFs per capita. Last year at the Fall Forum, with 88 LEFs reporting, it was announced that LEFs have given more than $13 million to schools statewide since they started.

The agenda for the Fall Forum was developed by the Fall Forum Steering Committee, co-chaired by Leah Barby of Woodward and Steve Barghols of Edmond. The events and workshops at the Forum offered valuable training and information and were designed to include people who have been involved with LEFs for a long time, as well as those whose LEFs are just getting started. Teachers were also encouraged to attend the Forum, where they received ideas for classroom grants from their LEFs and brushed up on their grant-writing skills.

This year’s Forum featured four different tracks: fundraising; board development; spotlight; and teacher enrichment. The spotlight track consisted of foundation representatives who presented topics such as fundraising events, building a successful board, creating community support, and foundation programs. The majority of the workshops in this track were presented by finalists from the 2000 Medal for Excellence for Local Education Foundations. The Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation was the first recipient of this new award. Other finalists were the Norman Public School Foundation and the Miami Public School Enrichment Foundation. (Nominations for the 2001 Medal for Excellence award are now being accepted, and interested applicants are encouraged to notify the Foundation office or visit www.ofe.org for more details.)

Other Forum tracks included workshop topics such as “Who to Ask” and “How to Ask” for funds, ensuring success for LEFs, guides for grant programs, and financial dos and don’ts for LEF board members.

The Forum culminated with a luncheon, which featured a keynote address on “Education and Its Needs” by Keith Bailey, chairman, president, and CEO of Williams. Bailey spoke about the status of today’s public schools, as well as how businesses and communities can help schools and students succeed. David L. Boren, chairman and founder of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, attended the luncheon and made remarks affirming the importance of supporting public education.

Other guest speakers at the Fall Forum were: Sandra Walling LeVan, instructor at Oklahoma City University and founder of Non-Profit Planners, and Larry Pulliam, chief financial officer, senior vice president, and treasurer of the Noble Foundation. LeVan discussed fundraising issues, and Pulliam discussed the fiscal responsibilities for board members of local education foundations.

For more information about the (name of local foundation) Foundation, please contact (local contact information).

More information about the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is available by calling the Foundation office at (405) 236-0006 or by accessing their website at www.ofe.org.