- Last Updated on June 13, 2012
- Written by CMI Staff
Alton, Missouri, a small town in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, is not famous for many things besides the beautiful views and the access points to the Eleven Point River. Despite the vast amount of history the town has a claim to, not many people have heard of or ever been to Alton, but this community is one of the many communities in Missouri dedicated to bettering the lives of the children and residents.
In Alton, one of the groups of people who are working to make everyone’s lives a little better are the members of the Alton School Foundation. The members of the foundation are Windell Williams, Wylma Heiskell, Brenda Ledgerwood, Sharon Alexander, Amy White, Gayle Arasmith, Bob Clary, Paula Millers, and Chad Sisco. They work together to provide the students and teachers of Alton with the supplies they feel are necessary to be successful. Although the school provides most of the necessities, it is the goal of the Alton Foundation to provide them with the supplies they need that are not always provided by the school.
The Alton Foundation was formed six years ago, and, since then, they have worked hard to help the teachers and students in the area. Every year they try to complete one major project that will help the school. Six years ago, the project was to refurbish the computer lab in the elementary. They worked together and raised enough money to buy a set of new computers for the lab. Since then, they have purchased a digital sign for the school that is displayed on highway—one of the main streets in Alton. This sign provides directions to the school, since the school is not easy to find if you are not familiar with the area. The school feels that the digital sign was by far the biggest accomplishment since the formation of the foundation. This year they are striving to provide the school with the furnishing it needs to update the school. They have purchased new curtains for the gymnasium, which they hope to have installed by graduation, and they have also purchased big computer screens for both the high school gymnasium and the elementary multi-purpose room.
Another accomplishment of the Alton Foundation are the four endowed scholarships they give out each year. Along with the endowed scholarships, they also give out general scholarships. This school year they gave out $9,000 in scholarships. They do this not only to help the students in their community make it through school, but also to reassure them that someone believes in them. By giving out these scholarships, they are also encouraging the students to finish school and, then, come back to live and work in their hometown.
However, none of the things that the foundation has done would have been possible without the help of the community. Many community members have stepped up and donated to the foundation to better the lives of the students. Teachers are also involved in helping the foundation; some teachers go as far as having payroll deductions, which go toward one of the Alton Foundation funds. The Alton Foundation has many different funds set up that people can contribute to. Some of the funds include the general, academic, music, athletic, and scholarship funds. Teachers from these groups make suggestions to board members about how the money could be useful to the students, for example, money from the music fund was recently used to purchase new choir robes for the junior and high school choir.
Each year the Alton Foundation creates a newsletter that includes pictures of students involved in activities related to the accomplishments of the foundation made during the year. This newsletter is given out to people every year on the Memorial Day alumni event in hope that they will join the cause to help better the lives of the student and teachers in their community. Without the dedication of people like the board members of the Alton Foundation, it would be nearly impossible for students and teachers lives to be as blessed as they are.
And, a final note—on April 30 the Alton School Foundation awarded 14 scholarships with a total exceeding $10,000. Although, the foundation is only six years old as a school foundation, it is an example of how foundation work can be done when “the cause is a real need.”
Please check out the film Hats, Pies, and Fiddles to learn more about the Alton School Foundation.