Nonprofit Highlight: Barrington 220 Educational Foundation

Below is Barrington Area Volunteer Connection’s nineteenth installment of their profile program, highlighting nonprofits using BAVC for their volunteering needs. Keep reading for the profile of the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation.

Interview with Mary Dale | Executive Director | Barrington 220 Educational Foundation

What is your role within the District 220 Educational Foundation?
Under the direction of the Board of Trustees of the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation, my role as Executive Director is to manage operations, planning and programs to execute our mission. I serve as the point of contact for the organization with the community.

The key responsibilities I have include program management, community spokesperson, volunteer engagement, as well as board and donor relations.

What is the primary benefit and mission of the Foundation?

The mission of the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation is to encourage curiosity, inspire students’ passion for learning and career exploration, and provide enriching opportunities through private funding.

Since 1999, we have granted more than $3.8 million dollars to District 220 through major projects and grants. The Foundation’s Major Projects describe the programs we support that provide cutting-edge learning opportunities and new pathways to explore curriculum. They are typically larger dollar investments focusing on new or enhanced curriculums, physical space and physical equipment. We also provide grants to teachers who apply directly to us.

There are two types of grants: Projects for Innovation and Enhancement (PIE) Grants and Helping Hand Grants. These programs are run annually and the majority of dollars for these programs benefit elementary school children.

What are some of the new programs or initiatives you have for this Fall or early 2022?
We have recently approved funding for our newest major project — Barrington Horticultural Sciences/Greenhouse Modernization. This initiative will revise and expand the horticultural sciences curriculum and renovate the current greenhouse. The value of this project is supporting career opportunities that are projected to be in high demand in the areas of Agricultural, Food & Natural Resources in the next decade.

There is also the opportunity for specialization certifications upon graduation. The Foundation will provide funding to modernize the existing greenhouse structure and purchase new equipment and supplies used in new growing technologies such as hydroponic and aquaponic systems. It has the potential for cross-curricular exploration into culinary sciences, biology, chemistry, incubator, and engineering. The renovation and curriculum redesign will occur through this school year with students enrolled in the newly revised curriculum for Fall 2022.

How have volunteers (of any type) helped the Foundation with its mission?

We are fortunate to have a variety of volunteers helping us to achieve our mission! Our Board is composed of volunteer trustees from a variety of backgrounds who serve for a term of three years and can stay on for three terms. Trustees serve on various committees during their tenure.

We also have our Foundation Liaison role. This role serves as a communications contact between the Foundation and each of the schools in 220. We are currently looking for Liaisons for North Barrington and Countryside elementary schools. The liaison attends school PTO meetings and reports on Foundation activities so they are usually parents at the school.

We also have a Grant Committee Chair who oversees the overall management and execution of our Grant process.

Finally, we also host biannual Golf FORE 220 events where we have committee members who help us gain sponsorships and staff the event. We will be hosting an open house in the spring to showcase the Horticulture project.

These are all volunteer opportunities so we will have a need for volunteers to help with all of them!


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