District 840 Foundation 20th anniversary

Sarah Bunich
St. James Plaindealer

St. James District 840 Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. The foundation started in October 2001. Former Superintendent Keith Togstad started it with a group of interested parents, business people, and staff.

" We all took a field trip to Redwood Falls Area Schools, where they already had a foundation in place," said District 840 Foundation Director, Pam Runge. " We all loved what the foundation did for their schools, so the first pioneer group signed on to get on started."

The foundation's main focus is to support the school district in providing the best possible education for the students by helping teachers get the materials and programs that are out of their budget that they need to do that. Runge said some of what the foundation has helped classes do has been going on field trips and equipment for the classes like new CPR dummies, musical instruments and books.

In the last 20 years, the foundation has supported hundreds of different teachers' requests for funding support with different things they need for their classrooms.

Teachers are appreciative of how much the District 840 Foundation has done for their classrooms to make it possible to give the best education to their students. Fourth grade science teacher Mariah Krusemark was one of the many teachers that have been helped by the foundation. The fourth-grade science department was able to get new books that are essential to the class.

"Books are so essential to the classroom, and we are grateful that the Foundation has helped us provide these for our students.  We work really hard to instill a love of reading into our students," said Krusemark. "Therefore, keeping up to date with the latest books and having books that are of interest to each student is vital.  We wouldn't be able to do this without the help of the District 840 Foundation."

The foundation is able to do this for the schools by having fundraisers and people donating.