Monroe Journal 2-12-15

QEF has an identity crisis

By Ray Van Dusen  | 6:00 am  | February 12, 2015  | Opinion

By Dee Allison, president of the Quality Education Foundation in Amory and Mike Manning, vice president.

What is the Quality Education Foundation? Oddly enough, and in spite of our 18 year history, most people outside the field of education do not know we exist. The answer? QEF is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising private funds in support of the Amory School District. Often referred to as an academic booster club, QEF has provided a total of almost $400,000 for a wide variety of projects that benefit students at each campus. Our “Grants to Teachers” program has provided funds used to implement creative programs and learning methods for our students. Examples include everything from paying for library books and art supplies to supporting the rocket team, the culinary program and others too numerous to mention. We recently asked Mr. Cook, the superintendent, and the principals where we could be of the most help, and they expressed a need for an after school tutoring program and materials for an ACT Prep class.

We are currently financing these pilot programs and hope they can be expanded next year, based of course on student participation and available funds. As our school district’s budget has been stretched thin by inflation and unfunded educational mandates, the role of QEF has become more important than ever before. Other foundations in Amory award individual student scholarships and often provide funding for larger districtwide projects. QEF is unique because we are the only organization offering financial support directly to individual teachers when no other source of funding is available for special projects and materials.

When awarded a grant, teachers make their purchase according to the district’s standard purchasing policies and QEF reimburses the district. QEF also differs from other foundations in that we are not self-sustaining. We have no legacy or endowment for continued support. Our funds are raised and disbursed each year and come to us via donations and grants from individuals, businesses and other foundations that recognize the importance of a strong public school district. Great school districts provide more than just an education; business and industry factor in the quality of available education when
deciding where to locate. The presence of citizens and organizations focused on education is a plus for any community looking to grow. For these and many other reasons, we are asking you, the public, for your financial support. The QEF Board is made up of 15 non-compensated volunteers committed to improving education in our school district. Our administrative expense is limited to small items such as printing and postage, and we strive to be good stewards of all funds contributed. We guarantee that 100 percent of every dollar we receive will go directly toward a project designed to enhance the education of students in the Amory School District. Please endorse our commitment by donating to QEF, and help us help our students and teachers.

We accept donations of any size and frequency, and our goal is to raise $50,000 each year. Are there 100 people in Amory with enough interest in our school district to give $500 per year? Or 500 people interested enough to give $100? And what about our businesses and industries…will they contribute? We think so, and would love to hear from you. Please let us know if
you’d like more information about QEF or if you’d like for us to speak to your civic club or other organization. You may contact Dee Allison (315-8290; or Ruth Griffith (256-8519; Donations may be made in honor or in memory of anyone you wish to recognize, and an acknowledgment will be sent according to your directions. Please mail your tax-deductible contribution to

QEF, P.O. Box 662, Amory, MS 38821.