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Nonprofit Spotlight: Citrus County Education Foundation | Local News

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Editor’s Note: All communities rely on the resources and support that nonprofit institutions provide to people, whether physical, material, or emotional.

The Chronicle’s ongoing series, Nonprofit Spotlight, showcases Citrus County nonprofit institutions that exist to make life better for all of us.

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Get more information from the Citrus County Chronicle


Until about five years ago, the Citrus County Education Foundation (CCEF) was one of the community’s “best-kept secrets,” said CCEF Executive Director Shaunda Burdette. “People are surprised when we find out she’s been here for over 30 years.”

The foundation began with a group of people in the community who were concerned about the unmet needs of their local school district due to state funding requirements and restrictions.

At the time, the foundation began as a “pass-through” for people who wanted to fund school districts, filling a gap, Burdette said.

“It started small and hosted things like ‘Teacher of the Year.’ We’ve come a long way.”

Today, the foundation runs 34 programs each day, with 4 staff, 25 active and hands-on board members, and 600 volunteers.

Essentially, what CCEF is doing is bridging the gap to make sure students have what they need, from food, clothing and personal items to temporary housing, to ensure uninterrupted learning. is.

“We realized that our influence goes far beyond pencil and paper,” says Burdette. “How can children learn if their basic needs are not met?”

She said COVID has dramatically changed their ways.

“When COVID hit and buses went out to deliver food to our neighborhoods, our volunteers jumped on the buses and did it. I was able to do.

“Many of them were on just one paycheck from the devastation and needed more than a meal from the school district,” she said. “Meeting with families on a more personal level will help us understand how these families are spending their days, where they are most needed, and help them not only help them recover quickly, but also ensure It gave me an idea of ​​what I could do to help me continue my studies, so I started building programs and support systems through the Education Foundation.”

Foundation programs include:

• Book, Line and Thinkers — Grade 5 students in partnership with the Homosassa Guides Association participate in an educational fishing trip.

• Community of Care — Through donations to the community, students are guaranteed access to the personal items they need.

• Environmental Hazard — High school competition during Save Our Waters Week on Citrus 20/20.

• First Library — Allow Pre-k and Kindergarten students to take home and store their own books.

• Galaxy of Stars — Gala event celebrating each school’s Teacher of the Year and School Employee of the Year.

• Golden Citrus Scholars — Recognize outstanding and outstanding graduates.

• Mini Grants — grants for teachers to enhance their curriculum and classroom teaching activities.

• Mathematics Sports Day — A math skills competition for middle school and high school students.

• Men Building Men/Women Building Women — Provide students with positive and influential role models.

• School Resource Room — A confidential ‘free store’ where students can get toiletries and clothing.

• Supplies 4 Success — A ‘free store’ where teachers can get school supplies for students in need.

“Funding our future”

In the absence of state or federal funding, CCEF provides free teacher store inventory, scholarships, classroom grants, technology, and student engagement, in addition to supporting community fundraising efforts throughout the year. We rely on in-kind donations and supplies to meet many other needs.

“Five years ago we were raising about $250,000 a year, and we paid it back quickly,” Burdette says. “Last year we raised over $1 million. But the more important number is that five years ago he was impacting 100 students, he was impacting 500 students. It affects 16,000 people.”

CCEF hosts some sort of fundraising event almost every month, all of which are well attended by the community.

“The community has really gotten into what we’re doing,” Burdette says.

Some of the main ones are:

• Foundation Fest, celebrity bartending event, usually in November

• Kids Triathlon in May

• Hernando Lake Dragon Boat Festival in November

• Schoolhouse Hustle Family Fun Run in April

• Pack school supplies on the bus in July

• April Superintendent Golf Classic

that’s what makes a difference

“What we do know is that if families are successful, so are our children,” Burdett said. Bringing in school supplies to help children who are

“That’s how we know we’re really making a difference,” she said. “In our community of care, it comes full circle.”


Phone: 352-726-1931, ext. 2240


Address: Withlacoochee Technical College, 1201 W. Main St., Building 700, Inverness.

Mailing Address: PO Box 2004, Inverness, FL 34451