Wicomico Foundation Donates $45K For School Technology

Wicomico Foundation Donates $45K For School Technology
Pictured, from left, are WCES representatives Don Fitzgerald and Susan Purnell and Wicomico County Superintendent of Schools Donna Hanlin. Submitted Photo

SALISBURY – A $45,000 donation is expected to fund technology packages at Wicomico County public schools.

Last week, representatives with the Wicomico County Education Foundation (WCEF) presented the Wicomico County Board of Education with a check for $45,095 to fund the purchase of nine technology packages for Wicomico County schools.

Susan Purnell, chair of WCEF, said since launching the foundation last year, the organization has raised $60,000 for the school system.

“We had our inaugural event, where we pretty much told the public what we wanted to do for Wicomico County Public Schools, on May 23,” she said. “We’ve had one ask for help and to date we have raised $60,000, which is pretty good for a one-time ask.”

School officials said the foundations $45,095 donation will be used to purchase nine technology packages, which include laptops, iPads and smartboards.

“This is our very first effort and I hope it will be one of many in years to come,” Purnell said.

Officials with WCEF attributes the foundation’s successful fundraising efforts to the community. Purnell, for example, noted contributions from several local banks, organizations, construction and engineering companies and businesses.

“Our board had 100 percent participation in the gifts, along with many other organizations that we need to thank,” she said.

School Superintendent Donna Hanlin applauded WCEF’s donation.

“I know you are representing a much larger group of individuals who have come together to support Wicomico County Public Schools …,” she said. “I got goosebumps when you were naming all of the organizations in the community that are supporting our public schools. That’s a true partnership, so we appreciate it.”

Purnell reiterated the foundation’s support for Hanlin’s “Imagine 2022” plan, which, among other things, promotes school readiness and a universal pre-kindergarten program.

“We are real proud to present this to you, and we know you will do wonders with this,” she told Hanlin. “As you have said many times, readiness for school is one of the most important priorities that you have, and this should help at least a small part of them be ready for kindergarten and first grade.”

Purnell said the foundation will also participate in a new teacher program for the coming year. She said each new educator will receive a free tumbler and information on WCEF.

“We really do intend to play a big part in making our county public school system even greater than it already is,” she said.

Board President Don Fitzgerald praised WFEF for its support.

“On behalf of the board, this is unique to have the community come out like this and support public education,” he said. “I’ve said all along it takes the whole community, not just us. So again, to the foundation, thank you.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.