"Gateway to a Better Education" Auction
The Jennings Strouss Foundation is hosting the "Gateway to a Better Education" Silent Auction online from November 30 to December 11, 2015. The auction is the premiere fundraising event for the Foundation, with all proceeds from this year's auction benefitting Gateway Elementary, located in East-Central inner city Phoenix. The Jennings Strouss Foundation's goal is to raise the funds to purchase the technology needed to create a mobile research lab for classrooms, erect a shade structure on the school's playground and purchase a school bus to transport students to after school programs, such as sporting events.
Thank you to our Gold Sponsor, Turf Paradise, and our Silver Sponsors, Alliance Beverage and Red Devil Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, as well as the employees of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon and the following companies for their generous in-kind donations:
Castles N' Coasters
Center Dance Ensemble
Children's Museum of Phoenix
Famous Dave's - Phoenix, AZ
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park
Lorrie Henry, CPT
Majerle's Sports Grill
Page Springs Cellars
Hotel Palomar Phoenix - A Kimpton Hotel
Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Village Health Clubs and Spas
Vincent on Camelback
Girls on the Run
The Jennings Strouss Foundation teamed up with Girls on the Run as the Presenting Sponsor of its spring 5K event. Girls on the Run is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential, and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Its mission focuses on positive youth development, combining interactive curriculum, and running as a means to cultivate self-respect and healthy lifestyles in young girls. In addition to a financial contribution, Jennings Strouss staff and attorneys supported the girls through the creation of motivational posters, volunteering as running buddies, and providing games for all to participate in before and after the run had concluded. Those who volunteered as running buddies partnered with girls and accompanied them through the entire 5K, providing encouragement along the race route, as well as celebrating the accomplishments at the finish line. The Foundation will continue its support as Presenting Sponsor of the Girls on the Run fall 5K to be held in November.
Gateway Elementary School
One of the main beneficiaries of the Jennings Strouss Foundation's support is Gateway Elementary School in the Creighton School District, one of the most underserved areas in Phoenix. Over the years, the Jennings Strouss Foundation has developed initiatives geared at helping students who might not otherwise have access to the resources needed to succeed. Gateway Elementary serves more than 850 students in grades kindergarten through 8, and has a 98% minority enrollment with 97% of the students on the free or reduced fee lunch program.
JSS has been supporting Gateway Elementary School through the following events:
Annual First Grade "The Sky's the Limit When You Read" Book Drives
This project focuses on providing books to Gateway Elementary School's first grade students to assist in developing their reading skills. Each student receives a book at his or her reading level, which is used for a lesson in the classroom. The students then take the book home to keep and share with their families.
Gateway Elementary School Store
The Jennings Strouss Foundation received a special request regarding a new reading incentive program Gateway wanted to implement. Each student would receive reading reward point, which they can use to purchase items from the school store. Because the concept was new, the school was in desperate need of funds to stock the store. The Jennings Strouss Foundation responded by hosting a Corn Hole Tournament in the office of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon for firm employees. Teams paid a registration fee and held various internal fundraising events. The Corn Hole Tournament raised over $2,500, all of which was donated to the Gateway Elementary School Store.
Annual Backpack and School Supply Drives
With budget cuts and the number of low-income families at Gateway, the Jennings Strouss Foundation is committed to providing students with the supplies they need to get off on the right foot on the first day of school. The Foundation donates fully stocked backpacks for the students and provides additional supplies to the teacher.
Annual Library Book Drives
This initiative's mission is to help keep the Gateway Elementary School's library stocked with the newest and most popular books, as well as helping replace classics that have been "well loved" over the years. The Jennings Strouss Foundation is provided with a "wish list" of books that cover reading levels from beginner to advance.
The Learning Garden Project
Sometimes, education happens outside of the classroom, as was the case for this project, which enabled students to have a hands-on learning experience. The Jennings Strouss Foundation purchased all of the supplies and building materials needed to create the Learning Garden. The class studied soil, rocks and minerals, how the earth is a resource, plants, and butterflies and their life cycle. With assistance from parents and teachers, the class prepared a garden in a school courtyard and planted flowers to attract butterflies. This project was not only an important part of the learning process, but also encouraged parent participation.
Art Supply Donation
The Jennings Strouss Foundation recently donated art supplies to the Gateway Elementary School art program. Supplies included colored paper, ribbon, embellishments and storage containers. The art supplies will assist the school with fun and colorful projects. Jean Fielder, a JS Foundation Board Member, made the presentation to staff at Gateway.