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The Solution

The Elkhart Education Foundation supports excellence in education through the development and implementation of innovative academic programs and provides supplemental funds for character-building extracurricular activities.

EEF, a 501(c)(3) organization, manages and expends funds received from donations that support the mission, vision and goals of the Elkhart Community Schools. EEF provides funds for innovative teaching practices, education programs and activities – Athletics, Arts, Academic Clubs/Service Organizations – that are outside of the parameters of the traditional operating budget for Elkhart Community Schools. The funds provided by EEF will be used to facilitate student achievement and skill development, to recognize and encourage staff excellence, and to cultivate community involvement from individuals, businesses and civic organizations.

Our Impact

Innovative Teaching Grants

EEF provides Innovative Teaching Grants to educators who have developed engaging lesson plans that promote curiosity and a love for learning.

Extracurricular Grants

EEF provides scholarships to cover individual and/or team participation fees for Arts, Athletics, or Academic club in exchange for community service hours.

High-Impact Projects

Programs like Speak Truth to Power, Living Libraries, Learning Gardens, Project Excursion and Kindness to Prevent Blindness impact the entire student population of Elkhart Community Schools through the support of EEF.

“The Elkhart Education Foundation has been ‘walking the walk’ since day one. In under two years, they’ve hosted several community events, initiated and fulfilled three grant cycles, and and helped bring community leaders together on many occasions to focus on the needs of students and educators.

They’ve also brought a bit of fun and encouragement to our building – as a staff we’ve started to come together more to take photos and participate in EEF related challenges.”

Kurt Weimer

Elkhart Community School Teacher

Innovative Teaching Grants

The best teaching methods come from our greatest assets: educators. We support new ideas and practices to strengthen teaching and learning. Our goal is to fund and share successful strategies to educate and prepare students for bright and rewarding futures.

Strengthening Extracurricular Activities

The evidence is overwhelming and compelling: participation in student activities increases standardized test scores, GPAs, graduation rates, college acceptance and college success rates. Extracurricular activities are one of the most effective tools in increasing student engagement and graduation rates.

Character Building Programs

Field trips, internships, speakers, campus visits and job shadowing opportunities will be expanded and prioritized in order to educate the “whole” student and to prepare them for success in the workforce.

Research Proves It

The Arts

  • Sustained learning in music and theater correlates with higher achievement in both math and reading.
  • Multiple studies prove that extracurricular art activities help prevent high-risk students from dropping out.
  • Students who take 4 years of arts and music classes during high school score about 100 points better on their SATs.

Better Choices

Participation in student activities…

  • Reduces drop-out rates
  • Increases standardized test scores
  • Boosts GPAs
  • Promotes college & career success
  • Develops social & emotional skills
  • Leads students to make better choices

Test Scores

Impact of non-athletic after school activities on standardized test scores:

8th Grade

  • Reading: +2.2%
  • Math: +2.9%

10th Grade

  • Reading: +4.0%
  • Math: +5.7%


  • Students who play sports are on time to school more often and absent less frequently
  • Student athletes are 4x more likely to attend college
  • Student athletes are better at managing emotions, resolving conflicts, and resisting peer pressure

Source: Alliance for Student Activities  |  ASA Research  |  Infographics