Educational Attainment

Educational Attainment

Learning for a lifetime

The South Madison Community Foundation has long awarded scholarships – over a million dollars to date – but did you know that our efforts to boost educational attainment go much further?

While the Community Foundation has always addressed a wide variety of community needs, our Foundation has focused funding on education since 2012. At that time, the Foundation's Board of Directors determined that through focused investment in education, it would create the brightest possible future for our community and reap the best return on investment from grant funding.

We begin our investment in a child's education at birth. Families with children from birth through age five have received thousands of age and stage appropriate books to build a literacy rich environment around their children. Babies who are read to from birth cherish the time spent near their caregivers, exploring new worlds through books. This bright beginning sets them on a course for success in school and in life.

Outside the home, little ones may enjoy educational software designed just for them when they visit the public library. We financially support the purchase of new library materials and activities every single year. One year, Foundation support funded the library's holiday open house as well as the Children's Department's resident gerbils that so many children look forward to observing during each library visit.

Significant investment has been made in the classrooms of our public schools. Grants have provided classrooms with items as wide ranging as a classroom set of ukeleles, a 3D printer, and an all-abilities inclusive playground. Every single student, from pre-K to high school, in both South Madison and Lapel Community School districts has benefitted from Foundation funding.

Our youth support doesn't conclude with the school day, and isn't contained within school walls. Tutoring and mentoring programs, summer camp, swim instruction, and youth sport programs support the health and development of the whole child. All have been generously supported by the Foundation. Because of donor support, we even have the opportunity to help children in need on an individual basis, whether through help with participation fees, medical examination costs, or other unique needs.

Schools are a training ground for college, career, and life, and therefore we assist students in finding the right career path and to understand the advanced planning it will take to meet their goals. We help connect students to answers about careers and continuing education beyond high school. Each year, our FAFSA information sessions reveal to students and families previously unknown aid that takes college attendance from being a dream to becoming reality.

Finally, dozens of scholarship funds created by caring donors give the final boost to new and returning college students, helping them complete their educational foundation and enter the workforce, ready to invest in their community. Scholarship awards are still an important part of the Community Foundation's work, but rather than standing with a graduating senior for just a moment at awards night, it’s now our goal to walk alongside an individual through their entire educational experience.

We believe that to inspire a child's success is to invest in the future. Through focused funding on educational attainment, we support bright futures for today's residents, and tomorrow's.