LPS Education Foundation Clicks to Second Phase of Technology Giving

The LPS Education Foundation is synonymous with “giving” in Livonia Public Schools.

We find our non-profit organization changing with these pandemic times, as we kick off a community-wide fundraising campaign called the 2020 Initiative. In a normal school year, our Foundation hosts a well-attended luncheon, as well as the ever-popular Bounce Back to School event, which support our activities throughout the year. Because these large gatherings are not permitted at this time, the Foundation has shifted its focus.

The 2020 Initiative will support the purchase of Chromebooks and/or laptops, plus 120 “hot spots” for students to connect to the internet from home.

“This is Phase 2 of our efforts to provide technology for our students,” said Lorna Durand, President of the LPS Education Foundation. “In the spring, we launched a very successful campaign called Bridging the Digital Divide, which enabled us to provide 80 hot spots for students through a community-wide fundraising effort. Although most students have returned to in-person instruction, the needs still exist for our virtual learners.”

Approximately 4,000 of the district’s 14,000 students opted for the fully online option called Livonia Virtual. This is a long-term option for students to continue learning remotely from home.

“We are finding that there remains a gap, in terms of access to technology,” added Durand. “So, we are pleased to continue our efforts to provide for students who need a device and/or access to the internet so they can have a seamless experience in their virtual learning.”

While the 2020 Initiative will run from October 26 through December 15, a large focus will be on Giving Tuesday, a globally recognized day that shines a light on giving generously to support community non-profits.

This year, Giving Tuesday is December 1 and the Foundation has committed to matching all donations up to $10,000. This is in addition to $10,000 in seed money that has been earmarked by the Foundation as it strives toward its $40,000 fundraising goal for the 2020 Initiative.

Donations in any amount are welcome; however, the Foundation has specified the following amounts for the following purposes:

  • $20 buys one month of hotspot service
  • $240 buys a year of hotspot service
  • $350 sponsors one Chromebook
  • $725 sponsors one laptop computer with software

All purchased equipment will be the property of Livonia Public Schools.

LPS Education Foundation Opens 2020 Competitive Edge Registration

Parents are Encouraged to Register their Kindergarten Students

The LPS Education Foundation has implemented a unique program to attract families to the district and provide a great service to current residents by offering college planning and financial assistance for each new incoming kindergarten student. The goal is to provide district residents a competitive advantage over other communities by helping families begin college financial planning for their children early-on while providing seed money to begin saving for college.

42158440_10156690648148555_8934383757889110016_nThe Foundation has provided the program now since 2008 for new classes of incoming students and have received a positive response. The Kalamazoo Promise program, recently implemented in that city, was used as a model for Livonia’s Competitive Edge program. Early results of the “Promise” show a variety of benefits for all areas of the community including increased enrollment, improved housing values, new retail development, and a renewed student commitment to completing their education.

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How It Works

  • The Foundation will provide an opportunity for the family of each new kindergarten student (including those in the Livonia Virtual program) to set up an IRS Section 529 college savings plan.
  • The Foundation will hold education savings planning seminars for parents to learn about college savings, along with the tax and other advantages of a Section 529 Savings Plan.
  • At these seminars, the Foundation will be prepared to set up a Section 529 savings plan for each student. The Foundation will be the account holder and the student will be the beneficiary.
  • The Foundation will provide an initial contribution to a 529 savings account for the kindergarten student.
  • Parents are encouraged to start a 529 savings plan and contribute towards it.
  • To be eligible to utilize the Foundation’s 529 savings plan, a student must:
    • Sign up in kindergarten
    • Graduate from Livonia Public Schools
    • Attend an eligible post secondary school upon graduation
    • (There are no restrictions for accounts set up by families)
  • The Competitive Edge will be offered annually for each new kindergarten student.
  • The Foundation will use the State of Michigan’s MESP Section 529 Plan. There are over 100,000 current savings accounts with this well established program and parents may be eligible for a state matching contribution. For more information on the state’s program, visit www.MISAVES.com.

Why It’s Offered

  • The LPS Education Foundation believes “Every child needs a foundation.” So we are committed to simplifying college savings planning for parents and to help get them started.
  • The LPS Education Foundation Board sees a unique opportunity to significantly expand its influence and benefit to the LPS Community.
  • This program will help attract families to the community which benefits everyone. Property values, funding for schools and municipalities, and business traffic are all enhanced by new families moving to our community.

2020-21 Forms and Information