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on September 22, 2013 1:40 AM

The Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation is hoping to change things up a bit by increasing representation from the community within its ranks.

The foundation, which fundraises to support classroom efforts as well as Advanced Placement and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives, has mostly consisted of membership from within the district’s schools, according to Cris Kostiuk, Apollo-Ridge’s community engagement specialist.

In light of opportunities like the state’s Education Improvement Tax Credit — which offers tax credits for qualifying businesses that designate financial gifts to schools — the education foundation is looking for opportunities to spread the word about how businesses can support the district.

Doing so, according to Kostiuk, has the potential to generate new revenue streams to support projects like a library dedicated to science, math, art, engineering and technology without using district funds.

“With funding from the state and federal areas declining, our goal is to support the school district with funding that doesn’t come from the taxpayers,” she said.

Foundation trustees are encouraging those with experience in event planning and fundraising to apply.

Letters of interest will be accepted by the foundation until Oct. 10.

Anyone interested is asked to contact AREF President Chris Clark at P.O. Box 219, Spring Church, PA 15686 or call (724) 478-6010 to speak with an AREF trustee.

— Julie E. Martin

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