Katherine Barton is with the the Blue Springs Education Foundation

1 What is the Blue Springs Education Foundation?
The BSEF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to enhance the excellent programs and instruction synonymous with the Blue Springs School District and provide assistance for student success in the K-12 experience and beyond. We do this by raising funds to provide scholarships for graduating seniors, providing grants for staff to improve student achievement and assisting with school and district initiatives. We have two goals this year which we are implementing. One is to start in the spring to award scholarships which can be renewed for three more years if students meet the criteria. Another is to add two $1,000 grants and one $2,500 grant each semester to the mini-grant program which is already in place.

2 How did the Kids ROCK program come about?
The BSEF Kids ROCK program was an outgrowth of the contributions made by the Hammett children. They wanted to have their funds be used to help other children, and we thought other people might want to do the same thing. We are selling note cards featuring student artwork to help fund the program.

3 Why do you believe it is important for children to start giving back to their community at a young age?
There are many lessons to be learned. Maya Angelou said, “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” I feel that it is best to learn early that all of us could need help at sometime in our lives and that many of us have more resources than we actually need to live well.
We need to do what we can, whether at a young age or not, to give a “hand up” to those in our community who are struggling. It isn’t the amount of the gift that is important, it is the act of kindness that is important.

4 What do you think is the best way a family can help others not only during the holidays, but throughout the year?
Families can assist charitable organizations such as Community Services League in our community. They have a Holiday Store  where families in need can select gifts for all members of their family and also help students with school supplies when school starts. Organizations, families and neighborhoods can collect food for the food pantry.

5 What is your hope for the future of the Blue Springs Education Foundation?
I would like to be able to raise enough funds in the next decade to endow the foundation so that it will be here for future generations. I hope also that we can multiply many times over the number of memorial scholarship funds that we have currently. If a graduate needs help to go on to college or technical or trade school, I would hope the foundation would be able to assist.