How Did This All Start?

In late October of 2008, friends Ellen Capy and Jill Stahl Tyler were sitting eating supper together with their families, comparing notes on the fund raising requests that they had already received from their children’s classes. Jill was shocked that, with only two children in the school, she had been asked to help out eight times within the first six weeks. Besides the concern the friends had about the amount of times being asked, both felt uncomfortable asking the same friends, neighbors and relatives–and especially when they didn’t necessarily like the products, either. And even with the amount of fund raising that was being done at the school, Ellen in particular knew that there were many more dollars to be found before the winter sports program could pay for itself.

There had to be a better way… and the idea of the Brattleboro School Endowment was born.

Over the next 14 months, Jill and Ellen visited the school board for approval and endorsement; convinced lawyer Jonathan Secrest that he could support the endowment with the legal paperwork; found an Oak Grove parent and  website designer in Jay Pricer for help with the final steps of getting the publicity rolling and recieved much support and expertise from Prentiss Smith who be managing the fund .

And during the whole process, another fun thing happened to Jill & Ellen: they realized that this project was larger than what they had dreamed. It really is a way to create a legacy for the town’s children. It’s a way to directly impact the future of a larger community. For no matter how great our schools’ budgets are, there are always more opportunities for educational enrichment that benefit children and give educators a chance to  integrate programs they have always dreamed of . Word has spread slowly to friends of friends and donations and promises of donations have started coming.

Shortly before Christmas in 2009, the announcements went out to the local area: there is now a Brattleboro School Endowment created.