The Maple School Board made changes to its Angel Fund and gave the green light to fundraising efforts for a video scoreboard at its Monday, Jan. 11 meeting.
The district’s Angel Fund was set up in March 2019 to provide help to families with negative lunch balances. The fund offers one-time assistance to families in need who are identified by school staff and qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
In April, the program was expanded so the funds could also be used to cover sports and activities fees for students. At the meeting Monday, board members further revised the fund to cover the cost for early college credit courses, internet access and other needs. The board also did away with the one-time-only provision.
“If you have one medical issue in a family, just anything — one emergency — all the kids are instantly in need. One emergency over 12 years, that’s not practical,” said board member Rachel Zwicky.
Under the revisions approved Monday, each student would be eligible to access the Angel Fund once every three years, but only one of those times could be for food assistance. The board will discuss putting a total dollar cap on how much a student can receive from the fund at its February meeting.
The board also approved a request by athletic director Brian Smith to move forward with a plan to raise funds for a video board, which would wrap around the current scoreboard in the lower gymnasium at Northwestern High School.
“I didn’t want to move forward with a project like this without the board knowing,” he said.
It would enhance the experience for players and fans and could generate up to $30,000 in annual revenue for the district, according to Smith.
“It’s a very visual way for these sponsors to get their name out there and show they’re supporting schools,” said board member Mike Granlund.
Many districts purchase a board, then pay themselves back for the cost with the advertising revenue that is generated, Smith said. He plans to raise the funds for the purchase ahead of time and sought the board’s approval to do so.
“I don’t want to use school district money to pay for this,” Smith said.
He will reach out to local businesses to get support for the project. The video board would be similar to those found at Ashland and Baldwin-Woodville high schools. A minimum of $25,000 would need to be raised. The video board could be installed by 2022.
It’s a little bit of a wish list item, the athletic director said, but it could be a long-term money generator for the district.