WHAT IS IT?
Lift Putnam! Is an independent education foundation that invests in our children and schools in Putnam County. It is committed to the proposition that every child should have a chance to succeed in school and life!
IS IT PART OF THE PUTNAM COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM?
No, it is totally independent.
IS IT PART OF “FORWARD PUTNAM” OR “ONE PUTNAM”?
No, our foundation was formed in May 2016; however, it wholeheartedly endorses their efforts to revitalize Palatka and Putnam County.
HOW IS IT ORGANIZED?
It is a public, tax-deductible charity organized under Section 501 © (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It has a Board of Directors and two officers (Executive Director and Secretary/Treasurer).
WHO ARE THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS?
Chairman of the Board – Joyce Oliver
Executive Director – Mike Perry
Secretary/Treasurer – Pam Douglas
Director – Kate Adornetto
Director – Danny Hood
Director – Timothy Keyser, Esq.
Director – John Newbold
Director – Jamila Theobold
Director – Nancy Wilde
WHAT DOES IT DO?
It raises money to help local students as well as improve our schools, particularly in the area of early education through its “full-day/full-year” pre-k program for four-year-old children.
HOW IS THE MONEY ACQUIRED?
Money is acquired through fundraisers, grants and donations from public and private sources. An endowment is being pursued to create a constant revenue stream.
WHO DECIDES HOW THE MONEY WILL BE SPENT?
The Board of Directors of Lift Putnam! all of whom are local volunteers makes these decisions.
RECENTLY, LIFT PUTNAM! SOLD THE CAMPBELL BUILDING IN PALATKA. CAN YOU GIVE US MORE DETAIL?
Yes, the property was sold to a local charter school, Edge for Educational Excellence, for $450,000! As it comes in, the money will be used by Lift Putnam! to advance its “full-day/full-year” pre-k program.
DOES THE SCHOOL BOARD, COUNTY COMMISSION OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY CONTROL THE MONEY?
No, Lift Putnam! is totally independent.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PROGRAMS LIFT PUTNAM! IS SPONSORING?
Early education. At present “full day/full year” Pre-K enrollment for four-year-old children. Each day transportation to and from school is provided along with two meals and 6 ½ hours of academic and behavioral instruction. The Department of Education pays for ½ and Lift Putnam! pays for the other ½. That half costs approximately $180 per month for families that can afford it. Lift Putnam! helps those that can’t at an annual cost of approximately $1500 per student. Pre-school and after school programs are also being considered plus programs to improve literacy, test scores, graduation rates, school safety and classroom behavior.
ARE THE SCHOOL BOARD, BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES INVOLVED AT ALL?
The School Board is not directly involved but Lift Putnam! receives input from the School Board and Superintendent regarding local school needs. The Board of County Commissioners and other governmental entities are supportive.
IS IT SUCCESSFUL?
Yes, Lift Putnam! was formed in May 2016. Since then, it has raised over $200,000 which was used to enroll local children in the program. Test results show these children do much better on early school tests than those who didn’t have the opportunity to attend. Thus far we have sponsored more than 180 children. Our goal is to eventually offer this opportunity to all of our four-year-old children in Putnam County. In effect, they are being given an extra year of learning to better prepare them for school and life!
IS THE MONEY REALLY SPENT IN EVERY AREA OF THE COUNTY?
HOW IS IT MANAGED?
The Board, which is not paid, oversees the funding decisions. There are two paid officers who administer the program as is the case with most education foundations. No other benefits are provided to staff.
HOW MANY CHILDREN IN PUTNAM COUNTY BENEFIT FROM LIFT PUTNAM!?
All of them. Even if your child doesn’t receive financial assistance, they, and all of us, will benefit from this “extra” year of school, better classroom behavior, better prepared students and better overall school results.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Donate or volunteer. To get more information about Lift Putnam!, visit our website at LiftPutnam.com or call (386) 260-0062.
Updated: September 2020