By Sandy Dowdy, CEO
The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation is a Health, Culture, Community grant agency that provides funding through grants to organizations that have a vested interest in their communities. The Seneca Nation applied for this grant and received it. A video was produced to show the communities involvement in building and sustaining a healthy community environment. The Faithkeeper Montessori Language Nest was honored to have the school included in the message of caring for the earth and importance. Once the Nation was awarded, programs were asked to submit a proposal on how they would use the funding prize (grant money). Faithkeeper Montessori Language Nest (FKS) submitted a proposal and was awarded the funds.
Funding has been used for various improvements on campus, it allowed for the upgrade of a hoop house for the chicken egg project (eggs are used for the FKS Fundraising Breakfast served every Sunday). Improvements and upgrades to the greenhouse have been for the anticipation of winter crops. There is a cooling system and an irrigation system using natural water from the rain. Many improvements were made for the benefit of the farm animals on property, they play a vital role in the education of the students.
The most recent update was the construction of a large pole barn to house a school bus, a tractor, and outdoor play equipment. Construction Manager, Dakota John, had volunteers and workers whom are alumni as well as community members, parents, and grandparents of students at the school. We are thankful for the community and their continued support. The school is in its 20th year of providing education, Seneca language and culture so it will be carried to the future.
The Faithkeeper Montessori Language Nest is in the process of adding another classroom age group of 6-9 year olds to be housed in the FKS Annex. Follow the website (https://faithkeepermontessori.com/) and facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Faithkeeper-Language-Nest-380140058736003) for updates.
Fundraising will continue to in an effort to expand classrooms. Every Sunday, the school hosts a breakfast in the annex building with social distancing practices in place, please wear a mask and maintain six feet apart. Cost is donation of your choice.
Nearly New Boutique, a second hand store in Salamanca, is another fundraising avenue for the school. Gently used are items accepted to resell at a low cost. All funds benefit the students directly. Please consider donating your used items. Nearly New is open on Friday’s and Saturday’s with corn soup for sale as well.
The many partnerships within the communities and avid supporters who are always ready, willing and able to help is much appreciated.