Centennial Education Foundation Helps Many Students

Mauricio Lemus, Staff Writer

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The Centennial Educational Foundation was founded in 1992 by Dr. Geroge Benson and Ron Pennington with the goal of “enhancing educational opportunities for Centennial students.” 

How do they do this?  The Centennial Educational Foundation does things such as: 

  • Awarding college scholarships to outstanding seniors
  • Supporting exemplary teaching with the awarding of classroom grants 
  • Helping to purchase school supplies 
  • Opening CLOSET TO CLOSET to provide clothing for our students
  • Providing funding for field trips… and much more!

CLOSET TO CLOSET is a clothing shop with new and slightly used clothes for kids enrolled in the Centennial School District. A student receives a voucher from their school counselor, then they can go to the CLOSET, and they can select up to 8 items. Items are free.

The CLOSET is located at 2632 SE 162nd Avenue, Portland OR 97236. On Monday it’s open noon to 1:45, as well as on Tuesday and 2:30 to 4:30.

“I joined the Foundation board in 1991 after being invited to a Foundation Board Meeting to see first hand how the Foundation helped Centennial students,” says Jody Bringhurst, longtime member of the Centennial Educational Foundation.

“I was very impressed with the vision of the board and the commitment to Centennial students and accepted the invitation to join the group,” says Bringhurst. 

“I absolutely LOVE how the Foundation makes a difference in our student’s lives and their education. There are so many seemingly small ways to help a student only to find the great impact it has on them,” adds Bringhurst.

“We (the Centennial Educational Foundation) opened CLOSET TO CLOSET in 2008 as a source for students to have school clothes available to them. I am always amazed at the quality of clothing we have to offer students. It really makes your day when you see the warm smiles as a student finds clothes they are happy to wear to school. There really is nothing quite like it!” says Bringhurst. 

“The community can help in a myriad of ways- donate directly to the Foundation, link your Fred Meyer Rewards card to the Foundation, search for the Foundation on Amazon Smile  and donate clean, gently used clothing to the CLOSET. We especially need shoes for kinder through adult sizes and boys pants, sweat pants and shorts,” says Bringhurst. 

 

The Centennial Educational Foundation offers 5 scholarships to students

  1. Dr. George Benson Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers:  $2,000.00

This scholarship is for students who plan to pursue a career as a teacher. It is given in memory of Dr. George Benson, a co-founder of the Foundation and the district’s first superintendent.

  1. Centennial Educational Foundation General Scholarship:  $2,000.00 

This scholarship is funded by the Centennial School District employees and community members. They are open to all majors at any accredited college or university.

  1. Larry Kato Memorial Scholarship:   $2,000.00

This scholarship is in memory of Larry Kato, a longtime member of the Centennial Educational Foundation who was passionate about the success of all students.

  1. Ron Pennington Memorial Scholarship:  $2,000.00

This scholarship is for students who have contributed significant amounts of time to community involvement and volunteer activity. It is offered in remembrance of Ron Pennington, co-founder of the Centennial Educational Foundation and exceptional Centennial School District volunteer.

  1. Earl Blumenauer Leadership in Education Scholarship: $2,000.00

Applicants for this scholarship must show commitment to their education, demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and show a passion for making a difference in their school and community. The scholarship is funded by Centennial graduate and current Congressman, Earl Blumenauer and the Foundation. Blumenauer has spent 40 years making a difference in Oregon with his Leadership skills and sense of community.

According to the centennialfoundation.net, here’s how you can help:

  • Clothing Donations

Donations of clean, gently used clothing for school age students (K-12) are accepted during “open” hours at the CLOSET. Donations may be taken to any Centennial school and District employees can send donations on the district pony to the CLOSET.  

  • Financial Support

Financial donations are always welcome. The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable foundation. All donations to the Foundation are tax deductible.  All Foundation board members are volunteers so all of your donation goes to the foundation!

  • Payroll deduction

If you would like to contribute to the foundation through a payroll deduction, fill in the authorization form and send it to the payroll office. Payroll deductions are for Centennial employees only.

  • Linking your Fred Meyers Reward Card

You can link your Fred Meyers Rewards Card to the foundation by visiting fredmeyer.communityrewards.com. Search the foundation by name or its nonprofit number TK554. You can earn donations just by shopping and using your Rewards Card.

For more information visit www.centennialfoundation.net