RBEF provides foundation for student and staff learning


RBHS telethon. Photo courtesy of RBEF website.

Kellie Halvey, Staff Reporter

The Riverside Brookfield Educational Foundation, is dedicated to supporting students and teachers. Through helping students and teachers by offering grants they are able to experience opportunities that would not be available otherwise.

“It was created back in 1989, the mission was to raise funds for faculty, staff, and students, if they want to do any kind of professional development or enrichment that wouldn’t’ve been available to them if they didn’t have access to those funds,” said James Franko, president of the RBEF.

Funds for the RBEF are raised with events such as the telethon and a November holiday fundraiser. These funds contribute to the Educational Foundation, along with many different scholarships.

“You’re pretty much guaranteed to get something as long as your program fits in the guidelines… we divide whatever we have to the number of people who applied. We also run a couple scholarships, and that money is separate from the telethon money and can’t be crossed over,” said Franko.

Many teachers and students have utilized the RBEF to further themselves, and take advantage of amazing opportunities that otherwise would not have been possible. Wendy Cassens, a teacher at Riverside Brookfield, is someone who received a grant from the RBEF.

“I wanted to go to A.P Summer Institutes for english literature… it’s about $700 and we didn’t have any more professional development money for the school, so I reached out to RBEF to see if they could help me pay for it,” said Cassens.

During the A.P Summer Institute, participants go through setting up a classroom and learning new ways to communicate with students.

“[The most memorable part was] Learning new books I hadn’t considered using, and meeting new teachers and having another network to ask questions and help each other developing curriculum for A.P Lit,” said Cassens.

Students also benefit from the RBEF. Student Teresa Godinez also received a grant to go to the National Hispanic Institute.

“It was a debate program, where you learned leadership skills and how to become successful in a career you want, and also to become a community leader,” said Godinez.

Godinez heard about this event from her mom and a counselor at RB, her application last spring was easy after getting a recommendation from a teacher. Godinez got second place at the National Hispanic Institute.