Foundation Special Funds: SEGER Fund

Many times throughout the year situations arise where students have needs that cannot be met by themselves or their families. A student might need steel-toed boots to participate in a construction class at the Lawrence College and Career Center and doesn’t have the means to purchase them. A student may need a jacket for the winter or clothes for a career day.

Some students may need funds for a bus pass just to be able to get to school, the grocery store, or to work. Families may be in need of assistance for everyday essential items such as food or help to pay an electric bill to keep the heat on at home.  The needs could be as simple as hygienic products or headphones required for class.

Thanks to wonderful donors to the SEGER Fund housed at the Lawrence Schools Foundation, these needs can be met to keep students involved in school. The SEGER Fund, which stands for Special Educational Grants for Emergency Resources, was set up through private donors in 2016. The fund provides $1,000 to both Free State High School and Lawrence High School to allow social workers and counselors to assist with students’ emergency needs.

“The SEGER Fund has been an invaluable tool in supporting students at LHS by allowing us to meet several needs that were preventing students from fully participating in their educational programs,” said LHS assistant principal Mark Pruet. “Without these funds, students would not have been able to be a part of some vocational programs that required specialized clothing – or had to make do with whatever they were able to put together.

“The SEGER Fund allows us to provide these items, but more importantly, provide a very tangible way for us to let these students know that we care about them and that they are important members of the Chesty Lion family,” Pruet said.

The same goes for Free State, where funds have helped students obtain shoes, socks, bus passes, coats, and basic school supplies, among other needs, just to be able to stay involved in school.

“The Foundation works closely with our school social workers and building principals to address students and their families with immediate needs to minimize the impact on the students and help ensure they are successful in the classroom and among their peers,” said Dena Johnston, executive director of the Lawrence Schools Foundation. “The SEGER Fund has provided us that opportunity to help fill those immediate needs and take the burden off those students and their families, which makes an incredible impact within our schools.”