By Valerie Myers GO Erie Posted Oct 29, 2017 at 2:00 AM
John Patrick Keck Fund will buy supplies for Millcreek students who can’t afford them.
A new Millcreek Education Foundation fund will provide school supplies for students who can’t afford to buy them. It will also honor the memory of a McDowell High School
graduate.The John Patrick Keck School Supply and Student Need Fund was established by
Keck’s parents, Anthony and Marie Keck, to help students throughout the Millcreek
Township School District.
The Kecks first learned of local students in need several years ago when then-McDowell student Kelli Schmalenbach began raising money to provide what kids couldn’t afford.“We never really thought that there were students in Millcreek needing help to buy school supplies,” Anthony Keck said. “After our son, John, passed, my wife and I were looking for a way to honor his memory and also help the community. When we heard about this, we thought, well, this is a great way to help.”
John Keck graduated from McDowell in 2008 and studied at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania to be a speech therapist. He died in March 2014 of complications from a traumatic brain injury suffered in a May 2013 car crash. He was a caring and loving person who hoped to make a difference in the world, Anthony and Marie Keck said in a biography of their son provided to the Millcreek Education Foundation.
He would be happy that others are being helped in his name, Anthony Keck said Friday.“I think John would be pleased, first of all that we’re remembering him and trying to honor his memory, and at the same time because this is helping kids,” he said.
The fund named in his honor will provide resources to students who need them, said Kristina Huber, executive director of the Millcreek Education Foundation. “There is great need in our district, and students needing support just to be a student,” Huber said. “It’s nice that this fund will provide essential items so that these kids can be like everyone else in class who have what they need.”
More than 38 percent of Millcreek students are enrolled in the free and reduced-price lunch program based on family income. Many more are believed to be eligible. Twelve Millcreek students are homeless, Huber said.
The John Patrick Keck School Supply and Student Need Fund additionally will buy needed classroom supplies not provided by the school district and take some of the financial burden off teachers, she said. Huber calculates that Millcreek teachers spend an average $500 or more of their own money each year to buy student and classroom supplies.
The first distributions from the Keck Fund will be made in the 2018-19 school year. Teachers will alert the district’s student services department of student needs. Supplies will be provided to students confidentially, Huber said.
The Kecks asked that their contribution for the fund remain confidential. The Millcreek Education Foundation requires a $10,000 minimum initial investment.
A virtual run in May will raise additional money for the John Patrick Keck Fund. Details will be posted on the foundation’s Facebook page and website at www.millcreekeducationfoundation.org.
Valerie Myers can be reached at 878-1913 or by email. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNmyers.Type your paragraph here.
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why we do what we do
MEF has a new logo!
Thank you Ron Churley for designing our new logo! The symbolism in the elements of the logo denote Advancement, Community, Support, and Growth in the areas that enhance education. These are all key characteristics the Millcreek Education Foundation embodies.
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Congratulations to the 2018 MEF Sparks!
The Millcreek Education Foundation Sparks Program recognizes students completing middle school that exemplify the characteristics of being invested in the school community and possess a “spark” worthy of admiration.
Four students from each MTSD middle school were selected as a Spark by the following criteria:
The MEF Board of Trustees congratulates the 2018 MEF Sparks of the future McDowell High School Class of 2024:
JS Wilson Middle School: Brooke Alfieri, Yaakoob Al-Abdullah, Bethany Hicks, Thomas Horsemanko
Walnut Creek Middle School: Derek Angelini, Alexis Gausman, Paige Massey, Zane Lewis
Westlake Middle School: Rachel Zurn, Megan Ferber, Johnny Duong, Ryan Hewitt
Each “Spark” will be required to submit information annually to the Millcreek Education Foundation to be eligible
for a financial award upon graduation from McDowell High School.