Published On: Mon, Sep 18th, 2023

Boca schools get $100,000 to choose what they use

By Marci Shatzman

Robotic brain upgrades. Science kits. Video microscopes. It’s a new world of learning to prepare kids for work in the digital age.

And Boca Chamber’s Golden Bell Education Foundation stepped in as it does every year to present more than $100,000 in grants to Boca public schools.

Principals and teachers gathered at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast to accept the grants, most in the $1,000 to $2,000 range, to spend on specifics, from forensic kits at Eagles Landing Middle to access to a database for West Boca High.

“For the last 30 years we’ve created an environment for innovation and success (to ensure) strong public education,” said longtime Golden Bell chairman Chuck Stout.

Frank Barbieri, Palm Beach County school board president, whose district oversees Boca public schools, introduced deputy superintendent and chief of schools Edward Tierney in person, and Superintendent Mark J. Burke via video. They praised the district for reading readiness growth and educators for a 98.2 % graduation rate.

“Thanks for making a difference,” said Boca Raton Elementary fourth graders Lucca Machado and Mikah Reed, before Chamber vice president Sarah Pearson handed out the grants.  

Golden Bell also oversees the Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) for middle and high school students. “For 15 years, 20 kids a year learn how to start a business,” noted Boca Chamber president and CEO Troy McLellan.

Stout urged breakfast attendees to donate to Golden Bell via texts on their phone, and donations were tracked on a Jumbotron. Longtime Golden Bell supporters and the breakfast sponsor BlueGreen Vacations executive Susan Saturday and her husband Jim pledged $2,000 in matching funds, and donations were over the top from attendees.

The Chamber’s Season 5 Truist Battle of the Bands from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday Sept. 30 at BRiC (Boca Raton Innovation Campus) is a fundraiser for Golden Bell. Tickets are $65 general admission/VIP $90 at this link or call the Chamber at 561-395-4433.

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