The Foundation for Learning in Tredyffrin/Easttown (FLITE), an all-volunteer non-profit educational foundation, was formed in 2006 to serve preschool through high school students year-round in Tredyffrin/Easttown.
A group of community members met on September 19, 2005, to plan and organize the establishment of FLITE, the Foundation for Learning in Tredyffrin/Easttown. The group consisted of John Beatty, Tom Colman, Wendy DiRico, Sandi Gorman, Mike Heaberg, Hank Lloyd, Rev. Dick Streeter, Sheilah Vance, and Stodie Watts.
The group was motivated by the desire to ensure that the T/E schools would continue to provide an excellent education for local children, with a specific focus on assuring that all students in the school district have access to the many excellent programs offered by the T/E schools.
The group was also concerned that some children in the school district face economic, environmental, or similar barriers to their full participation in many T/E programs. In many cases, this lack of access can have lifelong negative impacts on our children and on our community.
The planning team recognized that T/E residents have a well-deserved reputation for responding to community needs. The team also believed that if the community was made aware of this somewhat “invisible” problem, it would respond in its typical generous fashion. An educational foundation, such as FLITE, would be an ideal vehicle to inform the community and to raise funds to help address the dual concerns of maintaining educational excellence and assuring access for all T/E students.
The first meeting of the FLITE Board of Trustees took place on January 5, 2006. At the meeting the founding Board of Trustees approved an organization structure, elected officers, and approved a series of legal filings. The establishment of FLITE was formally announced at the February 27, 2006 meeting of the Tredyffrin/Easttown School Board. Below are a few key of our historical milestones:
- FLITE approved by the IRS as a 501 (c) (3) organization on March 10, 2006
- FLITE’s first grant, $8000 to provide for transportation for the Homework Oasis Project at Valley Forge Middle School, was approved at FLITE’s Board meeting on May 18, 2006. The Homework Oasis Program was the forerunner of FLITE’s After School Homework Program.
- First community appeal “Help FLITE Help Kids” Campaign (Fall 2006)
- Establishment of our Advisory Board of Directors (2007)
- Expansion of the After School Homework Program to all children in T/E elementary and middle schools who need extra help (September 2007)
- First PA EITC grant received (2010)
FLITE funds programs to help ensure that all students in the T/E schools, especially those who face barriers to their educational success, have the academic tools, opportunities and support they need to succeed in school.
FLITE is independent of the T/E School District, but works with the District and community to identify areas of need and support programs that increase the opportunity for academic success. FLITE also works very closely with the District in evaluating program grant requests.
Since its inception, FLITE has provided assistance to students nearly 7,000 times by funding academic programs. FLITE provides academic support and services to about 300 students each year.
Each year, teachers, parents, local business people and others who care about public education in T/E support FLITE’s mission.