A Gift of Life Insurance Brightens Children’s Lives
Fourth grade students at Jefferson Elementary School in Norfolk are “over the moon” with their new Chromebooks, according to their teacher, Meagan Priebe.
“It’s truly provided a spark for learning. When students are engaged, they learn and retain more information. The new technology has caused an increase in motivation,” Priebe said.
Jefferson Elementary is the first elementary school in the district to initiate one-to-one technology—providing Chromebooks for each of its 3rd and 4th graders and iPads for students in kindergarten through 2nd grade. In all, 181 devices were provided, thanks to a grant from the Connie Fund, an NCF donor-advised fund serving northeast Nebraska.
“Before the Connie Fund grant, I was using technology, but I was always at the mercy of the computer lab schedule. Now with a computer in each student’s hands, I can seamlessly enrich and extend my overall curriculum. By teaching our children how to use the technology, we’re preparing them for future educational opportunities and their future careers,” said Priebe.
Several years before her death in 2001, Connie Day of Norfolk had the vision to create an endowment to be funded through a $500,000 life insurance policy. Since 2002, the Connie Fund has invested more than $248,000 in programs that educate, enrich, inspire and protect children in northeast Nebraska. Her endowment has grown to $839,000, and her giving will continue for generations.
Connie’s son, Brandon Day, and his wife Tammy serve as the Fund’s advisors, making dozens of grants to programs and projects that improve children’s lives. This past year they awarded the largest grant ever – just over $60,000 – to the neighborhood school where Connie and all of her siblings and their kids went to school.
“I think it is a great example of how a donor-advised fund can continue to have an impact, long after the person who set it up is gone,” said Tammy Day.
“Connie could not have imagined what an iPad or Chromebook was and probably would not have fathomed putting those devices in the hands of elementary students, but that is what we have been able to dream up and do with her foresight to leave a gift to benefit youth in northeast Nebraska,” she said.
Sarah Dittmer, Norfolk Public Schools Foundation Executive Director believes that charitable endowments have the power to move communities forward in ways that might not otherwise be possible. “Supporting technology initiatives in other elementary schools in Norfolk, will be a much easier conversation real life examples of the impact it has on students and teachers,” Dittmer said.
“Not only does my mother still have a chance to positively impact the lives of kids at Jefferson and all over northeast Nebraska long after her lifetime, she also continues to have an impact on my own kids, who never really had a chance to know her,” said Brandon Day. “The Connie Fund and its work allows them a chance to see what their grandmother was like. To see her commitment to youth, community, and making a difference in your hometown. They know her giving spirit and generosity as a result, which is something I hope they learn from and carry on into their own futures.”