Family donates $90,000 to Jefferson City school

1 year 1 month 3 weeks ago Friday, August 25 2017 Aug 25, 2017 Friday, August 25, 2017 5:07:00 PM CDT August 25, 2017 in News
By: Claire Kopsky, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - The largest donation to date from the Jefferson City Public Schools Foundation was presented to the Southwest Early Childhood Center in memory of John A. Morris Friday.

When Morris passed away earlier this year, his wife and children decided to donate money in his name to help further early childhood public education in Jefferson City. The late Morris served on the Jefferson City School Board, twice as president. 

Morris’ oldest daughter, Sarah Riddick said, “My father’s spirit is certainly with us. He was a life-long learner and of all of the things he was passionate about, education was the focus. From day one it was education. He was proud to put all five of his children through college and the two girls, there were five us, we’re both educators, which is a direct influence of my father.”

The family decided to donate money to the Southwest Early Childhood Center in Jefferson City.

“We kept coming back to early childhood education because we know that, if you can help children at that special age, before they get to kindergarten, you are going to make such an impact. Statistics are there to show how important this is."

Riddick said her father would be "a little embarrassed" by all the attention the donation is getting.

"This was not his thing, and we’re all a little embarrassed, too, but we decided that, if we could get the world out about how important this program is, a lot of people may not know about it, and early childhood education," she said.

Southwest Early Education Center is part of the Jefferson City Public School System and  serves children ages six weeks through fifth grade, but excludes first and second grades.  Southwest focuses on children with academic and behavioral needs, many of which live in poverty.

The money from the Morris family opened a new classroom, the John A. Morris Classroom and hired a new preschool teacher, bringing 15 more children to the school who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to go to preschool.

Larry Linthacum, superintendent of schools at Jefferson City Public Schools said, “With a generous gift like this, it can be a kick-start. It’s almost overwhelming in how the willingness, the generosity, the givingness of just working together for students and for our community and so it’s a real testament to them and how we can come together and be stronger together.”

The new preschool teacher, Jennifer Boyce, says she’s honored to fill the position opened up by the donation.

Boyce said, “I’m excited to give children an opportunity that they might not have had otherwise to become life-long learners.”

Nicole Langston, principal at Southwest Early Education Center, expressed her gratitude to the foundation and the Morris family.

“The gift to this school is about so much more than 15 kids coming to our school and walking our halls, it’s about our community, it’s about helping each other out, raising kids together and building a stronger community. That’s why we’re so excited about this gift,” she said.

Langston said the donation will have a lasting impact.

"We’re gonna help them be successful when they walk in those kindergarten doors and help them to have this love for life and love for learning and their families to feel that same way.” 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - One person was killed in a crash late Saturday night off Blackfoot Road and Parkside Drive, police said.... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 12:47:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
HERMANN - One person was killed and several people were injured in a crash involving a trolley, according to the... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 11:57:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the US is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 5:11:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Nineteen members of Missouri Task Force One returned to Boone County Fire Protection District headquarters Saturday morning after... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 3:16:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man has been criminally charged days after a woman's body was found near Fellows Lake at... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:58:08 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield woman who killed her live-in boyfriend with a crowbar in 2017 has been sentenced to... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:48:36 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A restored St. Louis prairie of native grasses and flowers is in bloom, but the nature... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 8:50:24 AM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill spoke about health care in Columbia on Friday at Laborers Local 955, as part of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 7:35:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - After realizing the underrepresentation of Hispanic business owners in mid-Missouri, three Hispanic professionals established a group of 12... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - This is the last week of the regular season and it's a cold one. Our game of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA - Two Midwest companies issued separate food recalls this week for bacterial contamination concerns. Hy-Vee said its supplier,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 4:53:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
CAMDEN (AP) — Toxicology tests show that a boater was drunk when he slammed into a bluff at Missouri's Lake... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 3:41:35 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Legion of Black Collegians and the FourFront Marginalized Student Council held a solidarity walk Friday to show... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 3:39:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Medical Association (MSMA), along with multiple medical associations, reaffirmed their opposition to the three... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 2:50:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - For the fourth consecutive year, Project Homeless Connect provided services Friday for people who are experiencing homelessness... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 2:39:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $1 billion, as the second-largest lottery... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 12:10:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police want the public's help finding a man who allegedly ran from a traffic stop after hurting... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 11:42:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Two MU residence halls and an atrium were officially dedicated on Friday honoring three former MU students. Lucile... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 10:09:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
5am 33°
6am 32°
7am 31°
8am 32°