Bright Minds, Bright Futures

The Bright Minds Foundation serves Howard County as the independent, nonprofit educational foundation for the school system. After 10 years, the foundation continues to expand its efforts following the mission statement: “We support education, aspirations and the opportunity to succeed for all students in the Howard County Public School System.”

“The Bright Minds Foundation ensures that all the opportunities from this great school system are available to everybody,” said Bright Minds Foundation Executive Director Pat Sasse. “Our programs support HCPSS’ strategic plan, Vision 2018, to educate all our students.” Bright Minds pursues the major initiatives listed below and more.

Computers for Students

Over the years, Bright Minds has donated more than 1,000 computers to students and families who otherwise would not have this tool at home. The program has ensured that disadvantaged students can cross the digital divide to succeed and their parents have access to school Bright Minds, Bright Futures information online. Participating families attend workshops on financial literacy, online research tools and general Internet basics.

Staff and Teacher Grants

Since its inception, Bright Minds has invested nearly $120,000 in enrichment programs around Howard County through its competitive Staff and Teacher Grant program. The grants enable HCPSS educators to offer classroom enrichment projects, ranging from STEM activities like geocaching to original music compositions by students. The Bright Minds 2016–2017 Staff and Teacher grants totaled nearly $25,000, with grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 each.

Driving Student Success

Bright Minds launched Driving Student Success in November 2015 to increase the number of activity buses available to students in after-school programs who needs a ride home afterward. Bright Minds has funded extra buses at seven schools since last January.

Alumni Association

Bright Minds is leading the creation of a districtwide HCPSS alumni association with the support of a volunteer task force. A preliminary survey and feasibility study was completed by a team from the 2016 Howard County Leadership Essentials class as a starting point.

Bright Minds board and contributors support HCPSS through private funding.

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