St. Augustine Woman's Journal - Educational Resource to the Women of St. Johns County Since 2009

Donna Lueders

 

August 1, 2017 | View PDF

Donna Lueders, Executive Director at Investing in Kids (INK)

Donna Lueders has been the Executive Director at Investing in Kids (INK) for 11 years. Her passion and drive enables the teachers and students to enhance their learning experience throughout the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD).

"There is a need to provide assistance within our education system. Often time's teachers spend up to $600 of their own money to get materials for their classrooms so students can participate in hands on learning. Personally that drives me to take action to support one of our community's most vulnerable assets."

Donna's leadership has given programs a jump start within our community. Tools 4 Schools, for example, allows the public to participate in donating thousands of school supplies for students in the SJCSD. Other programs INK manages are FLY (Five Years of Learning, Take Stock in Children, and the Teacher of the Year Celebration all aimed at philanthropically advancing children to reach their highest potential. Donna has an extensive background of being a true advocate for the youth in the community.

"Seeing these programs in action is truly a gift upon itself. Witnessing the community actively participating in the fundamental growth has been a reward upon their investment. People want to see our youth thrive in our community. I know INK can be that change in education and lifestyle. This program reinvents the idea of philanthropy to a whole other level. I fully believe we are what we put into programs for a better future and community."

During her tenure, Donna has learned two things. First, kids love to learn. Unfortunately, some children begin school not prepared to take on the learning challenge. If this issue is not addressed early on, these students struggle throughout their education often resorting to disruptive behavior to cover their shortfall. Secondly, teachers love to teach but there is a lack adequate funding and supplies to provide for hands on learning in the classroom. That is where Donna, along with the INK leadership team, work to help students in the SJCSD reach their highest potential. Regrettably, INK cannot do it alone and must ask for our community's generosity. One major source of funding that helps INK reach its fundraising goal is through the annual Boot Scootin' Bar-B-Q event on September 30 at the St Augustine Rod and Gun Club. Guests will enjoy tasty barbecue from local pitmasters, Smokin' D's and Mojo's Old City BBQ. Not to mention the interactive games, live music from the Paper City Hustlers, and so much more country FUN! All of this designed by Donna and the INK team with a "round up" of community support.

"We could never do this alone. Without the effort and the participation of so many people involved we could not reach the level of success this program needs to further advance our school district. We invite everyone to help lift up our student and teacher educational needs... without that lifeline of support we would not have the future in our kids!" For more information on the event and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Davey Hartzel at 904-293-9595 or visit ink-stjohns.org.

 
 

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