I can’t state strongly enough how important IPEI is to the students of the Ithaca schools. IPEI is behind so much that enriches and excites the daily experiences of so many students throughout the district.

— ICSD Teacher
  • Turning Twenty in 2016

    IMG_2435 (1)Twenty years ago a group of local citizens including business people, parents and educators saw the need for more community connections and private relationships in support of the Ithaca City School District.

    The Ithaca Public Education Initiative was incorporated as a not-for-profit with 501(c)(3) status in 1996 as a vehicle to facilitate access to our community’s resources that can help ensure the success of district students. IPEI volunteers, board members and staff continue to support teachers and community members seeking to enhance the education of every student.

    This mission remains manifest in IPEI’s oldest program: Teacher Grants for individual teachers fund innovative educational projects that involve a community partner and that cannot be funded through tax dollars.

    In addition, IPEI has sought to foster school and community connections by creating additional grant programs, collaborations, affiliates, and initiatives.

    As IPEI turns 20, there is much to be proud of, and even more to look forward to as we continue to expand and improve our support for innovation and creativity. Our third decade will engage a new generation of local volunteers and community partners to continue the mission by increasing opportunities throughout the ICSD.

    Jennifer Engel was a member of the task force that became the first IPEI board, and she continues as an active volunteer and supporter. Reflecting on IPEI’s evolution and its potential, she expressed, “The possibilities are endless! As IPEI turns 20, we can think about ‘what’s next?’ and how to continue our role making sure that education in Ithaca is the very best it can be.”

    Turning Twenty in 2016: Between 1996 and 2016, IPEI made 1,700 grants and awards totaling approximately $1.6 million,  due to the community’s generous support! 

    If you have a great idea for IPEI and its role working with the ICSD, please contact us.

    Fifteen and Forward

    In 2011, IPEI celebrated its 15th year with a community event in October. IPEI had awarded more than 1,000 grants totaling over $1,000,000 – an astonishing record of success.  It is a testament not only to the dedication and commitment of the many volunteers who serve on its board, volunteer on its various committees, help to organize its annual Adult Spelling Bee fundraising event, and contribute in many ways both tangible and intangible; but also to the outstanding commitment of the entire Ithaca community to educational excellence.

    A video was shown to event attendees telling the story of IPEI’s founding and first 15 years: