The Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation (WASDEF) was established in 2004 when it was created by then-district Business Manager Charles Peterson and Superintendent Patricia Lowry. It was then the district joined the movement in establishing an independent organization led by a volunteer board to help foster the growth and programs of the district by raising private funds.
Local Education Foundations (LEFs) have gained momentum as a powerful vehicle to drive supplemental funding for public education across the country. In Pennsylvania, more than 200 education foundations exist.
Over the last decade, WASDEF has grown in its mission in supporting students across the district by promoting, sponsoring and encouraging educational activities, having generated more than $1.6 million in assets.
In 2010, it hired its first executive director, and since then, the foundation has been able to allocate more than $1 million toward capital projects, programs, initiatives and scholarships through a combination of grants, private donations and EITC contributions. It has joined and partnered with the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Pennsylvania Education Foundations and the National School Foundations Association to help increase its visibility and leverage further growth through the resources those organizations provide.