With Donor Support, The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District Introduces the Our Leaders of Tomorrow Fund


Bethlehem, Pa. (October 26, 2018) – With community donor support, The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District established the Our Leaders of Tomorrow Fund to help empower our future leaders, Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) students. This fund supports BASD’s launching of the Leader in Me initiative, which incorporates Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and other basic leadership skills into the elementary core curriculum in unique and creative ways. It will also sponsor projects at all sixteen BASD elementary schools that enhance the school environment, stand to benefit as many children within the building as possible, and fall outside those items typically funded by the district. Projects will be proposed by schools’ Leaders of Tomorrow, a select group of Leader In Me students from each elementary school tasked with putting 2 to 3 ideas forward. These ideas will then be voted on by all students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Schools can receive up to $1,000 for these projects. While a funded project may not directly enhance the curriculum, the collaboration between the Our Leaders of Tomorrow students and their teachers as they develop these ideas and proposals provides an invaluable learning experience. In addition, the school wide vote empowers students while building community and increasing school spirit.

The Our Leaders of Tomorrow Fund was initiated by Bethlehem Area School District school board member, Karen Beck Pooley in the Fall of 2017. Karen reached out to The Foundation for the BASD to discuss the opportunity of introducing a fund for the district that mirrored one her father established in New York honoring her mother. “This student-led process and these incredible projects that will really enhance BASD elementary schools are exactly what we were hoping to see from this program!  I’m very excited to see this effort grow in the years ahead”, said Karen Beck Pooley.

With donor support from the Beck Family Charitable Fund and Al and Jill Douglas, the fund was launched in the spring of 2018 supporting projects for the 2018/2019 school year. As great supporter for the Leader in Me program in elementary schools across the Lehigh Valley, Al and Jill Douglas were confident their support would benefit the young leaders in the Bethlehem Area School District. Additional support from EM Utility Contractors, will support future projects. “Synergizing empowers leaders to take action to accomplish something worthwhile which is exactly what this program offers the students of BASD,” said Al Douglass.

Our Leaders of Tomorrow projects funded during this first year of the program range from playground equipment that supports all students, including those with special needs to a rolling STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) cart to share among classrooms during indoors recess. Below is the complete list of Our Leaders of Tomorrow funded projects for the 2018/2019 school year:


Asa Packer, Fountain Hill and William Penn Elementary Schools – New recess equipment that encourages a community of teamwork and cooperation across all grade levels.

Calypso Elementary School – The Little Free Library Program at Calypso supports the reading by grade 3 initiative and will provide an opportunity for families to have access to books during the weekends, school breaks including summer.

Clearview Elementary School – Pets for Everyone will provide opportunities for each classroom to understand the responsibility of owning and raising classroom pets.

Farmersville Elementary School – Two after-school programs will be offered to supporting academics and intramural program; the Homework/Extra Help Club and the FUN Club (Speed Cup Stacking, Chess, Basketball, etc.)

Freemansburg Elementary School – In memory of two students, an outside memory garden will be developed for outside lunches and outdoor instruction time.

Governor Wolf Elementary School – Students will enjoy the existing outdoor classroom more with the Sun Shade Sail providing shade on hot, sunny days.

Hanover Elementary School – All students, including those with special needs will enjoy the Bongo Panel playground equipment that will be easily accessible for wheelchairs.

James Buchanan Elementary School – To support our environment and provide inclusion for all students, the playground area will include a Buddy Bench and garbage cans.

Lincoln Elementary School – Adding color and some positivity with a Cafeteria Makeover, positive-behavior will be rewarded during lunch hours including a VIP table and rewards.

Miller Heights Elementary School – A traveling cart of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) activities will be created and used during indoor recess.

Spring Garden Elementary School – Materials will be provided to create a structured environment for students to work together and collaborate on activities in unstructured environments like recess and lunch.

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School – To expand the school’s makerspace, a Cozmo which is a robotic pet will teach the class about taking care of a pet like creature and basic coding.



Information provided to TVL by:
Barbara Clymer
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools
Bethlehem Area School District
1516 Sycamore Street
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18017