John P. Custis, Esq. and Robert Smith of Monument Sotheby’s International Realty announced today that they have embarked on a fundraising effort to bring STEM Centers and educational curriculum to benefit the students of the Accomack County School System. Custis and Smith have partnered with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF), a national non-profit organization impacting over one million kids across the country each year, and is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2021.
The goal is to raise at least $150,000 to open new STEM Centers for Kegotank Elementary School and Arcadia Middle School, as well as a Community Enhancement Project to engage volunteers and community members at Arcadia High School. To date, Custis and Smith have already raised enough to implement one of the STEM Centers, and are on their way to raising the rest. Additional projects are possible, depending on the funds raised.
Over the last 20 years, the Ripken Foundation has provided healthy sports and educational programs, resources, training, and support to community-based youth organizations and schools across the country that directly impact the lives of underserved kids. Over the last four years, the Foundation saw a need and delivered 71 STEM Centers in elementary and middle schools. They also worked with corporate partners and their employees to complete over 50 Community Enhancement Projects.
When it comes to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), CRSF has created a program that makes STEM activities and learning easy to implement including turn-key STEM centers in over a dozen states for students to learn in an environment that inspires a new generation of innovators. Each Ripken STEM Center comes fully equipped with the latest technology, the Ripken Foundation STEM Center Curriculum Guidebook for mentors and teachers, and customizable tool kits that include hundreds of hands-on activities for kids. Then the Community Enhancement Projects focus on fitness renovations and/or nutritional health, and consists of various elements depending on the size, scope, and specific needs of each partner and school.
John Custis said, “We are excited about the possibilities and we have seen first hand what the work of the Ripken Foundation can mean to kids everywhere. Our project is off to a terrific start and interest in getting us over the finish line is high. I am proud to be personally contributing to such a necessary and worthwhile cause and hope others in and around our community will join me.”