Durango Education Foundation

Taking education beyond the basics...

DEF develops resources to promote achievement, innovation, and excellence throughout Durango School District 9-R.
Grants: In 2016, DEF awarded more than $102,000 in grants to educators. Visit our Grants information page and apply now for 2017 grants.
New for 2017: All grant evaluations can now be completed online. More information and links to forms on the Evaluations page. 
Scholarships: Check out our scholarship opportunities. The deadline to apply for most is February 1. 
Recognition: DEF recognizes inspiring educators with the help of nominations from the education and general community. Click here to learn more.
Alumni: DEF is proud to host the Durango High School Alumni Association. Read more here.
Advocacy: DEF understands and articulates the issues facing public educators today. 
Engagement: DEF connects the community and educators to find creative solutions to today's education challenges. 
Resource Development: DEF funds our programs through several revenue streams. The most important is individual donations--please include DEF in your charitable giving. Thank you. 
Our work is made possible by the generosity of many. Will you help us, too?


D.E.F. News Briefs

News! Durango High School Alumni Association launching two awards this year
The DHS Alumni Association is proud to present two awards this year, one for the Distinguished Student and another for the Distinguished Alumnus. Both awards will be given annually. For each, recognition will include a place of honor on one of the DHSAA banners that will be installed on the school campus. The alumnus will receive a commemorative plaque; the student will receive a $1500 monetary award to be paid to the post-secondary school or program of choice. Both recipients will be honored at a banquet (date t.b.a.). Read more...
Local artists partner with Sticks & Stones Handmade to offer unique "Ornaments for Education"
Through December 24, Sticks & Stones Handmade (734 Main Ave) sold ornaments contributed by local artists to benefit arts education programs funded through DEF. Ornaments sold out in 2015, and proceeds helped DEF to fund art supplies for students entering the Durango Arts Center Creativity Festivity.
Durango High School now has an Alumni Association
A strong collaboration between Durango School District 9-R, DHS itself, DEF, and a group of dedicated volunteers has joined forces to launch the new Durango High School Alumni Association. Its mission is far more than a reunion connector; the organizers hope that association members will help young alumni with post-secondary school and career transitions, offer professional expertise to DHS teachers, and recognize alumni who are making a positive mark on the world and students who demonstrate integrity, passion, perseverance and charisma.
First order of business: Develop membership. We encourage all DHS alumni to register on the DHS Alumni Directory page to connect with friends and get the Association's news. Next: The Association is raising money for a Distinguished Alumni Award and an award (to be named) for an outstanding student. You can donate to this cause on the DEF giving page--just note your intention for the gift in the Comments field box at the bottom of the page.
Hour of Code engages almost 1000 students in Durango schools
Think Network Technologies (Durango, CO) added an incentive boost to this year's Hour of Code event at several Durango 9-R schools. Elementary students at Park and Sunnyside schools received colorful certificates, and middle schoolers at Escalante and Miller drew names for mini-scholarships to continue learning to code through online programs. But the incentives were only part of the story--with thousands of software design jobs going begging, the students also got a first-hand experience with their potential future careers. Did we mention they had fun, too? All the better. Thank you, Think Network Technologies, LLC, CEO Melissa Glick and engineer Jonell Jones for making this such an appealing event.
Matlock Furniture 2016 promotions gathered more than $11,000 
Customers at Matlock Furniture gave and got in one transaction this year, in spring and fall promotions at the store. Donating to DEF earned them between 15-25% off their orders--and DEF gained generous support for the foundation's classroom grants program. We are so grateful for the generosity of the Matlocks and their clients!
Durango Mall gives for books
Durango Mall stores all participated in the mall's Back to School event this summer to raise awareness of Durango 9-R classroom needs. Their efforts resulted in a generous donation from Durango Mall owners to support primary book programs. We thank all participants for this loyal support!
Connect in the classroom: Become a D.E.F. Fellow!
Today’s educators are expected to cover a daunting breadth of topics, so they welcome volunteers with focused expertise to provide classroom or program enrichment. The Durango Education Foundation Fellows program connects Durango School District 9-R educators with community members willing to share knowledge and time with students. Would you be one of them? Visit www.def-fellows.org and register to be a Fellow today.
    Photos this page courtesy of Durango School District 9-R, Durango High School art students, Sunnyside Elementary yearbook staff (5th graders), and D.E.F.