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Agency - Education Foundation for Billings Public Schools

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Education Foundation for Billings Public Schools
Last updated on April 20, 2016


The mission of the Education Foundation is to enhance educational opportunities in the Billings Public Schools.

Through endowments, scholarships, grants, and specific projects, the Education Foundation provides financial resources for students and educators in Billings Public Schools. The Foundation works in cooperation with the public school system, but operates independently. Major activities include:

  • Saturday Live
On the last Saturday in September, more than 15,000 people annually attend Saturday Live, a day-long, all-district outdoor carnival benefiting all Billings public schools. This family-oriented event brings hundreds of volunteers, parents, educators, and business leaders together for the largest school carnival in the country. Since 1993, Saturday Live has raised over $1,000,000 for Billings public schools.

  • Classroom Grants
The Foundation offers grants to educators in Billings Public Schools to encourage innovation and excellence in the schools. Applicants must demonstrate effective instruction methods that inspire students to learn. The program has provided seed money for material costs and curriculum development enabling projects to continue long past the initial funding.

  • Partners in Education (connecting businesses and schools)
The purpose of Partners in Education (PIE) is to encourage individual businesses and schools to develop partnerships with each other. Examples of how businesses have successfully partnered with schools include:
  • Assisting with a school event
  • Providing volunteer tutors
  • Helping fundraise for an event or program.
  • Offering rewards to the student of the month.

  • Scholarships
The Foundation manages scholarship funds for both students and educators. Scholarship opportunities range from the Dewey Hanson, the Langlas Scholarship, and the Peter and Zellah Yegen awards for high school students to the Roger Eble and Jim Rickard awards for educators.

  • Reading Rocks!
This is a summer literacy program that provides reading opportunities in the city parks and is designed to reverse low-income students' loss of reading achievement during the summer. The program offers reading activities in conjunction with the Billings Public Schools Free Lunch in the Parks program, serving 41,000 meals to children in six parks. Volunteers and staff set up a tent, and special storytellers read to the children. The children also read a book aloud with a friend or a volunteer and take a book home along with a prize.

  • Summer Reading Lists for Students
During the summer, low-income students lose several months in reading skills because, on average, they read less than their middle class peers. These losses in reading skills are not regained in the fall. With a grant from Conoco, the Foundation distributes a list of suggested summer reading to students to encourage summer reading.

  • Alumni Data Base
The Foundation keeps a database of Billings West and Billings Senior High graduates, and it has completed updated alumni directories. The Foundation hopes to help publish a directory for Skyview and put together a Skyview data base.
  • Teacher workshops
The Foundation sponsors workshops and speakers to help teachers to stay current in teaching techniques. Examples are technology and grantwriting workshops.

  • Special Projects
The Foundation has participated in special projects such as renovation of the Senior High Fitness Center, fundraising for the arts through the Magic City Blues Fest, and bringing in special speakers to the schools.

The Education Foundation was incorporated in 1988 by concerned citizens and educators who recognized the need to enhance educational opportunities for Billings students. The Foundation is governed by a board of 19 community leaders and has two part-time staff members.

Contact person: Julie Whitworth, Program Coordinator, (phone), (email)


 415 N. 30th Street
Billings, MT 59101
(See a map)

Web Site: http://www.efbps.org
Last updated on April 20, 2016

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