Keyword for this page: PEF

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PEF "Spotlight"


Find It & Fund It Polk, established in February 2015, is an interactive online portal for Polk County Public and Charter School classrooms, which allows teachers to post projects and classroom ideas which need funding and provides an opportunity for members of the community to support local classroom work by making donations towards these requests.

Building the Foundation of Knowledge


Thanks to Wells Fargo, we are offering a $50 Match Opportunity: The first 20 projects receiving a single donation of $50 or more will receive a $50 match until the matching funds run out. This is a great way to maximize your contribution.

Wells Fargo

How The Community Can Help: 

The window for teachers to post projects for the 2016 - 2017 school year opened August 26 and teachers can post requests until September 30. If you are interested in funding a project, follow the link to access the Find It & Fund It Polk website. Donations can be made through October 21. Projects can be found by searching according to Teacher, School, or Category. Partial and full funding is accepted. All donations made to this program are tax-deductable. Once a donation is made, money will be sent to the Polk Education Foundation, and then the Foundation will disperse the funds to the individual teachers through their school. Please note that if a teacher receives partial funding and cannot complete the original project, that teacher may use the donated money to fund a similar classroom project.

Enjoying Weekly Readers History is a Mystery

Students using Weekly Readers/ Enjoying new historical fiction books!

Both participating teachers received funding through the Find It Fund It portal.

Polk Education Foundation ranked badge
#17 out of top 100 Education Foundations in the Nation!

In the 2014 report "Stepping Up: The Top K-12 Education Foundations in the Nation" conducted by Dewey & Associates, the Polk Education Foundation (PEF) ranked #6 in Florida, and #17 in the nation, when compared against education foundations from like sized school districts.. Performance categories used to do the comparative study were:revenues, revenues per student, assets, assets per student, grant and program expenses, grant and program expenses per student, investment income and volunteers. When compared against Foundations with similar revenues, the PEF ranked #2 in the nation. Read the complete report here. View Polk Education Foundation's national rankings here.

Just One for the Kids PCSB
Employee Payroll Deduction

Give “Just One for the Kids” and help the PEF raise money for student and teacher programs in Polk County. If every employee gave just one dollar per week, we could raise over $600,000 towards helping promote education in our district! Click on the Just One for the Kids button at the top of the to make an online donation or click here to use our payroll deduction card.

About Us

Polk Education Foundation LogoThe Polk Education Foundation was created in 1988, as a 501 C 3 direct-support organization for the Polk County School Board. The Foundation serves as the fiscal agent and manager of many educational programs for Polk County Schools. We serve to enhance educational programs for students with private and corporate funds. Led by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of community, educational and business leaders, the Foundation has raised and spent over $34 million dollars.

Vision Statement

The vision of the Polk Education Foundation is to help enhance public school programs and to help students reach their educational goals.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Polk Education Foundation is to establish a proactive partnership
between the community and the public school system to link community resources with the
educational needs of its students through reading and mentoring programs, scholarships,
school grants and other educational endeavors.


  • Sensitize the community to the needs of local schools and students.
  • Develop and enhance educational programs and initiatives for students.
  • Raise significant financial support for local schools and help to underwrite countywide programs for students.
  • Challenge parents, business leaders and the extended community to become involved in and be supportive of their local schools, their students and the district's education foundation.

2014-15 Annual Report

2014-2015 Financial Documents

Click Here to View the 2014-2015 PEF Financial Audit

Click Here to View the 2014-2015 PEF Form 990

Contact Information

Address - 1530 Shumate Drive, Bartow, FL 33830
Phone - (863) 534-0519
Fax - (863) 519-3791

Staff Listing

All phone number area codes are (863)

Name: Title: Phone:
Susan Copeland Executive Director 534-0434
Shirley Brosie Accountant Specialist 534-5073
Shannan Combee Grants Manager, Teacher to Teacher Connection Program Director 534-0803
Brenda Baxley Administrative Secretary 534-0519

Cheryl Arrington

Take Stock in Children, College Success Coach 519-8076
Lindsay Heruska Take Stock in Children, Program Advisor 519-8077
Steve Chapman AmeriCorps Polk Reads, Program Director 519-8638

Visit our Staff Directory to contact any staff member via e-mail

Polk Education Foundation
Board of Directors


Name: Title: Organization:
Kathryn Koch President Lanier Upshaw
Tracy Kimbrough Vice President Baylis and Company, PA
Ken Reeves Secretary/Treasurer ButterKrust Bakery
Jerry Miller Immediate Past President Duke Energy

Board Members

Name: Organization:
Arielle Brodsky State Farm
Jacqueline Byrd Polk County Schools Superintendent
Paula Dockery Cardinal Insurance
Ebbie Sue Doherty W.S. Badcock Corporation
Al Dorsett Community Activist, Magnify Credit Union
Clint Edwards Edwards Chrysler Jeep Dodge
Jenna Emerson Cemex
Mimi Hardman Community Activist
Hollis Hooks Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Jan Mercer-Hyman Bright House Networks
Jarvis Kendrick MIDFLORIDA Credit Union
Harold McLeod SunTrust
Tracy Mouncey Tracy Mouncey and Associates
Steve Petrie Florida Southern College
Cindy Price TECO
Blinda Pullen Bank of America
Emily Rogers Emily Rogers Consulting and Coaching
Sherrin Smyers Eventrics
John Stargel Polk County Circut Judge
Richard Stephens Holland & Knight
Jennie Walker Citizen's Bank & Trust
Steve Warner Florida Polytechnic University
Lynn Wilson Polk County School Board Member
Mary Ruth Wilson Community Activist
Terry Worthington United Way of Central Florida