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Mary Lyon Foundation Updates

Calling Our Community to Action for Student Success

We take our name from the pioneering 19th-century educator, Mary Lyon, a Buckland native and the founder of Mt. Holyoke College in 1837, who devoted her life to providing access to education for everyone. Her words, spoken roughly 150 years ago, “Go where no one else will go. Do what no one else will do.” still resonate today as the Foundation works tirelessly to prepare our students to learn, succeed and thrive.

What does it take to prepare a student for success?  It takes our entire community to give each and every year so that we have the funds to meet the needs of our students and families.  Our rural school district is geographically the largest and the poorest in the Commonwealth.  Pervasive hardship is demonstrated by 21.5% of our students living below the federal poverty level (compared to 6.3% in Franklin County).  Working parents in the lowest tax bracket do not earn a living wage, as evidenced by the fact that 54% of our students qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches. 

Your gifts to our annual fund help us meet the extraordinary challenges so many of our students and families face every day, thereby enabling them to come to school warm, fed, and ready to learn. We are the only organization in Western Franklin County that provides these on-the-ground, comprehensive services to our youth and families.  Social service agencies in Greenfield rely on the Foundation to help deliver their services to our students and families. 

Through your support, the Foundation helps families with food insecurity; utilities and rent; transportation costs; before- and after-school care; medical, dental, optical, & psychological care; internet access and laptops; clothing; winter gear; boots and backpacks; school supplies; and books. Children also receive presents during the holidays, and we feed 154 people every other Tuesday through our grocery delivery program. Because of your giving, no family or person is turned away when they need help. 

Your support will make the difference right now, right here at home, where your dollars have the greatest impact on those who need it the most.  Your gift, no matter the size, makes a difference!  We all benefit when our children and families thrive, for they are our future.  Please consider joining me in supporting the Mary Lyon Foundation. 

Laurie Benoit
Chair, Board of Trustees
Co-Chair, Comprehensive Campaign Committee