Family’s gift will match staff donations to school foundation

From the AAPS Educational Foundation

A $50,000 donation in memory of the late Dr. James A. Norton Jr. has been made to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation’s One Million Reasons campaign. The gift serves as a matching grant  for AAPS employee donations through Sept. 30.

Proceeds from the One Million Reasons Campaign, including staff contributions, will be directed to the Ann Arbor Public School District’s 2010-11 academic year.

Norton was a mathematician, a researcher and a teacher and was “deeply committed to the struggles for peace, civil rights and social justice,” the Norton family said in a statement.  “We are pleased to be able to make this gift in his memory to support the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation and encourage wider participation in its important work.  …  Ensuring that every person could receive a rich and well-rounded education was, for Dr. Norton, a critical step in securing a more equal and just society.

“He also cherished the opportunity to help young people use the tools of science to enrich their understanding of the complicated world around them.   With two grandchildren attending the Ann Arbor Public Schools, Jim Norton would be very pleased to help spark programs that would ensure an excellent education for all children in this diverse community.”

The matching grant works like this: For each payroll deduction up to $2.99 per pay period, the grant will match that individual’s contribution.  For each payroll deduction of  $3 or more per pay period, it will match 2 to 1.  For example, a staff contribution of $5 will net a $15 contribution to the One Million Reasons campaign.   The matching support will continue until the $50,000 threshold is reached.

Donors can designation one of the following categories and the matching support will follow: Where Most Needed, Arts & Humanities, Math & Science, Early Childhood Education, or College and Career Readiness.  A payroll deduction card can be found on the AAPSEF website or from the AAPS Finance Department office.   The deadline for initiating a payroll deduction donation is Sept. 30.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Todd Roberts said the donation highlights the importance of how the foundation and school district work together.  “Our community sees our great teachers at their important work every day, our teachers see our parents and business leaders lending their support, and now a local family joins the challenge to make our staff’s contributions double, or triple, their impact,” he said. “The grants we receive from AAPSEF really make a difference in our teachers’ work and in our classrooms.”

Community members who wish to support the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation can donate online at, or by sending a check to AAPSEF at 2555 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI, 48104.

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