Ivywild, Midland schools benefit from real-estate firm’s philanthropy

       Crescent Real Estate, which has funded thousands of dollars worth of scholarships, books, field trips, individual teacher grants, supplies and other needs at Ivywild School for the past three years, has moved to Midland for a similar three-year plan.
       That brings a smile to the face of Midland Principal Barbara Bishop. “Crescent has been absolutely wonderful so far,” she said. “At Halloween, they brought cupcakes for all the kids.”
       Larger-scale benefaction is coming this month in teacher grants for classroom supplies and, later this year, a possible marquee to go in front of the school, she said.
       The marquee, which would be lit and two-sided, would let people driving by the school on Broadway Street know what's happening at the school. “This will encourage parent involvement and attendance at student events,” Bishop said.
       Another reason for a marquee is that the building doesn't face the street. When Midland was built 56 years ago, a public street perpendicular to Broadway was supposed to go in front of the school, but it was never built, Bishop said.
       Crescent is not on the Westside. It is located at the north end of Colorado Springs, off Research Parkway and Highway 83. The Westside schools were chosen for “partnerships” as a result of the company's research into the neediest schools in the area, according to Lauri Gloria, Crescent administrative assistant.
       “Ivywild is a school with a great deal of transition and a lot of kids from the Red Cross shelter,” Gloria said. “Midland has a general need, and we like its IB (International Baccalaur-eate) program. We try to help there.”
       The benevolence is in keeping with a like policy at Crescent's 70 real-estate firms across the country, she said. The local Crescent's money comes from a 10 percent surcharge on vendors' sales inside the 5-story, blue-glass Crescent-owned building that can be seen from I-25, Gloria said. The business also helps two Denver schools.
       The amount spent per year at a chosen school is about $3,000. Representa-tives of Crescent work with the school on what the needs are. For instance, during the past three years at Ivywild, it was discovered that a number of children were coming to school in clothes that were wet and dirty. So Crescent bought Ivywild a washer/dryer.
       Crescent's philanthropic efforts earned it a Volunteer of the Year award this fall from the Colorado Association of Partners in Education (CAPE).

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