Rome native launches Front of the Class charity

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A new educational charity, Front of the Class, has been launched by Rome native Bill McCormick to help fund items that are generally outside most school budgets.

The 501(c)(3) charity helps provide funding for classroom supplies, backpacks of school supplies for students, and seminars on heroin risks, according to an announcement by McCormick, its president.

He is a 1982 Rome Free Academy graduate who lives in South Salem, Westchester County, with his wife and four sons.

Front of the Class has already brought two of its programs to the Rome area, the announcement said. Its Meet the Need for Teachers program helps teachers pay for classroom supplies through a crowdfunding, fundraising platform; crowdfunding involves generating funding by seeking many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. The program so far has helped teachers in the Rome school district and in Rochester, Charlotte and Tampa, the announcement said.

As part of its Meet the Need for Students Backpack program, Front of the Class will provide backpacks of school supplies to the Rome school district for the start of the school year next September. In addition, 100 such backpacks were delivered last month to the Adirondack school district, the announcement said. The program, paid through product donations, grants and public fundraising, provides backpacks to needy students in upstate and Westchester County communities.

Also, McCormick’s niece Lyndon Hall and her friend Samantha Tardugno, both Rome Free Academy seniors, are selling wristbands for Front of the Class’ Stop the Heroin Heartbreak Program, which sponsors preventative seminars, the announcement said.

“Starting Front of the Class has been a challenge, but also a lot of fun,” said McCormick. “It’s been great to get the next generation involved and to see their excitement in giving back. I am also really pleased to bring our programs to my hometown of Rome and Central New York.”

For more information on programs and making donations, visit www.frontoftheclass.us online.

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