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Prairie School Foundation Mourns the Passing of Joyce Anderson

The Prairie School Foundation was formed in 1981 and Joyce's late husband, John, was a charter member of the board and served as its first President. Joyce also served as President of the foundation board in 1992. She was the recipient of the Pride of Prairie Award in 1987. The
award is presented annually by the Prairie School Foundation to recognize and show appreciation for individuals who exemplify the spirit of and a commitment to Prairie Schools.

Joyce volunteered for 53 years in the Prairie School system. Most of her time was spent at Prairie View where she worked in the library assisting children with learning in many ways, including being one of the first to teach children computer skills.

Joyce established the Reading is Forever endowed fund with the Prairie School Foundation in February of 2020. The primary purpose of the fund is to provide assistance to purchase books for all students K-4 who are unable to do so because of limited family financial resources. The
secondary purpose of the fund is to assist with purchasing warm clothing for ELL students who often arrive at Prairie from warmer climates. The Reading is Forever Fund balance is currently in excess of $80,000.

Joyce passed away on June 18th, 2024 in Cedar Rapids. Her commitment to Prairie Students will live in perpetuity through her Reading is Forever Fund.

Foundation Society Breakfast 2023

Our annual Foundation Society Breakfast was held on November 6th, 2023. While eating a delicious breakfast catered by LJ's Catering, Foundation Members and Donors enjoyed remarks by Superintendent Dr. Doug Wheeler, and Keynote Speaker Kenyon Murray. We also presented our annual Philanthropy and Pride of Prairie Awards. For more details on the Award Winners and Speakers, see our Facebook Page!

The Winners of this years Philanthropy Awards:

  • Holmes Murphy
  • Debbie Erenberger

Pride of Prairie Award Winner:

  • Scott Slezak


Big Check Presentation 2023

Members for the Prairie School Foundation board of directors presented a
Big Check to Superintendent Doug Wheeler on Homecoming night 2023. The
check represents $84,500.00 that has been earmarked for the enhancement of the
excellent educational opportunities in all of the Prairie schools.

The Foundation provides funding for essential items that are simply not
available from the regular school budget. In addition, the Foundation administers
Eleven scholarships for graduating Prairie High school seniors.

The Foundation is only able to make these investments in Prairie Schools
because people like you support our annual Kids Fund drive and our events like
Prairie Fest, and the Prairie Hawk Golf Challenge.

The Prairie School Foundation would like to sincerely thank the members of
the Prairie Community for your generous support. Our mission is Collaborating
for Sustained Excellence in Education.

Ying Ying Chen Educator IMPACT Award Presentation

The family of the late Ying Ying Chen announced the establishment of the Ying Ying Chen Educator IMPACT Award in 2021 to honor the memory and distinguished career of Ying at Prairie. She served as an elementary school Principal and later as a District Administrator.

The award recognizes an educator who embodies Ying’s passion for learning and commitment to students, staff, and colleagues. The recipient of the award receives a $1,000 stipend to support an educational project.

The three finalists for the 2022 IMPACT Award included: Allison Gates a teacher/librarian at Creek; Joint applicants, Kim Heckart and Becky Sorg teachers at Ridge and Kristen Jennerjohn a special education teacher at Hill.

The winner of this year’s award was Kristen Jennerjohn. Kristen is a Special Education Teacher at Prairie Hill Elementary. Her students include those who are completely non-speaking, others who struggle to express their thoughts and others who don’t easily understand what is being said. Kristen plans to use her award to purchase TouchChat with Word Power a Peer to Peer communication system to enhance communication between her students, their teachers and

Past Articles: 
PSF Director's Visit to Prairie Delta 2019
PSF Supports a New Endeavor 2019
Allocations Committee Meets 2019
Prairie School Foundation Presents a Big Check 2019
Music to Our Ears 2018-2019

Gifts of appreciated Stock.  A way to benefit while doing good. 
Prairie Agriculture Education and FFA Kick Off Event

Zio Johno's Fundraiser is a Success

Gifts of Appreciated Stock


Prairie Fest is the Prairie School Foundation’s most popular and…
The Prairie Hawk Golf Challenge is a great way to entertain friends…


Prairie School Foundation
401 76th Avenue SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404-7034
Phone: (319) 848-5200 Ext. 2019