The Cardinal Fund

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At an all-class Arlington High School Homecoming celebration attended by hundreds of proud graduates in September 2017, the District 214 Education Foundation formally launched The Cardinal Fund.

The conversation among those gathered for that announcement, made amid applause in the grand Grace Gymnasium, was that this fund will maintain the long-standing ideals that were, and are, Arlington.

Although the building closed in 1984, it impacted thousands of lives, and continues to impact the lives of those who once walked its halls.

But, as a 1984 graduate told the homecoming crowd, there will come a time when the last has passed. When no Arlington graduates remain.

And when that time comes, he asked, what will Arlington's legacy be?

The Cardinal Fund allows an opportunity to create a lasting legacy: one that will be a constant reminder of the years when another great high school -- District 214's first -- was an indelible part of the community. A school so impactful that the community contributions made by its teachers, staff, students and proud alumni will live in perpetuity. Forever.

The District 214 that Arlington graduates grew up in is not the District 214 that exists now. The District has grown and changed; our schools are nationally recognized, and ranked consistently as some of the best and most challenging in the state and the nation. Our students are leaving school prepared for 21st century careers in a future we can't imagine.

But more than one in four of our students live in poverty. And so many more come from families who struggle to make ends meet.

It is here that The Cardinal Fund will realize its legacy. Through this fund, the District 214 Education Foundation will cover costs critical to student futures: the cost of advanced placement tests that can position students for greater success and reduce the cost of a postsecondary education; the cost of early career credentials in areas like healthcare, manufacturing and IT that ensure students are poised for career success.

These tests can cost between $50 and $300. To many of our families, that price tag is overwhelming. The Cardinal Fund can have a direct, tangible impact on student lives, just as Arlington High School did for decades.

Join us in creating a lasting legacy for our community. Go Cards!

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