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Charity Spotlight: Golden Apple Foundation

Golden Apple Foundation

Charity Spotlight: Golden Apple Foundation

Golden Apple Foundation is participating in's Give to Remember project. Throughout the month of December, Legacy will match up to $50,000 in donations made across the entire event. Donate now and maximize your positive impact.

Where did the inspiration for Golden Apple Foundation come from?

Nearly three decades ago, Golden Apple founders Pat and Mike Koldyke were watching the Academy Awards together when Pat commented that society should recognize great teachers as it did great actors: with an awards ceremony. That comment inspired a foundation that has nurtured generations of A+ educators. After giving out awards for a number of years, the Koldykes expanded Golden Apple's scope into programs that share the expertise of award winners and support future educators on their journey into classrooms.

What is Golden Apple Foundation's mission?

Students excel when skilled and motivated teachers are in their classrooms. Golden Apple's mission is to support teachers in Illinois with additional training and mentoring, especially for those who teach at high need schools. These programs enrich the lives of both teachers and students.

In what ways does Golden Apple Foundation directly accomplish this mission?

Golden Apple Scholars is a program that identifies high school seniors who are motivated to become career teachers and provides them with mentoring and additional summer training throughout their college years in exchange for their commitment to teach for five years in a high need school. Most of the scholars come from the same communities they will serve and will be role models for their students.

The Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching have honored 10 outstanding teachers every year since 1986. The award winners then become lifetime members of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators and help shape programs for making teachers more effective in the classroom.

Golden Apple also offers professional development workshops. STEM Institute focuses on teaching science in elementary schools. CORE, or the Center for Ongoing Renewal and Enrichment, is a program to further the career enrichment of Golden Apple Scholars and their colleagues.

What do you hope will be the legacy of Golden Apple Foundation?

Every doctor, lawyer, scientist and CEO was first educated by a teacher. By supporting teachers we hope to improve the lives of everyone they educate. Over time a good teacher can enrich hundreds, even thousands of lives in her or his community.

Click below to visit Legacy's Teachers Memorial, where people honor teachers who made an impact on their lives.