Manlius, N.Y. (NCC News) — Machu Picchu, Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Egypt: Students taking archeology classes at Fayetteville-Manlius High School visited these famous excavation sites, and more, without leaving their school due to the F-M Education Foundation. The science department recently received one of the foundation’s grants to purchase virtual reality headsets to strengthen its archeology curriculum.
Grants like these are partially funded by 10 restaurants participating in the third annual Fayetteville-Manlius Dining Week, which began on Monday. The program benefits both local businesses and local students, as participating restaurants gain extra publicity and new clientele. Each location then donates a portion of its profits throughout the week to the Foundation at no extra cost to customers.
Volunteers, including parents and community members, run the F-M Education Foundation, a local nonprofit. The Foundation aims to help F-M teachers enhance educational opportunities for their students, according to its president, Tracy Romano.
“We came together as a group to fund their ideas and bring them to reality in the classroom,” Romano said. “We help out teachers who want to do things in their classrooms that the school budget just doesn’t allow.”
Local businesses, such as Stingers Pizza Pub, also benefit from F-M Dining Week. Stingers, located in Manlius, participated in the fundraiser for the first time last year. Dining Week helped Stingers attract more Fayetteville customers, according to General Manager Jaclyn Tesori.
“It’s increased business,” Tesori said. “We’ve gotten a lot more of the Fayetteville crowd than we did before.”
Tesori is hopeful that this year’s F-M Dining Week will have a similar effect on business.
“It just seems like people are very excited that we are a part of it again this year,” she said. “More people look forward to this type of thing, so I think we’ll get more than we did last year for sure.”
Dining Week is the F-M Education Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year, raising one-fifth of its total grant budget, according to Romano.
“We’re able to fund at least one or two grants in the school district, bringing in about $3,000,” Romano said.
She added, “The money goes directly right into the classroom. As soon as it comes into our bank account, it’s turned around and is impacting the students in the district.”