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Lanier cluster foundation launch

Parents and teachers in an area of northern Gwinnett County Saturday are celebrating the launch of the six-school cluster's own foundation.

The Lanier Cluster Foundation has scheduled a launch party for the area's first-ever foundation to fund academic endeavors not covered by the Gwinnett County School System's budget.

Made up of staff, faculty and administrators from the schools as well as parents with children in the cluster, the Lanier Cluster Foundation will "help support academic initiatives for the schools."

Lisa Ramsay, foundation president, said it can also pursue "grants for projects that are necessary for academic pursuits."

After choosing to split from the North Gwinnett Cluster, Ramsay said the Lanier Foundation started in March with funds already in place.

"North Gwinnett was very generous," Ramsay said. "They gave us some starter funds."

Saturday's launch party for the Lanier Cluster is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. at Lanier Springs Clubhouse. Ramsay said it's very much a "thank you" to the community for support.

"Without the support of the community, we're nothing," she said.

There are more than a dozen cluster-based foundations in the Gwinnett County Public School System as well as an umbrella GCPS Foundation.

The role of the overall GCPS Foundation is to look out for the system as a whole as it applies for state and federal grants as well as corporate donors.

Donors can give money to the GCPS Foundation, which can earmark dollars for a specific cluster.

The six schools in the Lanier Cluster include The Buice School, Sycamore, White Oak and Sugar Hill elementary schools, Lanier Middle and Lanier High School.

For more information on the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund, visit www.gcps-foundation.org.