Dear fireflies and Buckeyes,

We launched Buckeye Friends School in the fall of 2019. Named in honor of Craig Lindvahl and his Buckeye story, Craig taught me that it was okay to entrust kids with the freedom to direct their own learning. Craig was my first mentor in education so it’s not surprising that Buckeye is a lot like his CEO program. We offer self-directed-project-based-experiential-learning while removing the walls between our classrooms and community so that our students can explore the various fields that interest them. Our seeds visit businesses, they work together on large projects and individually on personal projects, they present their ideas and budgets for approval and they are empowered with the privilege to fail because at Buckeye, we know that there actually is no failure, only feedback. 

Buckeye scholars far exceeded our expectations this founding year, they accomplished projects and learning years beyond their previously designated grades. They did work that was so impressive, some grandparents thought that our co-learners (teachers) did the work and pawned it off as our kids. I guess it is pretty unbelievable when 6 to 10 year old children research, design, budget and build a boat entirely on their own. Their boat, 'Cowtastrophe', will live in the annals of what is possible when we empower our children with the space and tools to pursue their passions. 

Our purpose at Buckeye is to help kids and their families cultivate the confidence, courage and skills needed to live and thrive in our rapidly changing world. 

Little did we know just how prophetic those words would be. Schools in 2020 are faced with unprecedented changes, challenges and crushing blows to their budgets as they develop and fund their Covid strategies. Additional staff, PPE, plasma UV HVAC enhancements, tech and equipment for distance learning are just the beginning of our list at Buckeye. 

While strategizing on how to raise funds for these imperatives, my best friend, my business partner, my husband and the love of my life stepped in to offer his help. Chef Niall pulled out all stops when putting together these divine 'firefly for Buckeye Surf-n-Turf extravaganzas'. We are so grateful to him and to all of you who are bidding on them. 

All proceeds from this auction will go to purchasing equipment needed to deal with Covid. If we are blessed with any surplus it will go into our tuition assistance program so that we can accept more families facing financial hardship. 

Buckeye students don’t aspire to make a living, they aspire to make a difference - a difference like you are making here. Thank you for your generosity and support. 

We’re so glad you’re here!
1810 Avenue of Mid-America
Effingham, IL 62401
(217) 342-2002