The Lewis Bear Company Contributes $2 Million for K-12 Scholarships for Low-Income Families

The Lewis Bear Company Encourages Local Families to attend Information Session and Take Advantage of School Choice Opportunity

April 4, 2014 | Pensacola, Fla. – The Lewis Bear Company and Step Up For Students joined Dixon Christian School of the Arts Thursday afternoon to host an information session for Escambia families, educating them about the K-12 scholarship program and encouraging them to apply for the 2014-15 school year.

Step Up For Students, which administers the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, is funded by corporate donors, like The Lewis Bear Company, that receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions to the program. The program provides scholarships to qualified low-income families throughout Florida, allowing recipients to choose between a scholarship to help with private school tuition and fees, or a transportation scholarship to attend an out-of-district public school.

As an extension of The Lewis Bear Company’s partnership with Step Up For Students, the Pensacola-based distributing company aimed to spread the word about scholarships for the 2014-15 school year and encourage families to take advantage of the opportunity to choose a school for their children that may have otherwise been out of reach. The Lewis Bear Company, The Bear Family Foundation, and the Bear family members have had a longstanding commitment to education with active involvement and support for several schools throughout the community.

“The Dixon School is excited to partner with Step Up For Students and the program’s generous donors,” said LuTimothy May, the school’s executive director. “We will be able to better carry out our mission of providing a quality education to our students with their support.”

At the event, The Lewis Bear Company presented Step Up For Students with an oversized check representing their $2 million pledge for this year.

 Representatives from Dixon Christian School of the Arts join David Bear, vice president of The Lewis Bear Company and Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students.

Representatives from Dixon Christian School of the Arts join David Bear, vice president of The Lewis Bear Company and Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students.

Representatives from Dixon Christian School of the Arts join David Bear, vice president of The Lewis Bear Company and Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students.

“The Lewis Bear Company is a family-owned and operated business that was established in Pensacola in 1876. A quality education is the foundation for a healthy, vibrant community and the reason we wanted to provide this opportunity for local families,” said David Bear, vice president. “We are proud to support a program that gives low-income students access to great schools like Dixon Christian School of the Arts, because every child deserves a chance to succeed, regardless of where they live or their economic status.”

Approximately 30 parents and children turned out to learn about the Tax Credit Scholarship Program, ask questions and, for some, begin the application process online in the school’s computer lab.

“We are proud to welcome The Lewis Bear Company as a donor to Step Up and are thankful for their efforts to strengthen their community by participating in our program, and through other initiatives,” said Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill. “More Florida families now have a choice in their children’s education because of this company’s contribution.”

“We are proud to support a program that gives low-income students access to great schools like Dixon Christian School of the Arts, because every child deserves a chance to succeed, regardless of where they live or their economic status.”David Bear, vice president of The Lewis Bear Company

During the 2013-14 school year, more than 800 students in Escambia County benefited from a Step Up scholarship, and 19 schools in the counties serve Step Up scholars. Statewide, nearly 60,000 students are attending a school of their parents’ choice this year.

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