A city woman has left the North Adams Public Schools a $40,500 bequest to aid its enrichment programs.
Frances R. "Frankie" Jones was a Pittsfield native who spent most of her life in North Adams. She died last year at the age of 69.
Her estate donated the money to the Gateway Fund administered by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
"We are so grateful to Frances Jones for her generous bequest," said James Montepare, superintendent of the North Adams Public Schools, in a statement. "Thanks to her, North Adams students will benefit for years to come with exceptional educational enrichment programs that might not otherwise be possible. In this era of budget cutbacks, the timing of her gift is especially welcome."
Some of the more recent projects aided with grants from the 8-year-old Gateway Fund were a digital photograhy book and a Kidspace residency.
Drury High School photography teacher Phoebe Pepper was given $1,000 to work with students on a high-quality book that incorporates original writing as well as images. The students will develop, write, edit and print stories inspired by their digital photos.
Kidspace, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, also was awarded a $1,000 to have artist Portia Munson work in the schools with seventh-graders to create art installations at the schools and in empty storefronts in the city.
Berkshire Taconic established the Gateway Fund in 2002 and an advisory committee has built the endowment to more than $130,000 through contributions from the community. More than $25,000 has been awarded in grants since that time.
Jones was born in Pittsfield on Sept. 29, 1939, and moved to North Adams with her family as a child. She worked as a radiologist in the X-ray department of North Adams Regional Hospital for several years and was employed for 15 years in the Alumni Relations Mail Services Office of Williams College. Before retiring and becoming a full-time caregiver for her disabled sister, Dianne Petri, she was employed with Turbo Prop International Corp. She enjoyed gardening, decorating and traveling. Her husband of 32 years, Richard H. Jones, died in 1995.
To make a donation to the Gateway Fund, visit berkshiretaconic.org and click on "make a donation" or call 413-229-0370.
We don't have Mrs. Jones obituary listed, for some reason, and we'd like to know more about her and her family, and why they thought it was important to leave such a significant amount of money to help the city's schoolchildren. Post away!
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