Wake County Public School System

Hall of Fame

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Linda Johnson

As the first President of the East Wake Education Foundation, our group was very interested in helping schools. We started the Stars in the East to highlight the talent in our schools. The money we made from this went directly to the schools. It was the principals that told us they appreciated the few dollars they received from this event, but really the need was to prepare children for school.

This is when we went after Smart Start dollars and our whole direction was changed. We continued for several years until Smart Start dollars were stopped. Our doors were to be closed. It was then that we appealed to the County Commissioners. They gave us the money and said that we were to keep the doors open. Since then we have relied on the contributions from fundraisers, towns, businesses, and the county.

Nothing compares to seeing the children that come in ready to learn. Parents see the excitement in their faces as they learn a new concept. This past year we have served over 340 different children and we are so proud of this. When our doors open 25 or 30 children come in. We are open Monday through Thursday and our services remain free to all. We have purchased our building and have maintained a thriving program. I have retired but still am on the board. The new Executive Director has been a part of the staff for several years and knows the contacts. We are a staff of three and during the summer have an intern helping out.

I miss the work of the Foundation while I keep up with what is happening. Overall my work with the Foundation has been so rewarding. Nothing is quite like going to the grocery store and have a little one who has been in our program run up and speak to me. Stars in the East continues and we are always proud when we see our children participate. I am proud of the work of the Foundation and hope that it continues for a very long time.

Linda Johnson was inducted into the Wake County Public School System Hall of Fame in 2018.