WCGMF Discovery

The Memorial Fund

The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund works collaboratively to improve education for Connecticut's children by strengthening the involvement of parents and the community in education, informing the public debate on critical policies, and improving educational practice.

Mission & Goals

The mission of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund is to improve the effectiveness of education in fostering both personal development and leadership.

Connecticut’s children are the focus of the Graustein Memorial Fund’s grantmaking. Our intent is inclusive: to work with rural, urban and suburban communities, and both public and private schools. We want to provide means for our grantees to learn from one another’s experience, and we seek to include those people who will be affected by programs in their design and evaluation. A belief that education benefits both individuals and society as a whole guides our work.

To accomplish this mission, the Memorial Fund has set three goals:

  • To engage young children more deeply in their own education.
  • To support Connecticut communities in improving education for their elementary and pre-school children. We think of communities both geographically and culturally, and mean to include teachers, parents, administrators, and others who have a concern for the lives of children.
  • To develop both statewide and local leadership dedicated to improving and advocating for education.

Beliefs and Principles

The Graustein Memorial Fund is guided in its commitments and strategies by the following beliefs:

  • Families, schools and communities are partners in the rearing and education of children.
  • Children need safe, caring and nurturing environments at home, in the community and at school, in order to learn and to realize their full potential.
  • The best practices in education and child development result from encouraging and listening to all voices of the community and sharing information as widely as possible.
  • Children are engaged most deeply in their own education and development when challenged by high standards and expected to acquire a common core of knowledge, skills, values, and self discipline. Children are also engaged through a rich variety of educational choices beyond the core program.
  • Those working in education and in communities are most effective when all constituencies work together to develop leadership, to set goals, to advocate for policy changes, and to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of current programs.
  • Quality research and information exchange can help to change public policy and educational practices when change is needed. Research can also help to replicate what is already working.
  • Every institution educating or working with children needs to be a learning organization, where opportunities abound among all education stakeholders, including children, for intellectual development, information sharing and teamwork.


WCGMF StorytellerThe storyteller figure symbolizes the values of the Memorial Fund -- educating, supporting, and inspiring our children