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May 06. 2013 9:50PM

In Nashua, take car for a spin, raise cash for Academy for Science and Design

NASHUA - The Academy for Science and Design is hoping to install new security features at the school and is using a unique fundraising method to pay for the project.

Ford Motor Company's Drive 4 UR School program is working with the local charter school to raise $6,000 needed to purchase a new front entry door and radio communication system for staff members.

A test-drive fundraising event will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 15 to help raise money for the new security items.

For each person who takes the wheel and test-drives a new Ford vehicle at the school next week, Best Ford and Ford Motor Company will donate $20 to the school - up to $6,000.

"We know funding for charter schools like ASD is often hard to come by. We want to do our part to help make sure the safety measures that help keep our students safe remain available," Michael Frassica, general manager at Best Ford, said in a release.

The funds are much needed, according to the release, which states that charter schools throughout the region receive about half of the funding per student of most public schools.

"As a school committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students, the Academy for Science and Design is grateful to Best Ford for providing the funding for critical improvements to our security system," Jennifer Cava, school director, said in a statement. "As emergency situations require fast and dependable communication, the leadership team will now be able to purchase a means of radio communication - a strong recommendation by the Nashua Police Department."

Cava thanked Ford for the opportunity to implement heightened safety measures at the local charter school. In addition to purchasing a radio communication system for the school, the funds will also be used to install a new security door and tint for the glass at the school's front entry to prevent individuals from seeing inside.

"With public safety becoming a growing concern throughout the nation, school administrators and parents across the United States have been taking steps to ensure the safety of our students," says the release. "Following incidents like Columbine and the more recent Sandy Hook, school leadership teams have been seeking out security measures, but struggling to keep added costs in line with their plunging school budgets."

Since the start of Ford's Drive 4 UR School program in 2007, more than $16 million in donations have been generated for high schools nationwide.

The program's mission, according to its Facebook page, is to expose as many individuals as possible to Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles while promoting goodwill within the community.

"The Drive One 4 UR School program was developed as a fun, engaging way to help schools raise money to support their sports and extracurricular activities," states the program's website.

The program previously came to Nashua High School North, at which time money was raised for the school's student activity fund and to help pay for field trips, buses and the annual winter carnival.

On May 15, vehicles such as the Ford Fusion, Focus and C-MAX will be on hand for test drives. The public is invited to attend the fundraiser at the school, located at 486 Amherst St.

khoughton@newstote.com

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