Menlo Park school foundation fundraising in high gearSubmitted by Allison Leupold and Theanne Thomson, co-presidents of the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation.
With state funding cut to a bare minimum this year, the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation is progressing with its annual campaign to help ensure that the Menlo Park City School District schools can continue to provide a quality education.
"It's well known that our schools cannot continue to rely on money from the state to stay strong," said Theanne Thomson, co-president of the foundation. "We are reaching out to our parents, local businesses and community members to supplement the funds no longer provided by the state and preserve our outstanding schools."
This year the state cut $1.4 million from the district's planned budget.
To increase community awareness of the need for local funding, the education foundation joined forces with the four Parent Teacher Organizations at Encinal, Hillview, Laurel and Oak Knoll schools and launched the "Are You In" campaign. This campaign was designed to increase awareness among district parents of the important role played by the education foundation and PTOs in our local schools.
PTOs fund school-specific activities, such as class supplies, field trips and family events. The foundation funds classroom teachers as well as certified teachers in music, art, elementary science and the libraries. Currently the foundation supports the salaries of 21 educators.
Another step undertaken by the foundation is the launch of a local business sponsor program. The education foundation's Business Development team, led by district parents Kathryn Rakow and Gloria Gavin, continues to expand its business supporters, including local businesses and Realtors.
The foundation has raised 30 percent, or $1.2 million, toward its annual goal.
"The coming together of the entire community — families and businesses — to support the district is the only way that we can continue to offer the high quality of education that Menlo Park has become known for over the years," added Ms. Thomson.
Visit mpaef.org for more information on the foundation.