By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
For those looking to make a local donation before 2020 comes to a close, community members are welcome to consider the area charter schools—each of which have had to get creative with fundraising this school year, as annual events and drives have been amended and canceled due to the pandemic.
Palisades Charter Elementary School
Palisades Charter Elementary School is accepting donations through its annual giving campaign, Pali Giving.
“The money goes to support our enrichments for our school,” according to parent Traci Sacks, who heads up the program. “It pays for two full-time P.E. coaches, a full-time librarian, a full-time computer lab teacher and tech support, music, drama, a discover garden, smaller class sizes, teacher aides, T.R.I.B.E.S., and more.”
Sacks explained that she used to be able to fundraise in the mornings as people were walking their kids to school—but that is not the case this year. Her 2020-21 campaign has included emails as well as setting up at her home and offering to drive to others to collect donations. Her kids have even baked cookies to thank those who have donated, Sacks shared.
“This year has been a hard year for fundraising … ,” Sacks shared, “but if we stop the funds coming in for these enrichments, we won’t have them for next year. Our enrichment teachers have been doing a great job of still keeping the kids interested over Zoom and still doing their part during this crazy time.”
Those interested in donating can write a check to Palisades Enrichment Programs and mail it to the school at 800 Via De La Paz, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. Donations may also be made by credit card or bank transfer at palielementary.org/paligiving.
Canyon Charter Elementary School
The financial situation at Canyon Charter Elementary School was described by Booster Club President Amanda Rosen-Prinz as “quite dire.”
“The Booster Club pays for 100% of nearly all enrichment programs at Canyon, as well as 60% of the cost for an aide in every classroom,” she explained. “Because the nature of public school fundraising involves fun community events throughout the school year, we have been completely restricted in holding any of these events on campus since last March.”
Even when students return to campus, Rosen-Prinz shared that she anticipates restrictions on gatherings to remain in place for “many months to come.”
The school has turned to virtual events, including a pumpkin patch in October and a Zoom assembly featuring Paralympian and inspirational speaker Blake Leeper for its annual Olympics Day.
“Our beloved annual Fiesta fundraiser will be a challenge this year, but we are trying to find creative ways to keep the tradition alive for our kids,” Rosen-Prinz said. “None of this year’s fundraisers have come close to raising what we would in a typical year, but it is very important to our community that we continue to make the effort.”
Rosen-Prinz added that the community has been generous so far with many families contributing to the 2020-21 Annual Giving campaign, where tax-deductible angel donations will go toward next year’s budget.
Community members who are interested in contributing can do so at give.classy.org/FriendsofCanyonCharter or by mailing a check made out to Canyon School Booster Club to the school’s office at 421 Entrada Drive, Santa Monica, CA 90402.
Marquez Charter Elementary School
As distance learning continues, Friends of Marquez leaders are seeking donations to supplement its funding of programming at the school.
“The tight-knit community of Marquez Charter Elementary School has felt what the entire Palisades community and beyond has felt over the past few months,” “The Fund” Chair Jenny Lupe and Friends of Marquez President Sean Whiteley shared with the Palisadian-Post. “In response to the current environment, Friends of Marquez has cut the year donation goal in half, and we have currently raised a bit over 60% of the total goal.”
Donations will go toward a class size reduction teacher, the school’s science teacher, teacher grants for distance learning and one-to-one iPads across the school.
“When you give, you’re helping Marquez provide all the extras other public schools in greater Los Angeles simply do not offer,” Lupe and Whiteley added. “The effects of this year will be felt for many years to come, and Marquez Elementary School is in need of funding now more than ever. Every contribution is greatly appreciated.”
To donate to Marquez, visit friendsofmarquez.goshly.com/DONATE.aspx.
Paul Revere Charter Middle School
One of Paul Revere Charter Middle School’s “crowning jewels,” as described by the school’s PRIDE Booster Club Board Members, is the farm, which is housed on campus and hosts a wide range of animals. The farm is one of the facets that a donation to the school will support.
“I think it is important, more than ever, to give back to schools in 2020,” A PRIDE Booster Club Board Member shared. “Our annual giving campaign helps raise money for smaller class sizes, especially now as we are online and it’s challenging for the teachers to really get to know their students. The money we raise also helps with our amazing farm and technology—again, another area which is vital to the times we are living in.”
The animals continue to be cared for, including upgrades to their environs, and keeping them safe and fed until students can return to campus.
“At Paul Revere, we are sensitive to the realities of life during a pandemic, which has many apprehensive about what may lie ahead,” representatives from the board shared. “We have tailored our annual giving campaign to strike a balance between the needs of our school and the realities our families are experiencing.”
The board explained that they still count on donors to give what they can and remain committed to enriching the education students at the school receive. Among their priorities are continuing to offer smaller class sizes and support access to technology for all students—including the computer lab receiving “much-needed upgrades.”
For more information or to donate, visit paulreverems.com/Domain/280.
Palisades Charter High School
Following a “very successful” #GivingTuesday campaign, Palisades Charter High School is beginning its Year-End Campaign to allow donors to make tax-deductible contributions as 2020 comes to a close.
“[LAUSD Superintendent] Austin Beutner outlined the need for state and federal assistance for schools to open safely, however, there are many other additional current expenses required by eLearning,” Pali High Director of Development Michael Rawson explained. “I believe that our messaging has resonated with our donors, which is we do not want lack of resources to be the reason we can’t provide certain tools that will assist student learning during this difficult time.”
Two of the ways to support Pali High include The PCHS Fund and the school’s Booster Club.
“The PCHS Fund is made up of seven key areas that support the annual budget of PCHS and directly impact students, faculty and staff,” according to information on the Pali High website. “This ensures the sustainability of our important core programs where state and federal funding falls short.”
The Palisades High School Booster Club focuses on “the immediate needs” of students that are not covered by the school’s budget, including innovative academic programs, field trips, visual and performing arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities. The Booster Club also works to support school needs that have resulted from COVID-19.
Community members who wish to donate can do so at go.palihigh.org/donate.
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