Giving Back

President Bill Sonneman gives an update on news of the Alameda Education Foundation.

2012 was a year when our AEF programs increased in numbers and focus.  We had substantial growth in donors and adopted teachers in our Adopt A Classroom (AAC) program.  In the fall, AAC chair Kathie Woulfe and I made over 100 presentations and we are very hopeful of reaching our goal of 130 by March.

Our Enrichment program experienced tremendous growth in both reach and content.  We offered an inaugural summer camp program serving 450 students. Over 1500 students participated in Enrichment classes this fall.  We are broadening our reach offering more classes for middle and high school students and expanding course offerings into more academic areas, such as algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus.

Our Middle School Sports program grew in number with 467 student-athletes now participating from five middle schools.  With the advent of more middle school options for families next year (Bay Farm and Encinal Junior Jets), we expect the program to grow even more.  The behind-the scenes-action is exciting, too.  Wood Volleyball Coach Roan Kees was featured in the AUSD newsletter under “Best Practices” for her efforts in peer tutoring.  Fiona Blackburn is an ACLC high school student who gives back by coaching volleyball for the Nea/ACLC team.  Fiona was named a “Commended Student” in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program and hopes to go to Brown University in the fall.

Giving back is a theme that we saw and experienced in other programs, as well, such as when Encinal High School 2006 grad Kate Rockwell, working for Perforce, used her company non-profit donations to adopt three teachers at her alma mater. Kate accompanied us on the presentations and it was motivational for all involved. In fact, several other Perforce employees are using their company non-profit donations to give back through our Adopt A Classroom program.

At AEF, we thanked Jeff Grimm for his years of service as treasurer and welcomed two new board members, Gary Blank and Tim Coffey.  Gary and Tim bring expertise to our board as well as a commitment to students.  Thank you Board members for your volunteer service. It is greatly appreciated. We are always looking for new board members that bring valuable skills to help us in achieve mission.  If you are interested, please let me know at Bill@AlamedaEducation.org. I also want to thank our staff - Nora, Vicki, Sarah, Linda and Marty -  for all they do for the students of Alameda.

The innovative programs of AEF and of all our schools contribute so much to the future success of our students.  I hope you will join me when we recognize and honor school innovative programs, program leaders, school volunteers and business supporters at our annual Salute to Education event on April 19th, 6:00 - 9:00 pm at Rock Wall Winery.

As always, our work is not possible without community support.  We strive to give back as much as possible to our schools.  For example, 100% of each Adopt A Classroom donation goes directly to the classroom teacher.  But it does take staff time and overhead to be able to coordinate and manage our many programs. Thank you to all of you who responded to our year end appeal and who support our work with financial gifts.  We appreciate any donation you can make to help us continue to Support Student Success!

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