With Thanksgiving just behind us, CEF has launched its annual fund drive to the Carlsbad community. While this may seem like a simple accomplishment to folks outside of the non-profit organization, the many staff and board members involved in creating, fine-tuning, editing, designing, printing, and mailing the piece find the first full week of our launch to be a mix of relief and hopeful anticipation.
You see, realizing that Carlsbad now ranks last in public funding available on a per pupil basis in the entire County of San Diego…I mean, last out of all 42 other school districts…we feel the pressure at the Carlsbad Ed Foundation to do everything we can to help raise private support.
After several years of growing, CEF now funds approximately 25 distinct programs in the targeted areas of hands-on science, district-wide music, and educational innovation. Many of these programs have become part of the fabric of weekly instruction and enrichment at our schools. And, as you can imagine, we want to be sure we can sustain these critical programs for our 11,000 public school kids.
I, for one, can’t imagine key programs like weekly music classes at each elementary school, FLL or FTC Robotics teams and clubs, Science Olympiad, BizTown, traveling science teachers, or MY ACCESS going away. These are programs our community and our students have come to really rely on.
But they certainly don’t happen automatically. It takes our whole community pulling together to pool the resources needed to fund these great initiatives. Corporations and foundations certainly help. But the fastest growing part of our fundraising is actually gifts from individuals. Whether a $25 gift or $5,000, collectively these donations enable us to make strategic investments in areas that our public schools alone cannot fund.
As a result of these programs, our kids are thriving. In just the past few weeks, robotics teams at Jefferson and Magnolia have won qualifying tournaments and special awards for their research and core values. They have presented to public groups at the Apple Store, a Chamber of Commerce subcommittee, and even the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services. Students are honing their research skills, their teamwork abilities, their public speaking, and their math and science skills. And they might just be taking their first tentative steps towards becoming the next scientist or engineer!
Programs like this happen because caring coaches, dedicated students, and a generous community rally together in support of excellence in our public schools. At this special time of the year, and on behalf of our many students across all 14 schools, we hope you’ll make the Carlsbad Educational Foundation a part of your year-end holiday giving. We can’t do it without you!