In a presentation at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Board of Education meeting on August 15, the Santa Monica Education Foundation granted the district $2,104,564 to fund programs in Santa Monica schools this upcoming school year. Collected during the Ed Foundation’s annual fund last year, the grant will make a variety of important programs and staff positions possible in all Santa Monica schools.
The grant will fund approximately 70 classroom aides at Santa Monica elementary schools, as well as weekly arts classes for every elementary student. The funds will also support enrichment grants at each school, which allow schools to provide important arts, STEM, academic or health and wellness programs for their students. For example, Santa Monica High School uses a portion of their grant to help fund Project Lead the Way, a four-year engineering program. Roosevelt Elementary school uses their grant to fund an innovative teacher training and collaboration model with Columbia University while Edison Language Academy uses a portion of their grant to fund bilingual music education.
“With California state funding for TK-12 education continuing to fall behind other states, I am so grateful to each of the donors who gave during our annual campaign,” said Linda Greenberg, Executive Director of the Ed Foundation. “They have personally helped enriched the education of our Santa Monica public schools and shown that they believe in the promise of public education.”
Local parents, community members and businesses contributed the majority of the $2.1 million grant. $333,000 of the grant was raised at the Santa Monica Wine Auction, the Ed Foundation’s signature event where community members come together each year to enjoy food, wine, and auctions while supporting local public schools.
“The district is grateful for this wonderful support from our community,” said Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, President of the SMMUSD Board of Education. “The funds from the Ed Foundation’s donors enable us to provide arts programs, STEM, additional staff and more in our Santa Monica schools, beyond what is funded by the state. This is not the norm and our entire community benefits tremendously from this investment in education.”
To learn more about the Ed Foundation, visit smedfoundation.org.
Submitted by Ann Conkle, Director of Communications and Events