The Save Our Schools campaign has reached the $1 million funding mark as it races against the fast approaching August 15th funding deadline.
This funding milestone is all the more impressive as it reflects the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, dozens of local business partnerships and thousands of contributors, the Save Our Schools (SOS) campaign has raised enough to restore 12 of the 60 positions lost to State funding cuts.
“Our thanks goes out to the Santa Monica and Malibu communities for their support of the SOS campaign in raising over $1 million to restore education programs and services during these difficult economic times”, said Tim Cuneo Superintendent.
Additionally, this money was raised in a short time this summer after the voters did not approve Measure A at the end of this spring, which was a $198-per-parcel tax which would have raised an estimated $5.8 million for the school district. The Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education made $7.1 million in budget cuts to offset slashed state allocations of $30 million over the last three years. The efforts of SOS are to offset those cuts.
“We are very excited, but we still have a long way to go” said Linda Gross, executive director of the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation. Mirroring the non-stop efforts of SOS, Gross used the $1-million milestone to announce a new two-week goal of raising an additional $300,000 before the campaign’s end on August 15th. “Our work is not done!” she said.
If [SOS] is able to meet this goal, Gross said class sizes will decrease for even more students, libraries will stay open nearly full-time and the 4th and 5th grade music program could be fully restored. In addition, 16 positions would be restored instead of the current 12. ”It will make a world of difference for our kids.
“As a result, students will have more access to libraries and a more complete elementary music program in the coming year. It also means lower class sizes for many children across the,” proclaimed a statement from the SOS campaign, celebrating and announcing the funding achievement.
With significant fundraisers still to come and two new events just announced, SOS organizers are optimistic the two-week $300,000 goal seems possible:
• A Preview Screening of “Nanny McPhee Returns,” August 8, 2pm at the Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Avenue. Tickets can be purchased online at www.smmef.org.
• Malibu resident and rocker Pat Benatar and husband Neil Giraldo will wind up the L.A run of their ‘Between a Heart and a Rock Place’ tour with two benefit concerts at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills. Benatar and Giraldo have generously offered to donate 50% of the proceeds from the September 10th and 11th concerts to the Save Our Schools campaign. Tickets are available online at www.canyonclub.net or by calling 818-879-5016.
• Now through Friday, August 6th, “Lemon-8-Days” on Montana Avenue. Participating merchants will donate 8% of gross sales for the week to benefit the Save Our Schools campaign. For a list of participating merchants go to: http://savesantamonicamalibuschools.org/SOSmontana.html
• Also THIS WEEK, Barnes & Noble is sponsoring a bookfair to benefit SOS. Shoppers can use Bookfair ID 10249506 at any location nationwide or online at bn.com. For a list of author appearances and readings, go to: http://savesantamonicamalibuschools.org/SOSevents.html
• SAMOHI Associated Student Body continues to host “Save Our Schools! Movies to the Rescue!” Movie screenings are held at Barnum Hall on the SAMOHI campus at 601 Pico Blvd and the suggested donation is $5. Remaining films include
A) 8/06 7pm: “The Notebook”
B) 8/07 3pm: “The Princess and the Frog”
C) 8/13 7pm: “Up”
“Even with all these incredible activities and events, we continue to reach out to our community for direct donations.” says Linda Gross. “There are still plenty of families and concerned community members out there who have been meaning to give but just haven’t mailed in that check. Well, now is the time — we implore you, before it’s too late!”
Save Our Schools will continue fundraising efforts through August 15th to help provide funding for elementary class size reduction, lower secondary class sizes, and restore music, library and counseling programs for the next school year. When the Save Our Schools campaign concludes, the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation will continue its fundraising efforts to provide support for all SMMUSD students.
For ongoing information on the Save Our Schools campaign and upcoming events, visit www.smmef.org