The Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) announced last week that it has received a major bequest of over $450,000 from a local community supporter, making it one of the largest in the Foundation’s 33-year history.
The bequest was made by Santa Monica community member Judi Lynne, with all of the funds used to support SMMUSD’s District-wide Vision for Student Success (VSS) program.
“We are so grateful to receive this large bequest,” said SMMEF Executive Director Linda Greenberg. “Like all donations to SMMEF, this gift will help ensure that the amazing SMMEF-funded programs in our schools, including teacher training, arts education, additional middle and high school classes, and instructional assistants, continue during the next school year.”
Including the newly donated funds, SMMEF has raised over $1.8 million to fund VSS programs during the 2015-16 school year and its getting closer to is total annual goal of $4 million.
“The Vision for Student Success initiative is important because it reaches every student in every grade, and prepares them for success beyond our classrooms,” said Superintendent Sandra Lyon. “We are humbled and thankful for this generous gift that will deeply impact our schools.”
The VSS is a comprehensive set of programs designed to improve student achievement and success. Gifts to SMMEF provide funding for SMMUSD to bring these programs to every school and grade level in the District. VSS priorities include providing instructional assistants, literacy coaches and art instruction for every elementary grade; additional teaching periods for middle and high schools; professional development for teachers and instructional assistants; and discretionary grants for school-specific enrichment programs.
“Gifts like this one, which benefit students and schools District-wide, have to be our focus if we are to achieve equity in our District and give all students opportunities to succeed,” said Greenberg. “We hope this gift will inspire parents, community members and corporate partners to join us in funding these vital programs for every student.”
The fundraising deadline is June 30.