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Marge L.

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UNIVERSITY CITY FOUNDATION FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
June 11, 2012

This foundation was formed by concerned parents in 1993 with the mission to "improve the quality of our children's education by providing supplemental resources to the University City public schools." It serves as a fundraising umbrella for three elementary, one middle and one high school. Funds are raised through two main events and five giving programs. Proceeds are distributed by a "rule of thirds" - giving to principals' discretionary funds, teacher-written grants and foundation-directed technology or focused projects affecting all five schools. Over $1.2M has been donated to the schools since our inception, vastly improving teacher morale and effectiveness.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Leading the way in bringing meaningful educational technology to our schools. We provided document cameras, digital projectors and laptops to all teachers long before our parent district evolved past overhead projectors. We are agile and responsive in providing innovative, motivated teachers with the materials teachers need to engage their students, providing everything from water-testing probes to graphing calculators to iPads.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

We are currently working to improve our website and social networking capabilities and to increase collaboration with the district-driven UC Cluster Committee, a policy advising group with similar stakeholders. together we can provide comprehensive information AND financial resources, while sparing our administrators and teachers duplicative involvement. Kids, families and the entire community benefit from strong public schools.

More feedback

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you learn about this organization?

I was approached by a professional colleague and fellow parent when my son was in kindergarten. Our first fundraiser was tea and coffee in a bank lobby, appealing for direct donations. We now host 2500 guests for an Oktoberfest and 500 for a large restaurant tasting event, and distribute approximately $100K per year to the schools.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Providing supplemental funding amid California's severe budget cuts in order to maintain the quality of instruction as class sizes swell. Increasing community support for, and knowledge of, public K - 12 education.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Improving the lives of young people from our UC community AND from the larger San Diego area. About half our 5000 students come from outside the UC enclave, seeking a quality education not offered in their neighborhood schools. The "extras" that EdUCate! provides keep curricula relevant and learning dynamic. It is well-documented that high-school and college education drastically improve a child's chance of leading productive, peaceful, and ultimately happier lives.

MY ROLE:
Board Member & Development, marketing and communications.

Review from Guidestar