Ravenswood Education Foundation is an exceptional organization that strives to provide an educational experience for the students of East Palo Alto and Eastern Menlo Park that is equitable to their peers in more affluent communities. REF funds many initiatives in literacy, science, art and music. Ravenswood City School District is a better place due to the dedication and support of REF. The board and donors don't just donate money - they donate from their heart because they believe in doing what is right for kids.
The Ravenswood Education Foundation makes a difference in the lives of children. It connects East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park with financial resources and people resources. REF works with the school district on key initiatives so that our students can have a quality education. The work that REF makes a positive impact and supports a whole community.
I've worked for Ravenswood District for almost 20 years. Until Ravenswood Education Foundation was established, the donations to the District were haphazard, disorganized, and no one really knew what was going where. Now REF works with Ravenswood District to see that donation funds are spent thoughtfully on programs and activities that really matter to students and teachers. We went for years with no 'specialist' teachers, and now we have art, science, music, PE, etc., thanks to support from REF. The students get a broader range of experiences, and the teachers have a break in their day and are not required to cover all these special subjects, too.
In 2007, I was a first year teacher in Ravenswood. Life was crazy to say the least. Throughout the year when I questioned whether this was the profession or not for me, I would get little boosts of encouragement from the Ravenswood Education Foundation. At first, these "boosts" came in the forms of gift cards and classroom supplies. In the coming years, they supported me in designing, building, and supplying an incredible science lab that my students wouldn't have had access to otherwise. When I became an administrator, REF's constant engagement in school priorities became evident, as Renu constantly asked what we needed and how the school and its staff could better be supported. And now, as a board member and donor, I feel extremely proud to support the organization that helped me realize my own potential as an educator. Thank you!
Ravenswood Education Foundation has supported me from the first day I stepped into my classroom in eastern Menlo Park. They provided support across the district through small and large donors and made sure it all happened without extra work from the principals and teachers, who are often already stretched thin.
Ravenswood Education Foundation also kickstarted the Ravenswood Makerspace Collaborative, which has become an essential part of the learning experience in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park.
REF makes a real difference in lives of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park students. We fund teacher collaboration time at all schools, a middle school science coordinator, high school transition staff and help marshall hundreds of volunteers dedicated to helping these deserving kids succeed in life. I am so honored to be a board member of this high-impact, high-integrity organization.
I volunteer with and donate to the Ravenswood Education Foundation because I believe so strongly in its mission - to help ensure that every child in our community receives a quality education. REF is effective because it has a very close relationship with the Ravenswood School District, a strong understanding of District challenges and priorities and a clear focus on accountability and results. REF puts donations to work by focusing resources on the programs that make the biggest impact on student success.
The Ravenswood Education Foundation supports teachers, students, and the community of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park. What I especially appreciate about the foundation is how thoughtful they are in allocating funds and how they make sure to then focus on outcomes. The board listens, collects data, and responds. What an amazing group!
Of all the volunteer endeavors that I have been involved with, none have been as satisfying as my work with the Ravenswood Education Foundation. In response to REF's Science Initiative, which provides a concrete science laboratory experience to middle school students of that district, I have witnessed a change in attitude and practice across the board, including administrators, teachers and students. Science labs are no longer part of a wish list, but have become a highly functional and appreciated piece of the curriculum. Equally important, the teacher training that occurs as a result of volunteer support allows for future sustainability of the middle school laboratory experience in the Ravenswood district. I find that to be a particularly unique and rewarding aspect of my work with REF.
The Ravenswood Education Foundation has generously donated to the music program in the Ravenswood City School District. When I need something, they are easy to communicate with and oftentimes approach me offering funds for items that I might need before I even ask! The board is kind, prompt, friendly, and supportive of the students of our district and they are a visible presence within the community attending performances, sporting events and general activities throughout the school district and community. REF is the without a doubt the reason our students have the opportunity to explore music in Ravenswood. Without this foundation we would probably not have an instrumental music department at all, let alone one of its caliber. My students and I are very thankful for the support of the Ravenswood Education Foundation!