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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ravenswood Education Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: To raise funds for essential programs and personnel to maintain and enhance the quality of educational opportunities for the students of the ravenswood city school district.

Target demographics: students, teachers and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 3500 students and 250 teachers

Geographic areas served: East Palo Alto and Eastern Menlo Park

Programs: Extended School Day, Summer School, Parent Engagement, Teacher Professional Development, MakerSpaces in schoolsl.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Jennifer513

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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!

Robert180

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

tamilucila

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have volunteer time and donated money for over eight years to REF. My time has always been valued and I have worked on meaningful projects like tutoring students, fundraising, and organizing teacher appreciation events. Also, I feel like money raised for REF is spent wisely on important programs and personnel needs such reading specialists and a high school transition counselor, to name just a couple. The leadership at REF is outstanding and professional with a collaborative feel to decision making. The needs of the students and teachers are taken into every budget and program decision. Ravenswood is a wonderful community and REF is doing great work in the schools.

Elizabeth202

Volunteer

Rating: 5

REF provides resources and direction to the school district, impacting the lives of students, teachers and families in significant ways. The focus is on what makes a difference for the students. I'm a volunteer and a donor. My efforts and my gifts have been used wisely here. There is a wise and enthusiastic response to new ideas!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I and many of the scientists from OncoMed Pharmaceuticals have been volunteering with the Ravenswood Education Foundation and their support of school Science Labs for over 5 years. It continues to be a great honor to an industry partner with an organization whose mission seeks to grow, develop, and nurture the faculty, staff, and students of the Ravenswood School District. Their dedication to improving the lives and success of students in the underserved areas of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, CA, have been met with dramatic improvement in STEM education both in and out of the classroom.

One amazing example of the many positive influences of the Ravenswood Education Foundation is the success of Science Lab education through Science Fair. Almost three years ago, the Ravenswood Education Foundation helped re-introduce the Science Fair in the Ravenswood School District after a 30-year absence. In just two short years, the Ravenswood School District went from have no representation at the County and State Science Fair levels to having a project win the County Science Fair and place at the State Science Fair. Truly oustanding.

I look forward to the many additional successes that the Ravenswood Education Foundation will help usher in the present and future.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough positive things about Ravenswood Education Foundation (REF)! I have been with Ravenswood for 10 years and the result of having REF available has drastically changed the performance of the district. Teachers feel appreciated, have time to collaborate, buy needed supplies for projects or experiments, and overall, the vibe of Ravenswood has completely changed, thanks in part to REF!!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

REF makes such a difference in our community. Renu has been a friend for 14 years and she is incredibly dedicated, brilliant and inspiring in her passion for education.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked in Ravenswood District as a volunteer and part-time employee since 1996. I've watched the District emerge from very dark and difficult times, and the last 8 years Ravenswood Education Foundation has been a big part of the changes happening to benefit students, teachers, and families. Ravenswood Education Foundation raises funds to support the schools in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park so these students from low-income families can have an education on par with those students in surrounding wealthy communities. REF supports Teaching Excellence, Student Engagement, and Parental Involvement. It is making a big difference in Ravenswood Schools.