By Stacey Kyle, President of the Live Oak Education Foundation
At the heart of the Live Oak Education Foundation is a strong belief in equity and that all kids, no matter their race, socio-economic background or neighborhood deserve every opportunity afforded to their peers.
Driven by that passion, we are excited to report that we have raised over $60,000 in our first two years to support hands-on enrichment activities for Live Oak kids in the visual and performing arts; the “STEM” fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and positive play.
We were driven to launch the Foundation in 2015 because we learned that while kids who live in the Live Oak community attend elementary and middle schools in the Live Oak School District, they attend high school in the Santa Cruz City School District. Santa Cruz City Schools has had a successful education foundation for over a decade that has supplemented that district’s investment in academic, arts, and wellness programs. We believe that our students should have just as many opportunities as students in the surrounding communities, so that they do not continue to join their peers in high school at a significant disadvantage
To address our goal of equal access to arts education, we have invested $2,500 for elementary and middles school instruments and $2,400 for Family Arts Nights. To support K-3 students who don’t receive supplemental arts instruction, we invested $4,000 in teacher professional development on how to integrate the arts into the Common Core curriculum. We’ve spent $1,000 on recess equipment, $4,000 on a dance initiative, $4,000 for Chromebooks, and $4,000 on hands-on STEM experiences, including a 3D printer for Shoreline Middle School. Remaining investments planned for the 2017-18 school year total over $5,000 and we’re waiting to hear on two grant applications to pilot new programming.
While proud of our accomplishments and investments to date, we are aiming for bigger goals; and so we are always looking for new ways to partner to raise more money. On November 5 from 1:00-4:00, there will be a “Sip n Stroll” along lower 41st Avenue, hosted by the Pleasure Point Business Association and benefiting the Live Oak Education Foundation. Tickets are $25 in advance and can be purchased through www.pleasurepointsipandstroll.com
Also, throughout November and December is our Annual Giving campaign where we ask parents and community members to donate to the Live Oak Education Foundation so we can continue to expand our investments in Live Oak kids and their future. We will be holding a “Giving Tuesday” fundraiser at the East Side Eatery and Pleasure Pizza (both located on 41st Ave) through which the restaurants will generously donate 30% of all proceeds to the Foundation. We invite all readers to join us at this fun event. Tax-deductible donations will be accepted there as well as via our website: www.liveoakedfoundation.org
Finally, we invite you to join us to celebrate the success of our Annual Giving campaign at the East Cliff Brewing Company on December 28, through which the brewery and U.S. Meal will donate 25% of proceeds from all food and drink sales. We hope to see you there!
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Upcoming Events to Support the Live Oak Education Foundation:
- Nov. 5: Sip and Stroll (41st Ave)
- Nov. 28: “Giving Tuesday” at East Side Eatery and Pleasure Pizza (41st Ave)
- Dec. 28: End-of-Year Celebration at East Cliff Brewing Company (Portola Dr)