What a night! 350 public school supporters, great food and wine, cookin’ jazz from our two high schools, and a gorgeous night. The 31st annual Salute to Education
may have been one of the best. It would not have been possible without so many volunteers and help from our supportive Alameda community.
Chef Jesse Branstetter and everyone at Cafe Q made sure our guests were treated to absolutely amazing gourmet hors d’oeuvres. A special thanks to Robert Gott and Savoy Catering for all they did to make this event so successful.
Delicious desserts were donated by Nothing Bundt Cake. Guests enjoyed great local wine from Rock Wall and R & B Cellars. Raffle items were donated by Angela’s Bistro, 1400 Bar and Grill, Harbor Bay Club, Nothing Bundt Cake, Starland Music Center and Total Woman Gym & Day Spa.
Special thanks to Patrick Kenney of Cairdea Marketing & Design for the beautiful program posters, Jill Saxty of First Flight Designs for the outstanding programs, Jim Franz for the stage and Doug Biggs for the PA System. Lifetouch spent the evening taking photographs that we can’t wait to see. Gorgeous flower arrangements were donated by Mints and Honey.
We are so grateful to our entire business community and there is no better way to thank these supporters than by giving them your business!
We could not have done this without the dozens of volunteers who helped with check-in, bartending, and food service. A special shout out goes to our youth and the Alameda Association of Realtors
. We enjoyed wonderful music provided by the Alameda and Encinal High School jazz bands. We were happy to be able to award two Miland scholarships
to Kevin Chen (AHS) and Diana Wong (EHS). Each year at Salute to Education we award the Tricia Collins-Levi Business Award to Alameda businesses who go above and beyond to support the work of AEF. Congratulations to Pilar Burlingame of Lilac Boutique
and Ada Wells of ProBalance Pilates
A special thank you to the sponsors of Salute to Education this year: Cafe Q
, South Shore Shopping Center
and Rock Wall Wine Company
. Finally, thank you to the Salute to Education committee, especially Pam Chang and Judy Blank for their work on decorations and the raffle and their unending support and enthusiasm. A special thanks to AEF staff Vicki Sedlack and Nora Toy-Desmond for the many hours they put into making this event such a success.Last, but far from least, thank you to our educators and innovative program leaders who support our students with learning opportunities every day and all the many volunteers who inspire us with their energy and dedication.
Middle School Sports
Track begins this week with our first All-Comers meet on April 24th and 25th. Wednesday will feature the running events at the College of Alameda and Thursday will be the field events at Encinal High School. Both start at 3:30 PM. We are happy this year that Bay Farm 6th graders will be joining our teams from The Academy of Alameda, Lincoln, Wood, and Nea/ACLC. A full schedule is on our website.
Summer Enrichment Camps
I am very excited about the Summer Enrichment Camps being offered by AEF. We are offering high quality camps that truly will help your students’ imaginations soar, support them academically, and even give them a leg up on the top careers of the future. Our camps include architecture, aviation, computer programming, marine science, space exploration and math “boost” camps for a variety of levels. There are also camps to support students’ creative side in art, music and drama, among much more. We keep our camps small to ensure maximum engagement, so space is limited. Early bird registration ends April 30th. We are also partnering with our friends at Alameda Parks and Recreation for those who need day care after the camps. Please visit the AEF website for more information and registration.
Coming soon: Information Nights for Incoming Freshmen! Stay tuned for details.
Summer Movie Series
Summer is almost here and AEF will once again be selling tickets to family movies at Alameda Theatre. See 9 movies for just $5.00 a set (Tuesday or Wednesday series), available at Bank of Alameda-1416 Park Street, Daisy’s-1347 Park Street and Cafe Q-2302 Encinal Avenue. More information here.
As always, thank you for your support. Together, we are Supporting Student Success!
My favorite part of being president of the Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) is making people smile, like when I walk into a classroom to make an Adopt A Classroom presentation and the kids are cheering and the teacher is smiling – sometimes crying – from joy.
But sometimes I’m the one who does the smiling thanks to the great stories I hear. A few weeks back I was making a presentation about AEF to the Rotary Club and I shared this story: Years ago when I was principal at Encinal High School, one of my students, Kate Rockwell, received a Rotary grant to start a school book club during lunch. Kate went on to graduate from Encinal and UC Davis and now works for Perforce Software here in Alameda. Perforce provides each employee with funds to donate to charity. Kate decided to give back by adopting her former Encinal High English teacher, Mr. Kahane. Mr. Kahane used part of the gift to purchase books for an after-school class for African American boys taught by Dexter Moore (also a former student of mine) and the rest to purchase tickets for his students to see Les Miserables. Out of this one act of generosity that began a dozen or so years ago with a Rotary grant came many other acts that have positively impacted dozens of student lives. This makes me smile.
Another reason to smile is AEF’s upcoming Salute to Education event on April 19th, 6 – 9 pm, at Rock Wall Wine Company. Every K-12 school in Alameda will be sharing an innovative program that their school is doing and honoring a volunteer. The programs and volunteers are highlighted on posters throughout the venue and in the event program. Guests can mingle and network while enjoying fabulous food catered by Alameda’s own Cafe Q , wine from local vintners along with other beverages, and fabulous music provided by the Alameda and Encinal High School jazz bands. There will also be a raffle featuring the newest ipad mini and other prizes. Advance tickets are just $30 and can be purchased online or at Cafe Q (2302 Encinal Ave.). Tickets at the door are $40. All tickets include one drink ticket and a commemorative glass, with additional drink tickets for sale for $5 each. Proceeds from the event will help support AEF’s Adopt A Classroom, Middle School Sports, and Enrichment scholarship programs. Thank you to our sponsors: Cafe Q, South Shore, Rock Wall Wine Company! I sincerely hope you will join us and show your support for public education!
In other program news, after an exciting basketball season our Middle School Sports track program is beginning with the first all-comers meet on April 24th (running events) and April 25th (field events). A complete schedule may be found here.
Registration has begun for Summer Enrichment Camp. We have some very exciting camps, such as aviation, NASA science, Mandarin, Spanish, architecture, computer programming, art, drama and much more. All of our camps feature small class sizes to maximize learning, so register early! AEF is also partnering with Alameda Recreation & Parks to offer after care. Check out the complete camp brochure here and register online at www.alamedaeducation.org. Summer camps are for students who have completed Kindergarten – 12th Grade and are open to all students.
Finally, please join us on April 5th at Angela’s for Friday Night Flights, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, 2301 Central Avenue, Alameda. Get two glasses of wine for a $10 donation. All proceeds benefit AEF.
Thank you for all your continued support!
It is always surprising how quickly a school year goes as we are in mid-February and the end of the school year is in sight. At the Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) we are concluding some of our programs for the 2012-13 school year. Today Kathie Woulfe and I delivered five more Adopt A Classroom(AAC) donations to Paden, EHS, Lincoln, Wood and Haight. That brings our total AAC’s to 126. Our goal is 130 and I am sure we will make it in March, the last month to make AAC donations for the school year. It is not too late to adopt a classroom for this year.
Our Middle School Sports basketball program is ending next week with our championship games at the Alameda Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday (Boys) and Wednesday (Girl). B games begin at 3:45 with A games following at approximately 4:45.
Our featured event of the year is coming on April 19th — Salute To Education. It i s our 30th Salute to Education event. We will showcase innovative programs from all of Alameda’s K-12 public schools, honor a volunteer from each school, and thank our generous business supporters. It is an uplifting event that includes delicious food catered by Cafe Q, music by the Alameda and Encinal High jazz bands, and a spectacular setting overlooking the San Francisco skyline at Rock Wall Winery. We wish to thank our sponsors for this event – Cafe Q, Rock Wall and South Shore. We are still accepting sponsors for this event through next week and would greatly appreciate your support of our schools, teachers and volunteers! Sponsors will be included in all event publicity materials. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are offering advertising opportunities as well. Information on that may be found here. Tickets may be purchased on our website.
Internally, I am very excited to welcome our new AEF Board members – Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and former Boys and Girls Club Executive Director George Phillips. Both bring experience, expertise and a passion for supporting our youth.
Our winter/spring after school Enrichment classes are underway. We are also offering Enrichment camps over spring break April 1 – 5, which is just around the cor ner. Registration is open now for World Scientists Camp with Mad Science (for K- 3rd grades) and Skilly Circus (for 2nd – 5th grades). Both camps will be held 8:30 am – 12:30 pm at Lum School with after care available through Alameda Recreation and Parks.
It’s also not too early to plan for summer. We will again offer Enrichment Summer Camps in areas such as aviation, computer programming, Mandarin, Spanish, and that parent favorite – math! Registration begins March 1st – click the blue “Register” button.
It has been a short week and what better way to celebrate than to come by Angela’s Bistro and Bar tomorrow (Friday) from 5:30 – 7:30 pm for Friday Night Flights. This is a fundraising event put on by Angela’s that generates funds for local charities. $10 gets you 2 glasses of wine from a local vintner and 100% of this goes to support AEF programs. I hope to see you there!
2012 was a year when our AEF programs increased in numbers and focus. We had substantial growth in donors and adopted teachers in our Adopt A Classroom (AAC) program. In the fall, AAC chair Kathie Woulfe and I made over 100 presentations and we are very hopeful of reaching our goal of 130 by March.
Our Enrichment program experienced tremendous growth in both reach and content. We offered an inaugural summer camp program serving 450 students. Over 1500 students participated in Enrichment classes this fall. We are broadening our reach offering more classes for middle and high school students and expanding course offerings into more academic areas, such as algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus.
Photo courtesy of Al Wright, Raintree Studios
Our Middle School Sports program grew in number with 467 student-athletes now participating from five middle schools. With the advent of more middle school options for families next year (Bay Farm and Encinal Junior Jets), we expect the program to grow even more. The behind-the scenes-action is exciting, too. Wood Volleyball Coach Roan Kees was featured in the AUSD newsletter under “Best Practices” for her efforts in peer tutoring. Fiona Blackburn is an ACLC high school student who gives back by coaching volleyball for the Nea/ACLC team. Fiona was named a “Commended Student” in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program and hopes to go to Brown University in the fall.
Giving back is a theme that we saw and experienced in other programs, as well, such as when Encinal High School 2006 grad Kate Rockwell, working for Perforce, used her company non-profit donations to adopt three teachers at her alma mater. Kate accompanied us on the presentations and it was motivational for all involved. In fact, several other Perforce employees are using their company non-profit donations to give back through our Adopt A Classroom program.
At AEF, we thanked Jeff Grimm for his years of service as treasurer and welcomed two new board members, Gary Blank and Tim Coffey. Gary and Tim bring expertise to our board as well as a commitment to students. Thank you Board members for your volunteer service. It is greatly appreciated. We are always looking for new board members that bring valuable skills to help us in achieve mission. If you are interested, please let me know at Bill@AlamedaEducation.org. I also want to thank our staff – Nora, Vicki, Sarah, Linda and Marty – for all they do for the students of Alameda.
The innovative programs of AEF and of all our schools contribute so much to the future success of our students. I hope you will join me when we recognize and honor school innovative programs, program leaders, school volunteers and business supporters at our annual Salute to Education event on April 19th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm at Rock Wall Winery.
As always, our work is not possible without community support. We strive to give back as much as possible to our schools. For example, 100% of each Adopt A Classroom donation goes directly to the classroom teacher. But it does take staff time and overhead to be able to coordinate and manage our many programs. Thank you to all of you who responded to our year end appeal and who support our work with financial gifts. We appreciate any donation you can make to help us continue to Support Student Success!
The tragic event in Newtown occurred the day after our monthly Adopt A Classroom presentation day. I spent Thursday, December 13th with happy, cheering kindergartners and first graders. In fact, look at the picture taken by Kathie Woulfe at one presentation – happy smiling kids – our kids. My last presentation was made outside in the Kindergarten play yard at Haight to cheering Kindergartners. I got many hugs from the beautiful students. One little boy even said, “Thank you, sir, for the money.”
The next day the tragedy occurred. I thought of our kids and the families of the murdered first graders, the teachers and principal of Sandy Hook. The horrific event troubles me greatly. I want to continue making our kids and teachers smile and laugh. I want more young students, like one last week who came up to me while I was grocery shopping, to say “thanks for bringing the money to our class” and tell me “we are going on a field trip.” I want to keep in my thoughts the young high school teacher who was crying so hard with tears of joy when she received her adoption she couldn’t say thank you. I want the sad and troubling thoughts of last Friday’s tragic event to wane. I do not ever want what happened to the kids at Sandy Hook to happen again.
Your support of the Alameda Education Foundation has enabled us to make many kids – and teachers – smile and enables us to continue to make a positive impact in the lives of our precious students, but we will save those stories for another day.
For now, let me just wish each of you a safe and peaceful holiday season.