Having grown up attending schools in the Redwood City public education system, I can recall some truly great experiences in my elementary and middle school years.
Earning my first A on a math test subsequent to an after school tutoring session, singing campfire songs and sleeping in our personally constructed driftwood tipis on the beach of Tomales bay and listening to the school orchestra perform a multitude of renditions from Pachelbel's Cannon to the Star Wars theme -- a seemingly first rate education for a district plagued by budget cuts. Throughout the years, my public school experience has been exponentially enhanced through educational programs and funding, greatly due to the work of the Redwood City Education Foundation.
The Redwood City Education Foundation (RCEF) annual Benefit for a Brighter Future is coming up the evening of May 3 at the Grove and Theatre at Cañada College in Redwood City. The Benefit generates roughly 30 percent of the RCEF’s yearly revenue and is one of the chief fundraising events for the foundation. The benefit is planned and run largely by volunteers. Students help make decorations -- this year bright, colorful piñatas and fun party hat centerpieces in celebration of the 30th anniversary for RCEF -- while parents work behind the scenes to find a venue, organize catering and contrive a schedule of inspirational speakers and a professional magician, Dan Chan the Magic Man, for entertainment.
In addition to preparation for the event, student volunteers interact with guests at the benefit through informing them about the schools in the district and encouraging attendees to write checks during the donation segment of the evening.
The amount of volunteer work that goes into the Benefit’s success highlights the importance of RCEF for the community. Noting endless budget cuts in addition to funding shortfalls that have resulted in overcrowded classrooms, reduced student to teacher time, and a seemingly never ending lack of supplies, the RCEF works around these setbacks to provide students in public schools with enriching programs. Some of these programs include Music and Outdoor Education, wellness programs like P.E. and nutrition, SMART grants and summer math tutoring.
As a former public elementary school student myself, I have benefited immensely from these programs. I fondly remember kissing banana slugs at Outdoor Ed., and credit my good composting habits to my time there, and although I never took band, I was always grateful for their accompaniment during musicals and Shakespeare plays. Thanks to a recent SMART grant from Oracle, I can now see students benefit from the new iPad Lab and it is evident that the Redwood City public school system is genuinely improving because of these programs. All of the money raised by the benefit goes directly to the RCEF to enhance these and many other important programs.
Parents, educators, students and community members are all encouraged to attend the benefit and participate in the RCEF’s fundraiser to benefit students of Redwood City and truly equip students for a brighter future.
To purchase tickets, please visit www.benefitforabrighterfuture.org soon because tickets are selling out fast!