Foundation’s ‘One Million Reasons’ campaign off to solid start

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation has already raised $60,000 in the first month of an ambitious campaign to raise $1 million in funds for the 2010-11 academic year.

The funds include an initial challenge gift of $50,000 from an individual donor. The Educational Foundation is an independent non-profit 501(c)3 organization that raises private money for the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Executive Director Wendy Correll notes that the campaign’s title refers to “one million reasons to support Ann Arbor Public Schools.” On making their contribution, donors can designate which program area they wish to support: Arts & Humanities, Math & Science, Early Childhood Education, or College and Career Readiness. Donors are able to post their reasons for supporting the schools on the Educational Foundation’s website and Facebook Fan Page.

Throughout May, June and July, the Educational Foundation is enlisting volunteers to carry its message to school PTO meetings, end-of-year events such as ice cream socials, performances, graduations, and community gatherings such as the Ann Arbor Summer Festival and the Townie Street Party. Supporters are also hosting house parties to answer questions about the Educational Foundation’s work, and why this campaign is needed now.

Historically, support from the Educational Foundation has been given in the form of grants to teachers and through the “Initiatives for Excellence” program. Since the crisis in school funding has escalated, resulting in mid-year and multiple budget cuts, the foundation is broadening its direct support to programs that secure the margin of excellence in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

The deadline for donations and pledges of support to the “One Million Reasons” Campaign is July 31. Gifts can be made online by visiting the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation website, or by sending a check payable to AAPSEF to 2555 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104. Contributors can also arrange for a scheduled draft from their checking or credit card accounts by contacting Educational Foundation staff at (734) 994-1969 to complete the necessary forms.

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