Creating a Strong Foundation for Our Children’s Education
What Is The Foundation for Las Virgenes Schools?
Recognizing the value of a strong educational system is why The Foundation for Las Virgenes Schools was created in 2010. The Las Virgenes school board and superintendent rallied concerned parents, community members, and business leaders to build The Foundation, an umbrella organization that supports the school district at large.
The Foundation raises money in a variety of ways, but their signature events are The Event and The Carnival, along with annual appeals and two bingo events at The Commons of Calabasas. This year’s The Carnival takes place at Whizin Market Square in Agoura Hills on the weekend of September 6-8. The Carnival brings families in the community together with all proceeds going toward district-wide programs.
The other of The Foundation’s most popular community fundraisers is The Event. The Event features local food, wine, and beer tastings together with an auction and live entertainment. Uniting local businesses, parents, civic leaders, and community members in support of our schools, The Event will be held next year on May 30th at the Calabasas Civic Center.
Donations to this nonprofit educational organization go towards different initiatives than those raised by each school. “Donating to your local school, as well as The Foundation, is important,” says The Foundation President Jeannie Abraham. “The monies raised go towards completely separate initiatives. Right now, The Foundation supports mental health and wellness counselors, which are so important in today’s world. Businesses in the community should also support The Foundation since people move to and work in the Las Virgenes School District because of the coveted, award-winning schools. Our community, businesses, and real estate values all directly benefit from the quality of schools.”
“Thanks to The Foundation, we were able to add counselors at every school,” says LVUSD Superintendent Dr. Dan Stepenosky. “LVUSD now has the lowest student-to-counselor ratio in the region. They provide individual and group support for the academic success and emotional and social well-being of all of our students.” They’ve already provided more than 1.5 million dollars since the inception in 2011. Long-term, they hope to raise five million dollars yearly to offset fluctuations in state funding.
The Foundation Vice President Mark Madnick, a graduate of Calabasas High School, clarifies the upcoming goals: “We have a new mission: to sustain and implement programs to support high-impact learning and innovative educational opportunities while providing a safe and nurturing environment for our students.” Proposed plans include a district-wide art and music program, continuing free PSAT testing for 8th and 10th graders after the current grant expires, reducing class sizes, offering online coursework for students seeking college credits, and much more. He believes their current fundraising efforts and plans represent only the tip of the iceberg and looks forward to furthering The Foundation’s goals over the coming years.
Collaboration remains key to creating a fiscally healthy school system that benefits the entire district. After extensive research, they support a more integrated fundraising approach to maximize fundraising potential for the district. The most successful educational foundations work together with their individual school campuses, rather than as individual schools.
One of the main reasons people move to or remain in the area to raise their families is our excellent educational system. It follows that strengthening our schools will, in turn, help expand the local real estate market and businesses. The Foundation strives to educate parents and others about this strong link between successful schools and a thriving community. The Foundation is always looking for community members who share their vision to volunteer in support of their efforts. This year, The Foundation seeks a minimal donation of $50 from families in order to reach their current goals. Donations can be made by mail or through the website at thefoundationlvs.org.
The Foundation for Las Virgenes Schools
4111 N. Las Virgenes Rd.