May 24, , 2018
It’s been awhile, St. Anthony-New Brighton! I’m excited to welcome Kristine Lizdas to my blog as a guest writer. She and a team of other dedicated community members have helped us shape the Community Fund we started during the holidays of 2017 into something pretty cool. Please read below and consider contributing to our Community Fund. It means a lot to us. Thanks, Renee
Dear friends and fellow district families,
As parents and caregivers, this time of the year often involves a frantic scramble to coordinate our kids’ summer schedules and register for a complex combination of camps and classes. The process typically involves multi-colored calendars, a lot of time online and a fair bit of stress; but we repeat this scramble every year because we believe that by doing so, our kids return to school in the fall more prepared for learning and ready to launch into the new school year. As a community member that wishes this same readiness for all of our district students, I am writing to you today to ask that you consider making a financial contribution of any amount to the new SANBE Community Fund, and by doing so, help ensure that as many district students as possible can enjoy the opportunities summer break offers and be equally prepared for learning come fall.
Our Origin Story
Many of you will remember that in December, 2016, Dr. Renee Corneille reached-out to the St. Anthony Middle School community announcing the creation of the “SAMS Community Fund.” As the SAMS community, we were invited to join school administrators and staff in supporting the full participation of all students within our school district by financially contributing to the fund. Unsurprisingly, the community’s response to Renee’s initial invitation and announcement was fantastic, and consequently, the SAMS Community Fund has been able to remove a wide variety of barriers to many students’ full and equitable participation in our district.
Following the successful launch of the SAMS Community Fund, school personnel and community members approached the St. Anthony-New Brighton Education Foundation (SANBE) Board to provide the structure through which the Community Fund could reach the most kids and families across all the district schools, including those kids participating in SAV Community Services. The SANBE Board agreed and the SAMS Community Fund officially matured into the SANBE Community Fund. I am grateful to add that since its inception, the Community Fund is increasingly a portal through which other community groups are effectively reaching all of our district kids and families.
What We Are Trying to Do
The SANBE Community Fund provides a new and distinct opportunity for community giving. Through the Community Fund, school staff and administrators, who are often most aware of the real-life, day-to-day hurdles kids face to participating in all the offerings of our district, can quickly and flexibly remove many of these obstacles. Because of their proximity to and relationships with our kids, school staff are well-positioned to recognize and address the actual barriers limiting kids’ participation in our district – whether it is lacking the proper clothes for a choir performance, lunch money on a given week, adequate equipment/clothes for athletics, bus fare to return home after an athletic event, or simply a schedule planner to track tests and play rehearsals. The Community Fund strives to ensure that all students can fully and equitably participate in every aspect of what we as a community value to be the whole student experience.
Back to Our Ask
Most of us will agree that the whole student experience includes how kids spend their time over summer break; and for that reason, our desire to remove as many barriers as possible for all our students persists – even through the sun and heat. So, we renew our invitation to you to help support our district students this summer. As we know all too well, summer classes, tutoring, enrichment activities and athletics involve fees, supplies and other expenses. Even summer jobs often involve some start-up costs (e.g. paint brushes, bus fare, certifications). Through your contributions, the SANBE Community Fund can help offset some of the barriers to these basic, and important, summer experiences.
Ultimately, it is our hope that all of our students will return to school this fall prepared for learning and ready to launch into the new school year, so thank you for considering our request. If you are able, please direct contributions to the “SANBE Community Fund,” and mail to 3303 33rd Ave. NE, St. Anthony Village, MN 55418, or you are welcome to drop off your donation directly at any of the district schools’ main offices.
SANBE Community Fund
*We will continue to provide information about the new SANBE Community Fund; but in the meantime, please feel free to direct any questions to our operating committee via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.