(Photo: Susan Morning)
In California, we hear too much bad news about the state of public education; our schools face unprecedented budget cuts, growing class sizes and other challenges.
Thanks to the fundraising efforts of two local nonprofits, Mammoth Unified School District students have a brighter outlook and enhanced learning opportunities.
Since 2010, Mammoth Schools NOW Education Foundation (NOW) and Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation (MMCF) have worked together to fund programs, positions and technology that improve education in Mammoth’s schools. For the 2012-13 school year, NOW and MMCF are contributing some $300,000 to Mammoth Unified.
“ This ongoing fiscal crisis challenges us all to think creatively. The partnership between MUSD, the NOW Foundation and the MMCF has provided us with leadership opportunities that will allow us to continue to build programs that will meet the needs of our students,” said MUSD Superintendent Rich Boccia.
What is funded
NOW’s volunteer board members (representing the three Mammoth Unified School District sites) have worked with Superintendent Rich Boccia to identify four funding priorities for 2012-13: Increased class offerings/academic flexibility, technology, language pathways and visual/performing arts.
Over the summer, Boccia and his staff finalized a funding proposal that matches up with NOW’s priorities. It adds up to great programs at every grade level. At Mammoth High School, the NOW/MMCF partnership funds two full-time teachers and online courses for the Independent Learning Center; at Mammoth Middle School, a full-time Spanish teacher; at Mammoth Elementary, a part-time music teacher. District-wide, funding supports an information technology specialist and K-8 software for multiple subjects that enables students to utilize computers in the classroom and at home.
Mammoth Elementary School Principal Rosanne Lampariello praised the opportunities created at her school: “A love and appreciation of music is being cultivated at our school, starting with our youngest and carrying through to our oldest students—made possible by the generosity of the NOW/MMCF Partnership.”
How funding works
Both NOW and MMCF rely on private donations and operate with very low overhead so that more money goes into the schools. Through an annual fund drive and participation in the Mammoth Food and Wine Experience, NOW has raised $50,000.
Education is a cornerstone program for Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation, and for the last two years, the organization has committed to a $250,000 donation to Mammoth’s schools through the NOW Foundation. Much of that donation comes to MMCF from Mammoth Mountain’s guests: when skiers and guests stay at Mammoth Mountain lodging or buy a season pass, they have the option to donate a dollar or more to MMCF’s education program. An important part of that donation is funding the Independent Learning Center at Mammoth High School, which provides flexible programming (through a combination of online and in-class learning) to district students.
“It’s a win-win, allowing MMCF to bring additional resources to Mammoth’s schools while also creating a program that supports student athletes on Mammoth Mountain teams,” said MMCF executive director Stacy Corless.
How to help
Look for the NOW Education Foundation’s annual fund drive in early 2013. If you are interested in participating on the NOW Board or assisting in fundraising efforts, please visit www.MammothSchoolsNOW.org or call 760.453.0444.
MMCF and NOW are also collaborating on other fundraising efforts, working with the business community to develop ways for their customers to support local education. For more information, email Stacy Corless, MMCF executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.mammothfoundation.org.