Education

Philanthropy Update

November 19, 2003 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

District Mothers Turn to Internet To Raise Money for Oregon Schools

For parents of school children in Oregon, times are tough. The state has one of the worst unemployment rates in the country, no state sales tax, and a heavily burdened revenue system. Local businesses around the state are even doing promotions to help raise money for schools. (“Cash-Strapped Oregon Schools Get Help From Businesses,” this issue.)

“It’s a frustrating environment when you have kids,” said Maureen Patrick, who has one child in the Oregon City school district, near Portland.

Facing another year of education cuts, Ms. Patrick and another mother wanted to do something for the 7,000 students in their district. But the two quickly discovered that fund drives and school auctions could be a lot of work, while offering limited results.

Then, inspired by a Newsweek article about an online fund-raising program in New York City, they decided to reach out to potential donors with the help of the Internet.

The New York City program, which used data-gathering software, allowed parents, businesses, and foundations to review teacher and school projects on the Internet and then donate to the projects of their choice online.

But the cost of the software was more than the two Oregon parents could afford. So they approached the Oregon City Schools Foundation, which granted them $1,000 in seed money to start their own Web site, www.donate2educate.org.

The site lists funding requests made by teachers, including money for field trips, reading programs, classroom supplies, books, swimming lessons, and school equipment.

All requests are reviewed by administrators before being placed on the site, which was launched in mid-October.

Funding requests range from $50 to $4,000, but there are no limitations on how much teachers can ask for.

Ms. Patrick said that while all critical school programs will still be funded by the state, donations received through the Web site could help sustain small, unusual programs that would otherwise be cut because of budget constraints.

Filling the Language Void

Parlez-vous francais?

For nearly 1 million K-12 students in the United States, the answer is a resounding oui.

But while many American students are regularly taught French and Spanish, fewer than 50,000 are offered courses in Chinese or other world languages at the pre-collegiate level.

Now, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hopes to partly fill the language education void. It has given $7.5 million to the New York City-based Asia Society, a nonprofit organization that advocates the development of educational programs about Asia.

The grant is intended to help establish 10 international secondary schools that will focus a good portion of their efforts on teaching world languages. Three of the model schools, which will offer curricula that focus on international studies— including literature, science, mathematics, and languages—are tentatively scheduled to open for the 2004-05 school year in California, New York state, and North Carolina.

“There’s been a very weak treatment of world languages in the United States,” said Michael Levine, the executive director of education for the Asia Society.

Michael Levine

He points out that many polls have found a lack of student awareness concerning other cultures.

Traditionally, only the more elite schools have offered international studies. But in today’s global economy, Mr. Levine said, schools are becoming more aware that all U.S. students need to know about world cultures and languages. That’s especially true for fast-growing regions such as Asia.

“We hope that these schools will encourage the study of world languages,” he said. "[One of our goals is] to make these skills less of a luxury and more of a necessity for students.”

The schools will remain small, with about 400 to 600 students at each site. Five will enroll 9th through 12th graders; the other five will enroll students in grades 6-12. Each district will be responsible for providing facilities, but grant funding will help develop curricular supports and teacher professional development.

In addition to the initial three schools, the Asia Society is considering setting up model schools in Michigan, Minnesota, and Texas.

— D. Hurst


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP