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Schools Foundation and Boosters Urge Community to Support Co-Curricular Programs, Call for Volunteers

The "Save Co-Curriculars" campaign is underway to raise $125,000, with a community-wide volunteer meeting scheduled for July 10.

With the recent controversy surrounding school funding, the New Haven Schools Foundation and New Haven Boosters Association have issued a statement to demystify their roles in contributing to local schools’ co-curricular programs while calling on the community for support.

“We would like to be absolutely transparent about the role the New Haven Schools Foundation and the New Haven Boosters play in providing a well-rounded education to our students,” read a statement posted Monday on the Foundation’s Facebook page.

Both the Foundation and Boosters are holding by raising money to pay for coach and instructor stipends.

“In the grand scheme of things, we aren’t talking about a huge sum of money,” the statement read.

According to the Foundation, the co-curricular budget will be $100,000 short for the 2012-13 school year, just as it was last year. In previous years, the budget was $300,000 but was cut due to the financial shortfall from the state.

This year, the Boosters and Foundation hope to raise $125,000, according to the Boosters.

Through a collaborative effort last year, both organizations were able to raise a combined $100,000 for the programs. The Boosters raised $50,000 via its 10-10-10 campaign and Race to Save Student Activities, which was then matched by the Foundation. The money went toward the stipends for junior varsity coaches, assistant directors and advisers for smaller programs, which would have been cut otherwise, according to the Foundation.

Stipends are given to coaches and instructors who also work outside of normal school hours. How much they receive is based on a per-student model, the Foundation said.

“While it’s paid to the coaches/directors as a stipend for their time spent mentoring their students, many of them often turn around and use that money to further support their program by buying supplies, equipment, paying tournament fees, etc.,” read the Foundation statement. “However you look at it, the stipend is a paltry sum compared to the countless hours these dedicated teachers expend on behalf of their students; most do it for the love of their program and the kids who benefit from these great programs.”

Due to he need for such programs and activities, the Foundation and Boosters are continuing to raise funds to directly contribute to co-curricular stipends via their “Save Co-Curriculars” campaign.

While some community members are donating directly to the activities that they want to support, the Foundation and the Boosters are asking New Haven residents to contribute to their campaign so that all programs will be able to benefit.

“Many of the larger activities (such as football, band, forensics) have significant fundraising operations of their own, but the smaller groups depend on the stipends to survive. Our kids deserve the opportunity to find the activities that appeal to them, big or small,” the Foundation’s statement read.

Both organizations are also calling on the community to help volunteer for the fundraising campaign.

“It’s a tough time to be asking people for money,” the Foundation said. “Resources are stretched thin everywhere. If you’re unable to donate financially, we understand, but please don’t count yourself out.”

For those interested in getting involved, the organizations will hold a volunteer meeting on Tuesday, July 10 at 7 p.m. at the Education Services Center on 32400 Alvarado-Niles Rd.

To contribute to the Save Co-Curriculars campaign, community members can make a tax deductible donation via the Foundation's website at www.nhsfoundation.com or mail a donation to NHBA, c/o New Haven Schools Foundation, 33377 Western Ave., Union City, CA  94587.

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Rebecca Venable June 30, 2012 at 03:20 AM
NHSF is a federally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. None of the funds from this organization can go to political groups. NHSF is governed by a group of volunteers, therefore we do not receive a stipend or payed for the work we do.
Rebecca Venable June 30, 2012 at 03:25 AM
In addition, NHBA raised the initial $50,000 was raised primarily through the pledge drive last spring after the failure of Measure B. So when Measure H failed, many asked us to do it again this year. The Fun Run raised about $10,000 & Logan's 10x10x10 raised a little over $10,000.
Zolla June 30, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Immediate Action Requested! ACTION NEEDED: Contact members of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee (see below) and tell them you oppose Assembly Constitutional Amendment 21. WHEN TO TAKE ACTION: Now. A bill radically amending the two-thirds vote protection provided by Proposition 13 is up for a hearing this Monday, July 2nd, at 1:30. Even if it's the weekend, please call anyway and leave a message! WHY: Los Angeles Assemblyman Mike Feuer (916-319-2042) has introduced a bill, ACA 21, that lowers the two-thirds vote for local education parcel taxes from a two-thirds to a 55% vote. This bill will make it easier for local politicians to increase your property taxes, already 14th in the nation, even higher! The money will go to fund education programs, despite the fact that at least 40% of the state budget already goes to education. Increasing taxes in the middle of the worst foreclosure crisis in 70 years is neither warranted or wise.
Johnny C. June 30, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Open up James Logan High School Parking Lot as a Flea Market ?.If Chabot College/ Mission College can get $30 per space ,Why doesn't NHUSD/NHBA do the same only on a weekly basis ?.Money will start rolling in their coffers too - Even bring in a few food trucks ! Community will embrace it whole heartily !
Rebecca Venable June 30, 2012 at 04:32 PM
That's a great idea. Would you be willing to help with the planning? As the article says, we have a meeting on July 10 & might be able to pair you with other like minded volunteers. Many hands makes light work!
Davis June 30, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Thank you for your response Rebecca. I just want to make sure of what you said because I and others have heard that Barbara Aro-Valle receives a stipend for her duties as Executive Director. I am sure this is a matter of public record. So, what you said was that she has received Zero compensation from the Organization. Right?
Rebecca Venable June 30, 2012 at 06:22 PM
NHSF, like many many nonprofit organizations, hire a part-time Executive Director to oversee the daily operations. As I said prior, the $100K pledged by NHSF & NHBA will go directly to the District. I'm not sure if it is public record or not, as it in not always required by federal regulations of a nonprofit to provide financial information beyond it's Board. And to another point, an ED is not a voting member of the governing body.
Davis June 30, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Thank you, the Executive Director, Barbara Aro-Valle, wife of Political activist Richard Valle is an employee of NHSF and receives a salary.
Rebecca Venable June 30, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I still stand by the fact that 100% of the 100K pledge will go to the NHUSD. AND more to the point of this article, if someone would like to help supplement co-curricular funding for the district, NHSF is an assured way to get it to those programs. Political opinions aside.
ordinary joe June 30, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Thanks, Johnny C. Let us see how far this goes. If this happens the money will go to the schools as opposed to the Union.
ordinary joe June 30, 2012 at 08:53 PM
It is interesting to note that Rebecca Venable has not stated that Barbara Aro-Valle is not being paid in any of her messages. She has answereed very clevery and dodged the main question: Is Barbara Aro-Valle being paid or not?
TTFN July 01, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Clearly, any answer other than “No” means YES.
TruthOverDare July 01, 2012 at 08:14 AM
Rebecca Venable said, NHSF, like many many nonprofit organizations, hire a part-time Executive Director to oversee the daily operations. What was the criteria used to "hire" Ms. Valle? She is benefiting financially from donations made to the student activities. Do you think it is suspicious that the wife of a prominent political figure in Union City and Alameda county got the job ahead of all other qualified candidates who could have been hired? I strongly discourage anyone from donating money to NHSF or NHBA.
Rebecca Venable July 01, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Yes, there are operating costs associated with running a nonprofit, hence the need for a ED. But you clearly aren't interested in educating the public as to where the funds raised by NHSF go. Unfortunately too many internet trolls have a political agenda of their own and are willing to sabotage anything that is good and decent, such as the raising $100k for the kids in our New Haven community. As anyone that has volunteered their time can attest to, there are cost associated with putting on fundraising activities and events. Furthermore, volunteers can't be held legally responsible for the daily operations or liabilities of the nonprofit that they support. An ED is necessary for nonprofits the size NHSF to have operational costs. Because of the generosity of NHSF, organizations like NHBA can offer their contributors tax-deductions for their contributions (for example: NHBA Annual Race to Save or Pledge Drive). Making a win-win for supporters and co-curriculars.
Rebecca Venable July 01, 2012 at 01:33 PM
SO let me state this in a more direct way: Should anyone choose to make a check/cash donation thru NHSF for the Pledge Drive from now until the Fall, 100% will go to the $100K pledge to the District. Should anyone choose to use other means, via PayPal of credit card, there is an fee associated through those companies. AS for volunteers of NHSF & NHBA, which this article is about, contribute as you see fit.
Rebecca Venable July 01, 2012 at 01:59 PM
As a member of the Board of Directors for NHSF, I have a more than just legal responsibly to see that NHSF employees the most qualified person(s) our organization can compensate.
TTFN July 01, 2012 at 05:12 PM
If you read the article, you will note that NHSF is aiming to collect $125,000 and only committing to pass along $100,000 to the co-curriculars. This translates to a 20% overhead rate (sounds a little high to me; I would prefer to see 10-15% max). Unless they collect $200,000, in which case they have a 100% overhead rate. What everyone would like to know is what is your actual overhead rate and if you collect significantly more than the $125,000 (using the co-curricular banner), what will happen with the rest of the money? I find nothing on your website about your budget or expenses. No audit by a CPA, just a giant hand out asking for money. After all the lies and rhetoric around Measures B & H (which by the way Measure H was never about co-curriculars) you shouldn’t be surprised that the public (who’s money you want) demands transparency. We want to how our hard earned money will actually be used; and afterwards how it was actually used. As for volunteering, I have volunteered (time & money) to support my child’s co-curricular activities. I find it offensive that when you are asked to answer simple questions, you resort to calling people trolls. By using that approach, it makes it look all the more like you and the foundation are hiding something.
Davis July 01, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I knew that Aro-Valle was receiving compensation before I asked the question. Rebecca danced around it rather than just copping to it. She lashes out against us as Trollers when in fact she knows nothing about what we do or what we have done. The track record of the NHUSD and CTA, and NHTA should justify any question. They have ZERO credibility! As an example, where did the Roach Coach money go? It utilized District property to support a Labor Union! I belong to a fraternal organization, their rules dictate that they not donate to "foundations" for obvious reasons. It's too bad that the Union President is also on the Board, just makes it worse! If you feel compelled to donate your hard earned money, go straight to the source, ie, the band.
Rebecca Venable July 01, 2012 at 07:14 PM
NHSF is pledging, promising, guaranteeing a donation $100k to NHUSD, this is so the district can approve a balanced budget with the guarantee of $100k for co-curricular programs. NHSF have no idea how much will be raise beyond that. NHSF is has faith that the community will continue to rally together help raise this pledge. The intent is to donate more, therefore the goal to raise an additional 25K. It is not to take money promised to fund these programs for NHSF overhead costs nor will NHSF do so. If NHSF promised to give the full $125k and should fall short, where would that leave NHUSD, & where would that leave NHSF? NHSF does so much more than just fund these programs. As a Board Member, there is a fiduciary & ethical responsibly that overhead for the organization is kept to a bare minimum. These operational costs are factored into the NHSF budget. As a federally approve 501(c)3, NHSF does submit to audits. As I've tried to explain before, many in the New Haven community turned to NHBA to help supplement funding for Co-curriculars after the failure of these Measures. That's when NHBA turns to NHSF to help facilitate this for contributors and programs.
Rebecca Venable July 01, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I'm trying to keep a cool head all the while seeing innuendos about what, who, and how NHSF & NHBA is or doing with the contributions it is receiving. It is very hard not to take it personal, since I have devoted many hours organizing and committing to these two organizations. I take personal ownership over thing that I put my name to. I’m not hiding. I’m using my real name and standing by the work that I have done, which many that troll these articles do not. As many that troll these sights and read the skewing of the truth to push personal agendas against NHSF & NHBA, I’ve had enough and would prefer to step up to defend the cause of supplementing education if I can. As for the redirect of CTA, NHTA & NHUSD in regards to this $100k pledge, I am not a member to these organizations. Nor will I answer for them or presume to know their methods. I’m not trying to sway your opinion, but rather inform those that wish to hear the truth about NHSF & NHBA. I agree that you should give to those that you feel will best utilize your contributes, as I do. And I completely disagree that NHSF & NHBA has zero credibility. NHSF & NHBA committed to & raised a $100k for co-curriculars last year and continue to do so this year.
Davis July 01, 2012 at 07:52 PM
The track record of the NHUSD and CTA, and NHTA should justify any question. They have ZERO credibility! Didn't mention your organizations, please read, and aim before you pull the trigger!
Rebecca Venable July 01, 2012 at 08:25 PM
My statement was, "Unfortunately too many internet trolls have a political agenda of their own and are willing to sabotage anything that is good and decent, such as the raising $100k for the kids in our New Haven community." Does this fit you? I leave that for you to decide. I have not singled anyone out... I'm trying to stay away from giving the idea that NHSF has any political agenda. However, I do understand how one could have assumed I was talking about everyone that would like to persuade the public with the illusion that NHSF has a political agenda, when clearly it cannot nor has one. For that I am sorry.
Rebecca Venable July 01, 2012 at 08:28 PM
You used a pronoun, how was I to know which organization you were referring to? So, I make the point to clear that up. :)
TruthOverDare July 01, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Rebecca Venable said "As a member of the Board of Directors for NHSF, I have a more than just legal responsibly to see that NHSF employees the most qualified person(s) our organization can compensate." Really? The most qualified person just coincidentally happened to be the wife of a prominent local politician and the prime supporter of Measure B parcel tax measure? Ms. Venable, if I were you, I'd stop talking. The more you talk, the more deceptive you appear. Stop digging the hole. You've made your point very clear that all we have to do is read between your lines to know that NHBA and NHSF are in bed with NHTA and local politicians. Thank you.
Rebecca Venable July 01, 2012 at 09:44 PM
I'm no the most eloquent person, but I would know if NHSF is contributing to a political campaign. What you are inferring is that when an organization is paying a person for a job, an organization is contributing to a political cause because they are married to someone with political ties. That's not entirely accurate, and completely misleading. And to let you know, several local politicians support parcel tax measure here in Union City. And I can attest to marriages where spouses don't share the same political views. If I have make my point clear, why do you insist that NHSF is misdirecting funds intended for NHUSD? Especially fundraising effort designed to fund this $100K pledge. Clearly you are the deceitful one. I'm telling you out right that the money will go for what it is intended for.
Davis July 01, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Rebecca, I admire your steadfast support of your beliefs but request you also respect the concerns we have put forth. We have been through Measure B and H, the results have greatly divided the city. If I were running the NHBA, I would try to make it a community based organization. With that, Politicians, Spouses, Union Presidents, Spokesman for the district should be replaced on your board. Use your energy to heal the community not further divide it by supporting these opportunists.
Rebecca Venable July 01, 2012 at 11:26 PM
I will take that as a complement. It is out of respect that I am trying my best to be honest and forthcoming, by answering your questions, and continue to respond against better judgement. NHBA is not an elite group, we started as a grassroots movement to raise awareness and find funding for co-curriculars. NHBA doesn't discriminate against anyone that will contribute to the cause. It is a lot of work, for just a few. NHBA is grateful for the community supporters and have made great strides in persuading NHUSD to keep funding co-curriculars as much as posible. That's why influential people want to help us. NHBA does what it says it's going to do!! And we can't do it alone, we need larger organizational support, such as NHSF. The cost is too high should we fail to reach out for help.
Harriet July 02, 2012 at 02:27 AM
I really appreciate the intelligent conversation that has taken place here. I would like to comment and question. In the current , recent , contract approved my NHUSD certificated, co- curricullar was not cut, and according to my understanding, being funding by district funds, not dependent upon fundraising. However, we are losing 75% of library/ media services, have huge classes, have lost paraprofessional support , janitorial support, less student days .. All of which directly impact academic achievement for students. What is the foundation doing to address these issues? Certainly having a media center available 100% of the time is a great thing for students.
Rebecca Venable July 02, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I wish I had a direct answer for you. In our committee meeting for this July 10 meeting, we have expressed a goal to raise the additional 25k for Libraries, but we are not sure how to guarantee that funds gets used as it is intended. Currently, this falls outside of the governance of the NHSF and NHBA. As well as leads to funding a salaried employee that NHSF could not financial support should funding fall short. It would not be fair to that employee or the District. However, many of us hope that new faces will come to the meeting to strategize a course of action. That is why NHSF & NHBA have added it to the flyer as some kind of appeal for libraries. As for co-curriculars being funded, they are only partially funded to $200 (not to the once $465K it was a few years back).
Rebecca Venable July 02, 2012 at 03:20 AM
As for the many funding shortfalls that have hit this district, many have campaigned to raise funds, but don't have the resource to fund everything. NHBA was started with like minded parents reaching out to anyone that would help us. Which lead to the Fun Run. As I have tried to express, more people need take an active role in finding ways to help fund education during these turbulent economic times. I encourage those willing to help; come to the July 10 meeting.

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