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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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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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