Schools Receive Sizeable School Power Gifts

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Two longtime school fundraising organizations awarded the Laguna Beach Unified School District some of its largest gifts ever this past Tuesday, May. 26.

A check for $316,117 was gifted to the district by School Power, a volunteer fundraising group that augments the school’s budget and supports new projects. “This batch of grants was particularly strong for all four schools,” said Robin Rounaghi, School Power executive director. The district has two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school, which cumulatively enroll 3,000 students.

The check will be split between three categories, School Power leaders said. The highest amount ever raised for the Fund-a-Need program, $212,000, will be used to redesign six classrooms at Thurston Middle School and six classrooms at Laguna Beach High School to accommodate a more technological and interactive group-learning environment with new mobile classroom furniture.

The money will be used “to develop a thoughtful plan of moving our classroom environments forward to allow new ways for teachers to teach and engage and new ways for students to collaborate and participate,” said presenter Tom Motherway, School Power president.

Another check for $150,000 will be the final installment of a $300,000 commitment to assist all four schools in music programs, electives, performing and visual arts and a call-out system for school announcements as well as another high school counselor and elementary school teacher. The final amount of $14,117 will go to other teacher and sports programs. The money was provided by a record-breaking number of contributors, 892, said Rounaghi.

The Endowment Fund also presented a check for $184,684, presented by Tom Addis, president. The check will distribute $84,684 in grants to fund a score of special projects sought by teachers, which were submitted earlier for final selection. Another $50,000 will be used to continue a foreign language program with an additional $50,000 to support musical instruction for stringed instruments.

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