Claremont Educational Foundation

Claremont Educational
Foundation

Who We Are

Claremont Educational Foundation is a local non-profit educational foundation devoted to raising money for all Claremont Unified School District (CUSD) schools. Our Mission: “To protect and enrich quality public education in Claremont.”

What We Do

Claremont Educational Foundation collaborates with the school district and the community to assist in providing all students the best education possible. CEF is the school district’s primary partner in providing support and enrichment opportunities that help every student at every school receive an impactful and achievement-filled education from CUSD. We grant funds to each school throughout the district, as well as educators and community partners, with a focus on art, music and technology, totaling more than $3.5 million dollars since 1991.

Why We Do It

CEF exists to help Claremont schools excel because we believe that improving our schools by working to close the gap left in state funding, improves our community. Because education is so much more than what takes place in the classroom, we offer enrichment programs and hold community conversations about issues that affect education. With the help of volunteers, community members, and business partners, our work benefits every child at every school in the district as well as impacts the greater community of Claremont.

How We Do It

In addition to our many revenue-generating programs and events, CEF relies on support from the local community as well as corporate donations to fund our successful annual gifting program. In 2019, over 40 businesses and professionals contributed over $100,000 in gifts and in-kind donations.

Please see our FAQs for common questions asked to CEF.

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A Message from The Presidents

Hello!


We are delighted to serve as your Presidents for the Claremont Educational Foundation for the 2019/2020 year. Several years ago, CEF developed a leadership model in which three people share the role and responsibilities of the CEF Presidency in any given year; the Past-President, President, and President-Elect. This helps to spread out the leadership responsibilities and ensure smooth functioning for our organization.

Let us introduce ourselves: Karen McMillen, President, Deborah Kekone, President-Elect and Amy Weiler, Past President. Together we have over 11 years experience with CEF. We are the parents of 6 children in total, ranging from grade 3 to grade 12, with three who have graduated from Claremont Unified schools, and we are all long-time Claremont residents.

Why did we decide to become involved with CEF? All three of us have made a commitment to support quality public education in our schools because we have seen the impact of CEF first hand. Karen, beginning as a parent at Sycamore Elementary, saw how CEF dollars allowed that school to provide a high quality art and music program for its students. Deborah, as a parent with one child at Chaparral Elementary and the other a recent CHS graduate now in college, valued CEF’s goal to positively impact every student at every school in the district. Finally, Amy saw the benefit from the support CEF has provided to each of her children’s schools; from having an art program at Oakmont Elementary to the ability to access technology at Claremont High School, CEF has been an influence in many ways.

We hope you will join us in supporting our kids and our community!

Sincerely,

Karen McMillen, President
Deborah Kekone, President-Elect
Amy Weiler, Past President

2019-20 Officers and Executive Committee


Karen McMillen,
President

Deborah Kekone,
President-Elect, Development & Communications Chair

Amy Weiler,
Immediate Past President

Lee Kimmel and Scott Smith,
Co-Treasurers

Bonnie Emadi,
Secretary

Kendall Bronk and Peter Hansen,
Grants Co-Chairs

Nicole Ouellette,
Nominations Chair

John Heitkemper,
Finance Chair

Board Members


Kathy Archer

Amber Bechard

Emily Cavalcanti

Richard Chute

Cindy Eiland

Shari Fournier O’Leary

Sonia Gonzalez

Diana Graves

Jack Harper

Sabrina Ho

Christine Leible

Michelle Mitchell

Rolando Talbott

Melinda Warren

Julia Zuker-Brunzell

Directors Emeritus


Ken Corhan

Bob Fass

CEF Staff, Support & Liaisons


Hilary LaConte,
School Board Liaison

Dr. Jim Elsasser,
Superintendent

Dr. Christine Malally,
Principal Liaison

Now Hiring,
SLICE Administrator

Brianna Miller,
Development Manager email

Monica Olesniewicz,
Development Assistant email

FAQs

What is CEF?
Claremont Educational Foundation is a local non-profit educational foundation devoted to raising money for all Claremont Unified School District (CUSD) schools. CEF collaborates with the school district and the community to assist in providing all students the best education possible. CEF is the district and school’s primary partner in providing support and enrichment opportunities that help every student receive an impactful and achievement-filled education from CUSD. We grant funds to each school throughout the district with a focus on art, music and technology enhancements.
Who manages CEF?
CEF is a non-profit educational foundation with a volunteer board of directors including dedicated parent volunteers, CUSD staff, and local business leaders who share their expertise in a variety of areas. These include education, finance, fundraising, business, law, events planning, community relations and communications. CEF employs two part-time staff members – Development Manager, Brianna Miller, as well as a part-time administrative assistant. Please feel free to submit inquiries by email to info@supportcef.com.
Where does the money go?
Monetary gifts made to the Claremont Educational Foundation go directly to enriching and sustaining quality public education for students attending the Claremont Unified School District. CEF provides school site grants that fund art and music instruction in the elementary schools and technology at the secondary schools as well as Teacher Innovation Grants of up to $2000 for special projects and Community Partnership Grants of up to $2000 for outside of school enrichment opportunities for Claremont students.
How are CEF's fundraising dollars impacting Claremont students this school year?
Each academic year, CEF provides block grants to fund critical art and/or music instruction at elementary schools, along with technology at the secondary schools. In addition to our primary grants to the district, CEF also funds teacher innovation grants and community partner grants for nonprofits that are delivering exceptional programs and services that benefit CUSD students. In the 2019-2020 school year, CEF’s block grants to the district increased by more than $25,000 from last year.
Why should I contribute to CEF?
Community contributions to CEF are instrumental to preserving an exceptional Claremont Unified School District education. CEF provides flexible funding that school principals can spend at their schools for art and music programs and technology not otherwise provided by the district.
Why should I consider giving to both CEF and my school's PFA?
CEF and PFA are both crucial parts of the funding mix that the district must assemble every year to keep CUSD schools strong. CEF is committed to an equitable distribution of funds across CUSD per school level, so that all students benefit. CEF supports program focused on art and music at the elementary level that would otherwise not be available without the additional funding. In addition, CEF gifts hardware and software to individual school sites offering additional support for the district’s Common Core commitment. The PFA supports materials, programs and events at individual school sites. PFA funds such things as classroom enrichment and supplies, school site improvements, playground equipment, student scholarships for field trips, and site-specific programs such as assemblies and parent-run community-building activities.
How will my contribution help my child?
Since CEF provides an equitable disbursement of funds across district schools per level (elementary, middle and high school), all students benefit. CEF supplements each school’s district funding for key enrichment programs and technology needed to accommodate new Common Core curricular requirements.
What are CEF Teacher Innovation Grants?
Each semester, CEF solicits applications from CUSD educators for the Innovation Grant program, which supports creative projects that engage students in high-impact learning opportunities. The focus of the grants is innovation, offering teachers and principals the opportunity and incentive to experiment with promising new ideas. The grant proposals ideally align with CEF’s areas of focus – art, music and technology.
How is CEF connected to the SLICE of Summer program?
CEF is the primary sponsor of the SLICE of Summer program. All coordination and administration of the SLICE program is under direct supervision of the CEF board. The SLICE summer program continues to address a need in Claremont by providing courses specifically designed to support enrichment, remediation and advancement. Due to CEF’s commitment to the district’s education priorities, no student is turned away from a SLICE class based upon ability to pay. Scholarships are made possible through critical community and business partner CEF donations.
How can local businesses support CEF?
The local business community is instrumental to CEF’s successful annual gifting. Annually, over 40 businesses and professionals contributed over $100,000 in gifts and in-kind donations. If you are interested in learning more about the Business Partner program, please contact us at info@supportcef.com
Does CEF offer in-kind donations to other organizations?
Claremont Educational Foundation offers limited in-kind donations to Claremont public schools each school year for use in fundraising events. Each fall, starting September 15th, 12 general admission tickets for our events (Chocolate Walk, Brews & Bros Craft Beer Festival, etc.) will be reserved to be used only as items in a silent auction, or raffle or opportunity drawing with purchased tickets that takes place during that school year. In-kind donations may not be used as giveaways, gifts, door prizes, or drawings or raffles without a buy-in. Ticket requests are first-come first-served and are limited to a maximum of two tickets per school site each school year. The final day to request in-kind donations will be when all tickets have been donated or no sooner than 30 days prior to the final event to which tickets will be available. We are not able to provide in-kind donation requests from schools and school booster groups outside of CUSD, gift certificates for our SLICE of Summer programs, or cash sponsorships. In-kind donation requests from other Claremont community organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Email info@supportcef.com with formal requests. Please include which school and fundraising group; name, date, and location of event; and how the donation will be used.
“Early exposure in elementary school to music, which I know CEF makes possible, is so important. It provided me a foundation in music that led to my discovery of the double bass at El Roble and then the CHS Jazz Band where I was introduced to jazz bass. Currently, I am attending Oberlin College and Conservatory outside Cleveland, Ohio where I am double majoring in Jazz Bass Performance and Anthropology. Please consider a gift to CEF today to make sure the arts continue to be offered in the Claremont elementary schools.”

Kamran Curlin, CHS Class of 2018

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