Frequently Asked Questions
The Weston Education Enrichment Fund Committee is a sub-committee of the Weston School Committee. Formed in 1985, WEEFC solicits tax-deductible donations to support innovative and creative projects that are beyond the regular school budget. Contributions to the fund are tax-deductible under the Internal Revenue Code as gifts to the Town of Weston. While WEEFC is not organized as a 501(c)(3) organization, it functions similar to the education foundations in other towns.
The committee is made up of nine parent volunteers and a member of the School Committee who serves as a liaison between the two groups. WEEFC board candidates are chosen by the School Committee based on a recommended list of nominees brought forward by the Nominating Committee. Members serve two-year renewable terms.
Contributions to the annual fund are primarily made in response to Fall Appeal which is mailed to all parents. This fall mailing is followed by a Phone-A-thon at which a group of parent volunteers make phone calls to remind parents to mail in their donations. This underscores WEEFC's goal of 100% of parents supporting 100% of Weston school children. Additional fundraisers include the Annual Auction and Dinner Dance, WEEFC Family Photo Days, and Kids Kreations.
There are two kinds of grants. Mini-grants, which average $500, supply funds for materials and equipment for classroom projects, guest artists or speakers, and educational field trips. Larger project grants, which can range from $1000 to many thousands, fund more extensive, interdisciplinary projects or more costly equipment purchases. In addition, WEEFC supports teacher professional development. WEEFC also collaborates with the PTO Creative Arts and Science Councils on curriculum-related programs.
Last year 100 grants were awarded, totaling over $300,000 and ranging from $200 to have animals visit in the Pre-K classrooms to over $75,000 for technology, including funding for an iPad pilot program in the 7th grade..
Teachers and administrators submit their innovative ideas for consideration. The WEEFC Board meets throughout the school year to allow for quick response time and ongoing interaction.
Grants must be approved by the principal or department head, the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, the WEEFC Board, and then School Committee.
The Weston Education Enrichment Fund was established as an annual fund, in the belief that parents would prefer to support a fund that would provide immediate benefits to their children. There is an endowment fund in memory of student Ben Sandalls that was established as a separate account. WEEFC oversees the expenditure of its income each year to support a program which enriches the creative writing curriculum in the schools.
Unrestricted funds allow the committee to work with the administration to identify the areas of greatest need and to direct grant money to those areas, in accordance with system-wide goals. If a donor has a particular area of interest or concern that he or she would like to see addressed, it is recommended that the donor talk with the Superintendent or the WEEFC Chair about their intentions before earmarking funds.
Weston is fortunate to have 2 wonderful organizations to support the public school system, WEEFC and the PTO. The PTO is a large membership group that provides substantial volunteer assistance in the schools. For example, PTO volunteers organize Westword, the weekly on-line school and community newsletter. The PTO also facilitates science forums, art programs, staff receptions, and Back-to-School nights. As the fundraising arm of the Weston Public Schools, WEEFC frees the PTO from extensive fundraising duties and allows each group to concentrate its efforts without overlapping. This cooperation has worked well for the school system. WEEFC helps the PTO and the PTO helps WEEFC, each working to achieve our common goal of supporting the Weston Public Schools.
In addition to financial support, volunteering is a great way to give back to the schools. Many opportunities exist throughout the school year to help with the various fundraisers. Additionally, interested parents can also volunteer to serve on WEEFC when a vacancy is advertised.
WEEFC Chair Allison Abrams, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (339) 222-2676
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