Honor Your Teacher

Achieve offers the perfect way to thank any staff member in any school! Tribute cards will inscribed with your family’s personal message and delivered at the end of the year. Your donations will benefit Achieve’s Teacher Grants program. Order tributes by credit card online ($10 minimum order) or by check by printing this form. The deadline for orders is June 3, but order today!

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Private Funds
for Public Education

The Achieve Foundation of South Orange and Maplewood raises funds to promote exemplary public education for all students and educators in our community.

Read More About Our Mission >

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Maker Madness

Maker Madness is a free, hands-on interactive experience for families at CHS. Activities include animation, 3-D printing, electronics demolition, kinetic sculpture, catapults, coding, Popsicle stick bridges, pop-up books, origami, sewing and more!

Watch a VIDEO from Maker Madness 2016!

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Night of 100 Dinners

Thank you to all who took part in our largest fundraiser of the year, which brought in $65,000 and many new friends to the organization!

Special thanks to Allison Ziefert, 2016 Sponsors & Maplewood Grille, Bunny’s & Verjus.

Check out the PICTURES courtesy of Noelle Harteveld Photography & watch the video.

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Teacher Grants Announced

The Achieve Foundation announced its largest annual distribution of funds for Teacher Grants to date: $70,155 to 68 teachers for creative projects in all nine district schools.

See a complete list of recipients and their projects here.
See a list of grants eligible for direct funding here.
To donate to direct grant funding, click here.

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The Achieve Foundation provided seed money for a competitive robotics program at Columbia High School, whose robotics teams continue to garner top awards. The program’s ever-increasing popularity prompted the district to introduce a robotics curriculum. This example demonstrates Achieve’s ability to advance and expand education by piloting enriching, innovative programs.


A Renewed Community Venue

Achieve raised more than $450,000 to take the district’s renovation of Columbia High School’s historic auditorium to a complete restoration. Achieve’s funds paid for the painstaking restoration of architectural details as well as upgrades to the sound system, seating, lighting and flooring. Audiences can now enjoy performances of the school’s acclaimed Special Dance troupe, all-school musicals and concerts in a magnificent space.

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We Need You

Hundreds of volunteers have helped Achieve become a true partner in South Orange and Maplewood public schools. Consider joining a fundraising committee, volunteering at an event or tutoring a student. Or perhaps you can offer your skills in graphic design, data management or marketing. We can help you find the best way to volunteer.



Latest News


Latest News

Achieve Foundation May 2016

Awards to Teachers and Administrators
The 2016 recipients of the Michelle T. Riecke Teaching Fellowship and the Achieve Administrators Grant received their awards at a reception on May 5 for all educators who received grants this year.

Fifteen teachers won Riecke Fellowships for seven different summer professional development programs and three Administrators Grants were awarded.

The Riecke Fellowships and Administrator Grants brought the grand total of Achieve’s spending on grants for 2015-16 school year to a record $111,000! Thank you to the generous donors and the creative educators for making it possible for us to support outstanding teaching in our schools.

Honor Your Teacher
Through Achieve, you can give the gift teachers love more than anything else: expressions of heartfelt thanks from their students.

Order charming cards for a donation of $5 or more per card, and Achieve will inscribe them with your children’s personal messages to any staff member in any school and put them in school mailboxes at the end of the year. Honor Your Teacher tributes are the gifts that give back, because every dollar you donate will support Achieve Teacher Grants, for which any educator may apply in the fall.

It’s easy to order! Click here to order online by credit card, or download this form (make a copy for each tribute you order), and mail it with one check for your total donation for all tributes to the Achieve Foundation, PO Box 1084, Maplewood, NJ 07040.

The deadline for tribute orders is June 3. Questions? Send us an e-mail or call 973-378-2055.

Charlie Pollock Concert
Charlie Pollock and his Broadway friends will take the stage at the Woodland in Maplewood Village on Monday, June 13 at 7:00 PM to benefit Achieve’s Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative.

Pollock Initiative funds are used to support music programs in the South Orange and Maplewood schools.

Make a night of it on June 13! Come at 5:00 and purchase a picnic dinner to enjoy with the family on the Woodland lawn before settling in for the indoor show. Concert admission is free, but reservations are required. Click here to register. You can help the Pollocks increase the impact of the music initiative by being a concert sponsor. For further information on the Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative, click here.

Maker Madness
Maker Madness, Achieve’s festival of STEAM activities, drew more than 1,000 people to Columbia High School on April 30. Watch our video here.

Thank You Volunteers!
Have you volunteered on an Achieve Foundation committee or for an event this year? Hosted a party for Night of 100 Dinners? Served as a school liaison? If so, mark your calendar for Thursday evening, June 16, when we’re planning a reception for you. Watch your e-mail for details.congratulate the grant awardees.


Vanessa Pollock Music Intiative


Vanessa Pollock Music Intiative

Achieve’s Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative aims to improve music resources in the district and enable students with financial need to benefit equitably from music education opportunities.

This special music fund, established in 2015, is the brainchild of local residents Charlie and Vanessa Pollock, who have donated proceeds from concerts hosted by Vanessa and her team at Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty. The fund is used to maintain the district’s inventory of instruments, provide scholarships for instrument rentals, support Teacher Grants for music projects and pay for music training for students with financial need who demonstrate exceptional talent.

The Pollock Initiative provides more than $15,000 for music programs in the South Orange and Maplewood schools annually.

Register for “Charlie Pollock and Friends” on June 13

Be a concert sponsor or support the music initiative.

Learn More


Maker Madness


Maker Madness

Maker Madness

Maker Madness is a free, interactive all day experience for families at CHS. Stations include animation, 3-D printing, electronics demolition, kinetic sculpture, catapults, coding, Popsicle stick bridges, pop-up books, origami, sewing and more! Achieve hosted the event in the spring of 2015 and 2016 that was planned and carried out by 90 local volunteers and supported by 12 generous sponsors. Over 1,000 students and adults tried their hands at more than 30 activities.

Time to start planning for next year…. CONTACT US if you want to be a sponsor or get involved.

Watch a VIDEO from Maker Madness on April 30, 2016

See the list of Maker Madness 2016 activities and sponsors



Honor Your Teacher and Staff Tributes


Honor Your Teacher and Staff Tributes


Teachers agree that heartfelt expressions of thanks are the best end-of-the-year gifts they receive from their students. Through the Achieve’s Honor Your Teacher and Staff tributes, families can send children’s messages of appreciation to teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, crossing guards and others in the school district. For a donation of $5 or more each, Achieve prints students’ sentiments on tasteful cards that are delivered to the recipients in June. Proceeds support Achieve’s Teacher Grants. (Send tributes at any time of year for birthdays, graduations, etc., and they make great class gifts)!

2 easy ways to order tributes:



Send a Teacher or Staff Tribute

Educator Grants


Educator Grants

Engagement and collaboration with educators in the School District of South Orange and Maplewood informs Achieve’s program development and fundraising, so it can best serve its mission. Achieve offers several grant opportunities for educators, who may apply for funds to pay for projects, equipment or professional development in the classroom and beyond.

Teacher Grants are awarded in December to be used for spring projects. Donors may increase the amount of spending on Teacher Grants each year by contributing to Direct Grant Funding through January.

2016 Administrator Grants and Fellowship Awards will be announced in May.



Already received a grant? Complete and submit the project evaluation form





Achieve’s hallmark tutoring program improves the academic performance of children who are struggling with their schoolwork by pairing them with trained volunteer tutors.
The initiative was started in 1997, based on the notion that children who are not reaching their full academic potential may benefit from the help of a free tutor.



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