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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.

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Teacher Grants Announced

The Achieve Foundation announces its largest annual distribution of funds for Teacher Grants to date: $70,155 to 68 teachers for creative projects in all nine district schools. The money will be used for innovative projects teachers have created to benefit their students at all nine schools in the current school year.

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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Host a Dinner!

It’s not too early to think about participating in the Night of 100 Dinners in March. Volunteer hosts throw parties and invite their friends and neighbors, and guests make a contribution to Achieve. The dinners are one of our biggest fundraisers – since the parties began in 2005, they’ve helped raise almost half a million dollars for our programs in all the district’s schools! For more information about hosting, Email Us >

LIST OF 2015 HOSTS AND SPONSORS >

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Maker Madness

Maker Madness is a free, interactive, museum-like experience that offers hands-on educational activities like stop-motion animation, 3-D printing, kinetic sculpture, hovercraft, coding, Popsicle stick bridges, book art, origami, sewing and more.

Read More >

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Robotics

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.

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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.

VOLUNTEER >

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Latest News

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Latest News

Achieve Foundation January 2016

Help Add More Teacher Grants

Last month, the Achieve Foundation was proud to award $70,115 for 68 grants to teachers in all nine schools in the district. But Achieve received far more requests for worthy projects than it could fulfill, so the foundation is turning to the community to donate toward more projects through Direct Grant Funding. Sign in here to see the list of grant projects by school that are waiting for more support, and contribute by Jan. 31.

Last Chance to Host a Dinner

The holidays are over, the kids are back in school and the winter weather has arrived. It’s the perfect time to think about inviting your friends and neighbors to a dinner on March 5 to support Achieve and make a positive impact on our schools! Send e-mail to 100dinners@achievefoundation.org to learn more about hosting or being an event sponsor.

Scottish Cultural Event to Benefit Achieve

Party-goers will celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. at The Woodlands in Maplewood. Organizers of the event, Piers and Adrienne MacWhannell, chose the Achieve Foundation to receive the proceeds of this traditional evening of Scottish food, drink and dancing that will feature a three-course meal, open bar and Ceilidh band. To make a reservation, click here.

Achieve Needs You!

It takes a very large village of volunteers to carry out the work of the Achieve Foundation. Here are some of today’s needs: volunteer tutors, Night of 100 Dinners hosts, photographers, writers and fundraising volunteers. To volunteer, click here.

Holiday Concert a Success

The rock holiday music concert “Charlie Pollock & Friends” raised almost $10,000 to benefit The Achieve Foundation’s Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative. The initiative provides funds to maintain the district’s inventory of instruments, supports Teacher Grants for music projects, and pays for music training for students with financial need who demonstrate exceptional talent.

Your Donations Are Making a Difference

Thank you to hundreds of generous donors who have contributed more than $30,000 to Achieve’s Annual Appeal to date! Your support will enable us to continue to provide educator grants, free tutoring, professional development, support for STEAM education and more. It’s not too late to contribute to the Annual Appeal.

Support the District’s Strategic Plan

The Achieve Foundation has pledged to provide $15,000 for the consulting team SoarPoint Associates to facilitate the school district’s strategic planning process. For more information, call 973-378-2055 or send and e-mail to director@achievefoundation.org.

 

READ JANUARY'S NEWSLETTER
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Night of 100 Dinners

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Night of 100 Dinners

In early March, when long, cold winters have confined everybody to their homes, the Achieve Foundation launches a huge community get-together. It’s a simple, brilliant concept: Volunteer hosts throw parties and invite their friends and neighbors. Instead of bringing a beverage or dessert, guests make a contribution to Achieve. Over 1,000 dine in 50 or more homes in all neighborhoods each year, demonstrating the camaraderie and generosity of spirit of our two towns — all to benefit Achieve’s programs.

Party-goers are entertained at murder-mystery evenings, birthday bashes, casino events, retro parties, ladies’ nights and so much more. Since its inception in 2005, the Night of 100 Dinners has raised $400,000 to fund Achieve’s programs and benefit all nine schools in the district.

This year’s Top Chef sponsor is local realtor Allison Ziefert. For the third year in a row, Allison Ziefert is supporting the Night of 100 Dinners at the highest sponsorship level. For more information about Ziefert, visit her real-estate website.

LIST OF 2015 HOSTS AND SPONSORS>

SHORT VIDEO ABOUT ACHIEVE’S PROGRAMS>

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Annual Appeal

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Annual Appeal

The Achieve Foundation is most appreciative of the fact that 85 percent of its support comes from the local community. Every November, Achieve conducts a year-end giving appeal to rally support for all of its programs. Local residents and businesses contribute generously, year after year, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to outstanding public education for all children.

DONATE TO THE ANNUAL APPEAL
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Educator Grants

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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 annual opportunities for educators to participate in. Teachers and administrators may apply for grants for projects, equipment or professional development.

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.

Administrator Grants and Riecke Teaching Fellowships are awarded in May.

LIST OF 2015-16 TEACHER GRANTS>

LIST OF GRANTS FOR DIRECT FUNDING>

DONATE TO DIRECT GRANT FUNDING>

 

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Tutoring

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Tutoring

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.

LEARN MORE AND BECOME A TUTOR

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Community Feedback

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Community Feedback

“It’s heartwarming to see that even folks who no longer have kids in the district still have a deep commitment to the organization. I can’t imagine our district without the Achieve Foundation.”

– Susan Grierson, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, School District of South Orange and Maplewood

 

“This is one of very few courses that allow kids to build things, to become focused on the stuff of the modern world. Without Achieve, these students would not have this opportunity. You can see it—kids love being in this class and that is a lasting legacy of Achieve’s support.”

-Allan Tumolillo, founder of the Robotics Club at Columbia High School that led to the addition of robotics classes at the high school, member of the Achieve Board of Trustees

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