The Achieve Foundation recognizes the deep pain our country and our local community are feeling right now, and we want to voice our support for our Black and Brown community members.
Achieve’s mission is to ensure that all students in our public schools receive a high-quality education that prepares them for the future. We do this by supporting our educators, addressing resource inequities, and inspiring innovation throughout the school district.
Our priorities include: funding programs that advance best educational practices and strive to eliminate the achievement gap; providing a district-wide voice in identifying, understanding, and responding to needs throughout the SOMSD; and building community by working together with a variety of stakeholders to strengthen and enrich educational experiences.
We understand that there is much work to do in this community and throughout our country and we are committed to keep learning, working, and supporting the voices and rights of all people of color. We believe that students and educators flourish in a thriving, equitable educational environment. And that Black Lives Matter. Today and every day.
So much has changed in the past several weeks as the spread of COVID-19 and state mandates have affected every aspect of our lives. The Achieve Foundation recognizes the efforts of the South Orange-Maplewood School District administration, teachers, support staff, students and their families as we all respond to this unprecedented circumstance. Our priority for our community is the same as yours — protecting everyone’s health.
To that end, our spring events have been postponed or moved to video conference platforms. Nights of 100 Dinners events planned for after March 12th have been postponed, while a few were moved to virtual gatherings. Maker Madness, originally scheduled for April 25th, has been postponed until the fall. In the meantime, check out our Virtual Maker Madness Facebook event with new activities and challenges posted every Tuesday and Thursday at 3:30 PM throughout the month of May.
Virtual Volunteer Tutoring began in early April and is up and running for students of all the SO-M district schools. Online sessions start off with a larger group check-in, and then students break out for individual or small group support. Thanks to the more than 125 volunteer tutors who have met the challenge of continuing to help our students during distance learning.
At the end of March, Achieve partnered with the Parenting Center and provided $12,800 to the District to fund 100 hotspots to be distributed to SOMSD families for use during the COVID-19 school closure. After some challenges with supply issues, hotspots were ordered. As of early May, the District is set to begin distribution to families who responded to the technology needs survey.
We are proud to support the the students, educators and SOMSD during this challenging period, and look forward to a time when we can all come together in person again. Until then, we hope you will consider supporting our ongoing efforts to foster excellence in education for all students in our schools.
Stay safe and well,
The Achieve Foundation Trustees and Staff