Drawing more than 250 attendees, the Hoboken Public Education Foundation’s Annual Gala on May 17 raised over $200,000 last month.
A hundred percent of the gala’s proceeds go to school programs for next year. In the past, such programs have included field trips and teacher training.
The non-profit organization, led by co-founder and President Shirael Pollack, has raised more than $450,000 since its inception in August 2015.
The foundation will work with District Superintendent Christine Johnson to identify where the funds should go.
Funds raised in past years went to class trips to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and the Bronx Zoo, for which the students did not have to pay.
“They see the impact they are having in these students’ lives.” –Shirael Pollack
Funding the future
“I feel like children learn in so many different ways,” said Pollack. “Learning should be fun.”
Another recent hands-on program was the district-wide Trout in the Classrooms program.
“Our kids in every school see an entire process,” Johnson said, “from delivery of the eggs to hatching of eggs. In essence, they are raising these trout and watching the lifecycle.”
Johnson said she meets with staff, teachers, principals, and administrators to come up with a list of initiatives, submitted to the executive board of the HPEF. They then do surveys to determine where the funds go.
In the past, the foundation has provided for professional development for teachers and staff, the new sound system at Hoboken High School auditorium, and marquis signs at the high school and Wallace Elementary School.
Last year the foundation funded The Second Annual Hoboken Schools Leadership Retreat, Newsela Literacy Initiative, Novel and Leveled Literature Library, iClickers for Social Studies Instruction for grades 6-8, Global Conflict and Resolution Challenge for grades 6-12, Staff Diversity Leadership Council Training, and various field trips.
Motivation is key
Pollack said, “The community is really coming together and united. They see the impact they are having in these students’ lives.”
She said various businesses sponsored this year’s gala or “adult prom” including SJP Properties, Ironstate, Mack-Cali, Advance Realty, Bijou Properties, KMS Development, Suez Water and Tenafly Pediatrics.
The gala isn’t their only fundraising event. They recently held a “Moms’ Night Out” and have an online donation campaign.
The foundation can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and funds are accepted at http://www.hobokenpef.org/.
Marilyn Baer can be reached at email@example.com.