From our Founder, and Past President, Janet Kwon…
As the new school year started in the summer of 2015, I was comforted how some positive aspects of Runnings Springs (teachers, staff, and community) remained the same but some others needed improvement. With a 5th grader and a 2nd grader, and having volunteered for 6 years to that point, my biggest frustration was the pod computers and how the annual Spring Tech Fundraisers were not making any impact on updating computers for our students. I began to investigate and learned that only about 30% of the funds raised annually actually came back to Running Springs! At this rate, there was no reality where we’d be able to raise enough to update all the computers with a $3000 a year budget.
With a master’s in Education Administration Planning and Policy, I looked back on the course I took on Nonprofit Organizations in Education. In addition, I was working in Irvine and was aware of what the Irvine Public Schools Education Foundation was able to achieve. With a new visionary principal, Joe Vidal, and a handful of committed parents, we began to meet as a steering committee to launch a school foundation for Running Springs.
Our immediate goal was to take over the management of the tech fundraiser and do our best to give as close to 100% raised back to Running Springs. In our first year, 2016, we were able to do that at 98% back to the school. In the first 5 years of EFAH, we raised $250,000 that led to 2 fully furnished STEAM rooms, iPad carts for classrooms, and TVs for some classrooms. In addition, EFAH was able to support teacher training, teacher grants, and bring the Book Fair back, to name a few more achievements.