The Bellevue community raised $700,000 at the annual Spring for Schools Benefit Luncheon for the Bellevue Schools Foundation on March 24.
Funds raised at the event support programs that enable the Bellevue School District to provide innovative curriculum and critical learning supports, focusing on initiatives that “move the needle” for student opportunity and achievement.
Guests at the luncheon, chaired by the foundation’s immediate past president, Connie Peterson, heard speakers and watched video presentations reflecting the event theme, “Whole community, whole child.
At Ardmore Elementary School, a number of the youngest learners, 3- and 4-year-old preschoolers, were among more than 150 low-income children district-wide at risk of losing access to no-cost, high-quality early learning. A broad cross-section of Bellevue community members advocated for and donated funds to ensure every one of those students was able to go to school this school year.
Ardmore Elementary School Principal Chas Miller told guests that in his 11 years as a principal in other states, he’s never seen anything like the community support for education that is a cultural norm in Bellevue.
“It’s not as if I came from a place that didn’t care about the schools, but the sheer coordination and the sheer will of so many people at the same time saying, ‘We’re going to support public education,’ was something I had never experienced in my career,” Miller said.
Miller said he’s most impressed by the results produced by systemically applying carefully-crafted approaches to reducing achievement gaps. For the district’s youngest learners, particularly in the Title I Ardmore student population, the benefits are striking.