Driving down Santa Cruz Ave. near El Camino, it’s hard not to miss the eye-catching, orange banner that went up today. It’s all part of the joint fundraising campaign by the Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) from Laurel, Encinal, Oak Knoll, and Hillview schools and the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF). The effort — known as the Are You In? campaign — urges parents, businesses, and the larger community to support both organizations that are vital to Menlo Park’s public schools. The PTOs fund school-specific resources like field trips, assemblies, and events, while the MPAEF pays for district-wide resources like classroom teachers, art and music specialists, and librarians — 31 educators this year.
Why get the word out to the larger community in a such a big way? “All of us, whether or not we have kids in public schools, have a stake in keeping our public schools strong. We are so grateful to the residential and business community for their financial support of our school PTOs and our Foundation. Having strong public schools is a large part of what makes Menlo Park and Atherton such great places to live, work, and visit. We need everyone’s continued support,” explains Elizabeth Ouren, who along with Jody Buckley, serves as Co-President of the District Council, the group that coordinates efforts among the MPCSD support organizations.
Banner design donated by Laurel parent Dana Shields of Dana Shields Design.