Educational Institutions

Alum Rock Educational Foundation

  • San Jose, CA
  • alumrockef.org

Mission Statement

Enriching Educational Experiences of Alum Rock Students

Main Programs

  1. Science Workshop at Joseph George Community Center
  2. Art & Design Thinking Camp
  3. Teacher Grant Program

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Service Areas

Self-reported

California

AREF was founded in 1999 by district administrators, staff, friends, parents, and alumni to improve, enhance and advance education in the Alum Rock Elementary School District, which is located in East San Jose CA.

ruling year

2000

Board President

Self-reported

Kim Mesa MBA

Keywords

Self-reported

Alum Rock, Education, Enrichment, Support Students, AREF

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Also Known As

AREF

EIN

77-0523774

 Number

6326523601

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The Alum Rock Educational Foundation (AREF) is the only non-profit 501(c)3 corporation dedicated solely to supporting the students and families of Alum Rock.  AREF raises funds to support educational projects in areas such as Music, Performing Arts, Arts and Culture, Science, Math, Technology, and Recreation & Sports.  One way AREF supports opportunities for student success is by providing grants for field trips, classroom projects, enrichment activities and other creative approaches that support our vision, which is to help the children and families of Alum Rock achieve success.  The foundation also provides STEAM enrichment programs & activities through its After School Science Workshop and Art & Design Thinking Camp summer program.

Since the Spring of 2009, 221 grants have been awarded totaling $104,607! All Alum Rock schools have received funding, with some sites receiving multiple awards. Classroom teachers, Physical Education teachers, Resource teachers (including Art, GATE, Special Education and Science) and District Music programs are among those funded. All grade levels were represented with 642 teachers and 23,157 students being affected by the grant awards. Half of the grants awarded were for projects that included reusable classroom materials, thus Alum Rock students will continue to be affected for many years.

AREF has served over 1,000 students through their Science Workshop at Joseph George Community Center, the Summer Art & Design Thinking Camp, and Art Project Collaborations.  AREF is also the Fiscal Agent for the Alum Rock Jazz Program, The Alum Rock Mariachi Program, and the Alum Rock Music Boosters. Visit us at www.AlumRockEF.org.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Science Workshop at Joseph George Community Center

A STEM focused workshop that offers hands-on science activities after school at the Joseph George Community Center. Students participate in First Lego League and MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) competitions. The program also provides support to the science programs at Joseph George Middle School. 
This program is funded by the Mountain Winery Kid's Foundation and IBM Corporation, and supported by the City of San Jose, Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Services (PRNS).

Category

Afterschool Enrichment

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$15,000.00

Program 2

Art & Design Thinking Camp

The Art & Design Thinking Camp is an adventure in making and imagining. This project-based camp engages students in exploring design thinking processes, visual art and digital tools. Students work collaboratively in teams as they explore various art projects using 3D modeling tools, as well as a variety of fun and surprising materials.

The program includes projects that introduce students to design thinking skills, enhancing their presentation, collaboration, artistic & math skills, as well as computer literacy.

This summer camp program focuses on different design projects each week. Sample weekly topics include:
Stop Motion Animation (short films)
Toy Design & the Art of Games
Pattern Design/History Based Art
Designing Your World
Traditional Art with a Technology Spin
Public Space Design

Category

Public Art Programs

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$25,000.00

Program 3

Teacher Grant Program

The foundation's challenge is to provide the academic enrichment activities to students that schools have eliminated from their budgets because of funding cuts. Enrichment activities are often seen as a non-essential. In reality, these activities actually inform core subjects by helping students see and understand the foundations and inter-relationships between math, science, language, social studies, communication and expression. Enrichment activities challenge students to be creators and drivers of culture, rather than passive consumers. This empowers youth to know that, through education and collaboration, they can have a voice in their local community and beyond. Our projects encourage students to both see the value of staying in school and to see that they can be a dynamic part of Silicon Valley.

The foundation supports opportunities for student success by providing grant funds for field trips, classroom projects, enrichment activities and other creative approaches that support student success. Grants are available to support teachers and to benefit students and are awarded in amounts up to $500.

Teachers must apply for funds by completing and submitting a proposal application that includes a Project Narrative (description of activities, goals and objectives), Student Impact Statement (including Common Core Standards addressed), Evaluation methods and Budget. Application are rated using a rubric, with applications scoring above 80% being funded.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$25,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Alum Rock Educational Foundation’s (AREF) mission is to enrich the educational experiences of Alum Rock students in order to support our vision of helping students and their families achieve success. AREF serves kindergarten through 8th grade students living in East San Jose. According the a 2009 report published by the California Dropout Research Project, kids dropping out of San Jose schools in one year may suffer $200 million in lost wages over their lifetimes, in addition to costing the community millions in health care costs and lost productivity. For every 10 San Jose high school graduates three students drop out. The 9th grade is critical, since kids who fail classes in 9th grade are more likely to drop out. AREF’s goal is to engage students in their own educations in order to increase academic achievement and motivate them to stay focused on their studies so they are academically prepared for the transition to high school. AREF supports innovative educational projects that expand on what students are learning in the classroom, highlighting the synergy between the sciences, art & technology and the core curriculum. AREF’s objectives over the next 3 to 5 years are to: 1) Expand our Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) focused after school and summer education programs to encourage youth to attend school regularly. 2) Engage youth in projects that advance academic skills, introduce them to design thinking skills, and enhance their presentation, collaboration, and computer literacy skills. 3) Expose youth to opportunities and careers available to them if they graduate high school and succeed in college. AREF projects provide experiences that help students see themselves as part of their broader community and keep them engaged academically. This empowers youth to know that, through education and collaboration, they can have a voice in their local community and beyond. Our projects encourage students to both see the value of staying in school and that they can be a dynamic part of San Jose and Silicon Valley.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Partnerships: AREF works collaboratively with the local school district, charter schools, non-profit organizations, and local community groups to develop, implement and evaluate our projects, programs and activities. AREF works with the local school district to insure our goals and objectives align with theirs, as well as with the Common Core Standards Curriculum delivered to students. We provide enrichment activities via a Teacher Grant Program that funds field trips and special projects that expand and enhance academics. AREF has funded 221 grants to date, affecting 607 teachers and over 23,000 students. AREF also collaborates with local non-profit organizations and the community to implement special events and activities. Student Engagement: AREF has engaged over 1,000 students in multidisciplinary programs that highlight the synergy between academic subjects. Our after school Science Workshop, Summer Art & Design Thinking Camp and Art Project Collaborations provide focused hands-on projects and activities that introduce students to new ideas and skill sets, allowing them to explore ideas beyond the classroom. Students are encouraged to strive for higher education in order to pursue science, technical, engineering, and art design careers. The Science Workshop provides students with the opportunity to participate in the MESA (Math, Engineering and Science Achievement) K-12 Program of San Jose State University, as well as the First LEGO League Competitions. Collaborative art projects have resulted in national and state award winning youth projects that expand learning outside of the classroom and into classes in other states, ultimately resulting in youth art projects becoming part of the public art in their community. Evaluation: AREF conducts an annual evaluation process. Surveys and assessments inform program planning by assessing short-term academic, cultural and expansion objectives. Working collaboratively with the local school district, AREF is able to determine our long-term impact on student retention, while using state Student Testing and Accountability Reports to determine our programs’ affect on academic achievement.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    History: AREF has served the Alum Rock community for over 15 years, and has raised over $2 million to enrich the educational experiences of Alum Rock students. AREF is the only non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated solely to supporting the students and families of Alum Rock. AREF implements well-defined programs, and provides fiscal accountability and transparent operations. Partnerships: AREF has developed strong relationships, with our goals aligning with the local school district and community. AREF’s programs focus on meeting student needs and the desires of the local community and teachers. Increased awareness of education issues (funding, test scores and school rankings) and recent state budget cuts have focused the community on supporting education in general, and schools in particular, allowing AREF to expand our donor base. Our partnerships have grown as we strive to keep our community informed on important educational issues, while also engaging them in developing creative solutions. Leadership: a volunteer Board of Directors who is responsible for all foundation operations governs AREF. The 11 members include former district Board Trustees, retired school district administrators and current teachers, a retired scientist, a local artist/arts educator, and local business leaders. The board has extensive experience in program management & delivery, fundraising, marketing & communications, educational technology, and financial management. AREF works collaboratively with current school district Trustees, District Administration and bargaining unit leadership from the Alum Rock Educators Association, the California School Employee Association, and Teamsters, with each group selecting a representative to serve on the AREF Board.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    AREF uses multiple tools to measure the ongoing success of programs including annual plans, and program & student assessments. AREF also engages students, parents, staff, volunteers, and partners in program surveys to assess participation and satisfaction rates. The board participates in an annual retreat to review progress toward plan goals. These results inform changes to AREF programs to ensure a high-quality experience for students, staff and partners. The board also sets benchmarks for all programs; fundraising goals (including grants); metrics for communications; and grant making goals. AREF sets targets for program participation rates and reviews the demographics of the community served to insure we are meeting student needs. In addition, the board follows academic achievement by reviewing annual student test data for participating schools and grade levels. These results drive the location of new programs and activities. AREF is looking at various methodologies for measuring high school retention rates and academic achievement to better assess long-term success.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    AREF previously implemented programs that provide secondary support to students, such as Parent Education and Family Literacy. While popular with parents and successful in meeting all program goals, it was difficult to track the affect on student achievement and retention. While AREF will remain an advocate supporting parent education and other student support programs, we now only implement student programs. Projects and programs that directly serve students provide qualitative and quantitative data that allow direct measurement of student progress, which is necessary for meeting and evaluating AREF’s goals. This shift allows AREF to expand existing student programs and pilot new ones. This significantly improved AREF’s ability to provide opportunities for students to improve academic skills, participate in hands-on experimentation and academic enrichment, and keep them academically engaged. A major indicator that AREF is successfully meeting our long-term goals is the recent inquiry from the school district Superintendent regarding replicating our programs at additional school sites. AREF utilizes funding from the CA Department of Education, foundation and individual donations to support its programs. Given AREF’s commitment to expanding programs, we implemented a detailed fundraising plan and a new system of monitoring revenues & expenses. AREF also increased the depth and breadth of its communications to increase outreach and reach funding goals. These efforts have been successful with our current donors and supporters, with program levels adjusted to serve more students. AREF’s challenge is in the area of corporate outreach and support. We must expand our board to include members with corporate connections and develop strategies that will increase revenues from that sector.
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

AREF was founded in 1999 by district administrators, staff, friends, parents, and alumni to improve, enhance and advance education in the Alum Rock Elementary School District, which is located in East San Jose CA.

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Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Alum Rock Educational Foundation

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Board President

Kim Mesa MBA

BIO

Ms. Mesa is a former Alum Rock Elementary School District Board Trustee (2002-2006) and has been actively involved in the Alum Rock community for over 20 years. She has held management positions at a local non-profit and is currently a Consultant. She has served on the AREF Board since 2001.

STATEMENT FROM THE Board President

"The Alum Rock Educational Foundation works collaboratively with Alum Rock School District Trustees, District Administration and bargaining unit leadership including the Alum Rock Educators Association, the California School Employee Association, and Teamsters. The foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors that is responsible for all of the operations of the foundation. Our goal is to enrich the educational experiences of Alum Rock students to motivate them to want to attend school and do their best. The Foundation supports opportunities that support student success such as field trips, classroom projects, programs, enrichment activities, and other creative approaches that support our vision to help the children and families of Alum Rock achieve success."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Kim Mesa MBA

KIM Consulting

Term: Jan 2001 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?