The Santa Barbara High School Education Foundation has announced that its 2010 Annual Fund has raised more than $64,000 — more than halfway toward the goal of $125,000.

The Annual Fund is a yearly campaign to raise money to support immediate needs of the school. The money is designated for use in the 2011-12 school year and will fund the following priorities:

» Academic Counseling: Adding additional academic counseling will decrease the counselor/student ratio (currently at 1:445), providing more support to students.

» Mentoring Program: By using family, teachers and community members as mentors, the school can support underachieving ninth-graders and help ensure their academic success. A student body where all students are successful is beneficial to everyone.

» Professional Development: Funds are needed to provide training for teachers and staff, with particular focus on technology and teaching methods.

Formed in 2008 by concerned parents, administrators and alumni, the SBHS Education Foundation provides financial support to Santa Barbara High School and helps bridge the gaps in its budget.

The foundation’s mission is to fund projects that will strengthen the academic program, improve the physical campus, and enrich the variety of extracurricular activities at SBHS so that all students have the opportunity to excel both inside and outside the classroom.

For more information about the SBHS Education Foundation, volunteer opportunities or how to make a donation, contact Kate Bechtel at 805.879.3952 or kate@sbhsef.org.

— Katharine Bechtel is development director for the Santa Barbara High School Education Foundation.