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Education Foundation Donates $100,000 to Santa Barbara High School

The money will fund wireless Internet access and additional academic counselors

The Santa Barbara High School Education Foundation has gifted $100,000 to Santa Barbara High School for use during the 2010-11 school year.

The funds were gathered during the SBHS Education Foundation’s 2009 annual appeal, and represent contributions from past and present parents, alumni and community members.

The money will be used to fund immediate needs of the school, including wireless Internet access and additional academic counselors. These are “two important resources that have tremendous value to instruction and instructional strategies,” said Dr. Mark Capritto, principal of SBHS. “We are absolutely thrilled to receive a donation of this size from the SBHS Education Foundation. Having our parents and the greater Santa Barbara community committed to the academic success of all students is crucial to our mission as educators.”

Founded in 2008, the SBHS Education Foundation works in collaboration with the administration of the school to identity projects that will strengthen the academic program, improve the physical campus and enrich the extracurricular offerings at SBHS. The SBHS Education Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the environment at Santa Barbara High School so that all students have the opportunity to excel both inside and outside the classroom.

This year’s approved projects will directly offset cuts that were necessitated by the reduction in the state budget for public schools.

“In this economic climate, we must support our public schools with private funding or the quality of our children’s education will suffer,” said Geoff Grant, the SBHS Education Foundation’s board president. “The state budget cuts have left SBHS with staffing, equipment and program challenges that will continue to worsen unless we as a community step in and help.

“We are fortunate to have highly dedicated people who are working towards making SBHS one ofthe best high schools in California.The SBHS Education Foundation’s fundraising efforts will help us to achieve that goal.”

The Santa Barbara High School Education Foundation will fund projects on campus through two campaign sources. An annual appeal will be launched each fall soliciting donations to be used in the following academic school year. The 2010 campaign will kick off in August with a goal of $125,000. Additionally, a capital campaign is in development for long-term capital improvements on the school campus. The initial campaign goal has been set at $1 million and will fund upgrades and repairs to the athletic facilities among many others.

“SBHS has been a venerable institution for over 130 years,” Grant said. “We need to create an ongoing culture of giving in our school community so that the quality of education at Santa Barbara High School can be ensured for future generations.”

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

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