San Diego Foundation Hosts 2nd giveBig

Dear Community Member,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Friends of Alice Birney Foundation. We seek contributor support for the core elements of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Alice Birney Elementary, a San Diego Unified public school. Due to cuts in state funding, the components that make Alice Birney an IB school is dependent on funds raised through our organization.

BirneyHeartMay 6th, FOR ONE DAY ONLY, FOABE will participate in giveBIG. This is an online giving event that will allow every dollar donated to FOABE to be magnified through the giveBIG incentive pool.

It is our hope that you will support us with a minimum $25 donation to bring us closer to our event goal of $10,000. To participate please go to on May 6th and make a donation on behalf of “Friends of Alice Birney”.

By supporting our public school through a giveBIG donation, you become a part of a 45 year old program that educates students to create a better world. The focus of the International Baccalaureate (IB) system is to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect”.

I would like to thank you for considering this opportunity to partner with our organization. I would also like to thank those who have shown us support this year already. Through developing relationships with community donors, teachers, staff and parents, financial strength can be realized allowing Alice Birney Elementary to continue to provide its globally impactful and dynamic curriculum. We believe that encouraging students to become compassionate, active, lifelong learners is worth investing in. We hope that you will too.

Thank you,

Jennifer Ayala

President, Friends of Alice Birney Foundation

2014 Run for the Green

2014 Birney Run for the Green

Please include child’s name and room number (in the “Add Special Instructions to the Seller” box) when using paypal to donate.

“Because the teachers don’t give up, we never give up on ourselves.
We have empathy so we care for others.”   -Student at Alice Birney Elementary

On Friday, March 14, 2014, Birney students will hold our 7th annual Run for the Green. Our goal is to raise $33,000 to support Spanish, Art, Library and Garden programs. With a donation of $170 we are able to support the instructional costs for one student’s year of Spanish, art, earth science and a librarian! That is only $1 dollar a day! Many of our families cannot contribute this modest amount. Sponsors from community members, family, businesses, and friends enable us to bridge that gap. Through 2012 and 2013 the Friends of Alice Birney Elementary raised over $175,000 to support Spanish, art, earth science and a librarian for over 550 students. These programs are central to our prestigious International Baccalaureate curriculum. This year we must raise $92,500 to keep our programs. Would you please support our students?

Did you know that Alice Birney Elementary experienced a dramatic turnaround over the past decade? Birney doubled its enrollment, achieved excellent test scores, and is proud to have an enrollment waiting list. We had high hopes that with the passage of Prop 30 our financial constraints would be lifted, but previous budget cuts are forecasted for several more years. These budget cuts hit schools in the urbanized communities the hardest.

Your support at any level is greatly appreciated. We have great sponsor benefits available for businesses let us know your interest. Thank you for considering a donation to support our school’s success, a healthy community and a stronger future.

What some Alice Birney Elementary students are saying about their school:

“The thing I love about Birney is garden; it helps me understand different things about nature.”

“Since I have been a Birney Bee, I have gotten stronger, smarter, and better.”

“We are grateful for the things that other people give us.”

Students – If you’ve already filled your sponsor form, you can download another one here :Student Packet Sponsor Form

Big Give 2013 – Matching Grant Announced

Dear Birney Community,

We have incredible news from our anonymous donors. First and foremost, our donors want to express their deep gratitude to us all, for our hard work supporting Birney. To celebrate our community’s incredible generosity, they are going to contribute a 20% match for dollars which comes to $3,237. In addition they will also contribute a $10/donor grant, which amounts to $1,350. For a total of $4,587, which they will round to $4,600!

This incredible donation, together with the $16,187 we raised during yesterday’s Big Give, comes to a grand total of $20,787! That is $787 more than our goal.

All totaled, we have raised $42,287 since the start of the 2013/2014 school year. We are almost half way to our goal and the school year is only one third completed. Way to go Birney Bees!

Thank you to everyone who has helped us have yet another successful fundraiser which allows the teachers and staff of Birney to continue to provide our IB curriculum.

Thank you,
The Friends of Alice Birney Elementary

Big Give 2013 – Big Thank You!

135 Donors$16,187 raised in a single day!  That is a 24% increase in dollars over last year. We are absolutely astounded by the generous outpouring of support from our Birney friends and family. Thanks to your donations we are well on our way to being able to continue to fund our specials. We are anxiously awaiting news from our anonymous donors on the matching grant and will update the site shortly.

Once again we feel compelled to use the following quote.  It is completely apropos of what has just been accomplished by the Birney community.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Big Give 2013 is ON!

7:16 – Good Morning! We’re off to a great start with grandparents and other out-of-town relatives well represented among the early birds. $2600 already.

8:01 – Way to rock the first hour! $4417 already. Help us get the word out – click the facebook button from the email you received or from the bottom of this post. If you didn’t get an email – you can sign up for our list right there ——————->

9:15 – $5921 online and over $200 at the school gate before the school day even began. Thank you all! Keep spreading the word to friends and family.

10:53 – Looks like that little boy running around like a maniac handing out flyers this morning made a big difference for our Big Give! We’re now at 52 donors, $7570

11:30 – We are waaayyyy ahead of last year. We just crossed the $8000 mark. Last year at this time we had $3960. Let’s keep this rolling – here are some NEW reasons to give now (along with some old that never go out of style)…

  • Reason #421 to join the “Big Give” right now: Tax break next April 15!
  • Reason #17 to join the “Big Give” right now: So we can blow last year’s total out of the water.
  • Reason #126 to join the “Big Give” right now: We have another anonymous donor with matching grant
  • Reason #21 to join the “Big Give” right now: To show others what we already know, that Birney is the best!
  • Reason #204 to join the “Big Give” right now: Coach Lord knows where you live.

1:00 – just like last year… Soooooo close to half way at half time. We’ve had 64 donors contribute $9,142 so far.

2:00 – And we crossed the half way point! 70 donors – $10,388 The early birds have done their part – let’s encourage the last-minute types to bring it home.

4:00 – Well, the 4th graders just had a very timely presentation on all the work they’ve been doing in ‘specials’ this trimester. Makes it really clear how important events like these are for funding our IB enrichment programs. 82 donors have given $12,108 so far today.

5:30 – We’ve had online donations from $10 to $700, and each one of those 101 dalmations, er, donations, gets us closer to our goal. We’re at $13,400.

6:40 – Well that was a nice little jump. Nothing like a personal request from Ms Amanda to spark a little activity. 12 more people donated in the last hour bringing totals to 113 donors and $14,338. How much more can we get in the last 20 minutes?

7:10 – We do have some procrastinators among us… you know who you are… sneaking in under the wire – Thank you! We beat last year’s totals (119 donors for $13,053) for both number of donors with 123 this year and dollars raised with $15,335. Great work everybody and Congratulations to us all!

7:25 – Given the weather and the likely traffic problems tonight, we’ll leave the links up for a little longer. Please feel free to make your donation even though it’s after 7:00. Rest assured, this is one time Ms Amanda won’t mind if you’re tardy ;)

Click the image below to donate now!

IF you prefer to make your donation anonymously, you can donate through Razoo.

Thank you for your support!

Big Give 2013 – Tomorrow’s the day!

During last year’s Big Give we were able to raise $18,000 from 119 donors!  Surely with just a little more Give we can match or exceed the number of donors this year!

In addition our very generous anonymous donors from last year have agreed to provide another matching grant.  Which is just one more great reason to Give to Birney.

Tomorrow click the link below between the hours of 7AM to 7PM and make your donation. 

Big Give 2013 – Coming Soon

Give Big!

On Thursday, December 19th Birney will be hosting our 3rd annual Big Give in an effort to raise much needed funds in order to maintain our IB program and associated enrichment programs, or as our students call them “Specials”.  These include garden, Spanish, art and a librarian.  Our Specials are an integral part of our International Baccalaureate (IB) program and are what differentiates Birney from other Elementary schools.  Just $1 a day per student supports all of our specials for a year.  That is only $170 per year per student!

We are excited to announce that the anonymous donors from last year have generously offered another matching grant for this year’s event.  Additionally, the FOABE Board has pledged to donate $1425 to kick-off the event!  That puts us 7% closer to our goal of $20,000!

The concept for this fund raiser is simple.  On Thursday, the 19th click the link below between the hours of 7AM to 7PM and make your donation.  That’s it!  Then continue to watch this site as donations come in to watch us meet our goal.

Our goal is to raise roughly $1650 an hour in a 12 hour period on the 19th.  Help us make that goal and get your tax deductible donations in before the year ends!

Give the children of Birney a Christmas gift that will continue to enrich their lives in the months ahead.

Big Give! Give now!

Anonymous Donation Received

Dear Birney families and friends,

The Friends of Alice Birney Elementary has an extraordinary occasion to say thank you. This week, we received an extremely generous donation of $10,000 towards this year’s $97,000 fundraising goal. Since our donor wishes to remain anonymous, we cannot thank them personally. So, we will show our extreme gratitude by thanking them publicly with this letter to the entire Birney community.

This gift covers more than 10% of our total fundraising goal for this year. This donation will help us support our Spanish, art, and garden programs, as well as a librarian which are integral to Birney’s International Baccalaureate curriculum. The Friends of Alice Birney Elementary raises funds each year to support these programs for Birney’s entire student body, all 572 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Now in our fourth year, this anonymous gift is validation by our greater community of what all of us at Birney already knew: our school, our children, and our International Baccalaureate curriculum are phenomenal and deserve to thrive, despite budget cuts.

Birney would not be what it is without the efforts of our community, our staff, our teachers, our principal, our students, and our families. Thank you for your contributions, whether financial, time, or both. Thank you for volunteering at school or at events, chaperoning field trips, participating in fundraisers, advocating for your children to the District, coming to Family Friday, cheering on Running Club, and asking your children how their day went.

Thank you for getting your children to Birney every day, ready to learn. Thank you for being a part of the Birney community. This is truly something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season.

Most sincerely,

Jennifer Ayala
President, Friends of Alice Birney Elementary

University Heights Urban Harvest Festival

The 1st Annual University Heights Urban Harvest Festival was a huge success!  Thank you to all of the folks that participated in planning this event and to all of our fabulous volunteers who worked at the event.  There was also a huge outpouring of delicious Bake Sale donations which brought in the majority of the donations that we received!  All donations will go towards funding our amazing Garden Education Program.  Also a thank you to all of our event sponsors:

The 2012-2013 school year

Dear Birney Bees,

Wow! The 2012-2013 school year was extraordinary. It’s time we reflect on the people and events that make our school exceptional. First and foremost, Ms. Amanda is one heck of a leader. Her ten years at Birney have produced such amazing results. Her commitment to her staff is demonstrated every day as she protects them from budget cutting and other bureaucratic nonsense. Test scores are way, way up; our student population grew from 250 students to 572, and we became an International Baccalaureate (IB) certified World School (3 years ago). There is now a waiting list for families who wish to attend Birney. This year’s awesome happenings include recertification of our IB status; thanks to impressive preparation by staff, students, parents, and Ms. Amanda. Running Club’s Wednesday timed mile participation demonstrates how important physical fitness is to Birney Bees; Coach Lord took a 28-student team to the Chelsea King Invitational in June! And, Ms. Mindy and Mr. Mickey’s Dig Down Deep organization began to spread the seeds of Birney’s unique garden program throughout the county and California. The Birney auditorium and cafeteria will be completed at the end of this school year. We look forward to starting the new school year with the new remodeled facilities.

Sadly, every year we lose some of our most influential families to Roosevelt. This year, we will lose the incredibly talented Michelle Livermore, who designed and maintained our Birney Buzz, Bee logo, and just about every other graphic poster, email, and banner you see at Birney. When you see her, please stop, give her a hug and say thank you (bring tissues!) We also want to thank ALL the 5th grade parents who will be leaving us; they came for the promise of what Birney could become, and helped make this school what it is today.

We faced the toughest funding realities at Birney this year, since the District removed a majority of our magnet funding. We could have lost our Spanish teacher, our librarian, our art, music, and garden programs, field trips, classroom supplies, reading materials, assemblies, Mad Science, attendance recognition, Passport to Adventure AND our IB membership and recertification. Through YOUR donations of time and money during our fundraisers such as Big Give, Run for the Green, monthly donations, social events and auctions, Pride parking, Dinner Nights-Out, Fresh & Easy, Box Tops for Education, Concessions, and T-shirt Sales., as well as generous community and business donations we saved each of these programs! Pulling together we helped the PTA raise $40,000 and the Foundation raise $84,000! Thank you to the entire Birney community for your support!

Some of our most active Birney families are stepping back from key leadership positions, and they deserve recognition for their years of service to Birney. Samantha Boice has been President of the PTA this year and an integral leader for all six years of her tenure at Birney. Fortunately Samantha will remain on the School Site Council and continue to share her institutional memory. Laura Dadmun is stepping down from her leadership role on the Friends of Alice Birney Foundation (FOAB). Laura, along with Risa Baron, Julia Cline, Rebecca Jones, Katrina Petersen, and Kai Lombard formed our foundation only three short years ago. We are profoundly grateful for their dedication and determination.

We must also thank these people for their integral support that got us through this year with success: John Amat, Brenda Anderson, Jaime Anghel, Elizabeth Austin, Carrie Binder, Debbie Brinker, John Budlong, Betsy Carter, Beth Deig, Dennis Gage, Shane Hackworth, Yvonne Hill, Andy Loy, Beth Lunde, Dawn Martin, Sarah McLure, Molly McJohn, Mindy Swanson and Susie Villareal.

Every year, we say farewell to one generation of Birney families and look forward to welcoming the next. This year Kim Schultz (four years at Birney) was elected as PTA President and Jennifer Ayala (three years at Birney) was elected President of the FOAB. Please stop and say “hello!” and let us know how you can contribute to the success of the 2013-2014 school year.

Stay tuned for exciting events at Birney, such as a Birney Family Meet and Greet in September. Our goals for next year are:

  1. Support Ms. Amanda and her staff with volunteers and funding for critical IB and Specials programs.
  2. Create more opportunities for family involvement and fun on campus.

Thank you for the honor to help lead the Birney Bees into the 2013-2014 school year. We are sure it will be an even better year as we expect both our recertification as an IB school and increased educational funding.

Go Team!
Kim Schultz, incoming PTA President
Jennifer Ayala, incoming FOAB President

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