Thank You to U-31 Cocktail Lounge and the rest of our Parents’ Night Out sponsors


UH Urban Harvest Festival Thank You!!

UHUH Title

Dear UHUH Fest Committee, Volunteers and Supporters,

This past weekend’s 2nd Annual University Heights Urban Harvest Festival was AMAZING! Thanks to our incredible collaboration and hard work, we created a community event to remember. There were a few days there that worried me; I thought we might just be rained out. We were so fortunate to get a break during this much needed rain storm to hold our event, without compromises. We at least quadrupled last year’s event in activities and attendance. We now have a great foundation for a new University Heights tradition for the entire community. A significant amount of volunteer power made this event a success. I believe at least 100 individual volunteers made this event possible! Thank you for all your time and effort. In addition, some volunteers went above and beyond to make this event a reality.


Thank you to…

 Skip Howard and Alex Munoz, for making the trebuchet a reality; you worked countless hours designing and constructing this engineering marvel; Tulip HowardElizabeth Austin, and Ari Honarvar for curating an amazing array of vendors to satisfy all of our sensory appetites;
Karin Claisse and Lyn Patterson for bringing our community’s local non-profits to the Birney family, Sadia Najmi and Betsy Carter, for creating a wonderful array of activities that had kids enraptured for hours; Sara Werner for coordinating all of the volunteer efforts that made this event run smoothly; Laura Dadmun and Tom O’Malley, for organizing the field and reorganizing the field, and reorganizing the field towards a great layout; Aryn Famiglietti, Sarah McLure, and Nikki Bergstrom for doing such a great publicity push and drawing over 500 people to the event!; Samantha Boice, for graphics and printing; Molly McJohn and all the fabulous Birney bakers, for amassing an amazing array of baked goods which fueled the cake walk for hours and hours; The University Heights Community Association for helping us make this a community wide event rather than a school event.


Now, some very, very, special thank yous: 

Thank you Mindy Swanson and Mickey McQuerry for running our school’s award winning eco-garden program. This incredible community asset is what makes this event possible. Mickey promises me that he can handle triple the volume of pumpkins next year!  A ton of thanks to Beth Deig for keeping us organized and for basically co-chairing this event! And, lastly thank you, Amanda Hammond-Williams, our esteemed Principal, for making an incredible IB World School that the entire community can be proud of.


Again, I cannot thank everyone enough for all their support, and I truly hope that you will all be a part of the 2015 UHUH Festival.  Please send Beth and me any ideas or thoughts you have regarding this year’s event so that we can keep them in mind when we start next year’s event planning.


Jennifer Ayala
2014 UHUH Fest Committee Chair and FOABE President

This event was also made possible by these participants and sponsors:

  • aChocalypse
  • Andrew McGinnis, Farmers Insurance Group
  • Archer Studios
  • artFORM
  • Bella Vie Candles
  • Bullseye
  • Classics 4 Kids
  • Currywurst
  • Doggus
  • Farm Fresh to You
  • Fresh Spun
  • Fusion Glass Company
  • High Rise Kids
  • Jackie’s Jams
  • Karlyn Woodcock
  • Kelci Gilley’s daughter
  • Kris Purnell
  • Life Within Center in Hillcrest
  • Lowe’s
  • MetLife
  • Mission Federal Credit Union
  • MTS
  • Olmeca Roots
  • Perky Beans
  • Roger!
  • Roosevelt Middle School
  • San Diego Stage and Lighting
  • Sarah Kerr
  • Shelters of Stone
  • Slow Food Urban
  • Specialty Produce
  • The San Diego LGBT Community Centers
  • University Heights Community Association
  • University Heights Library
  • YMCA Mission Valley


University Heights Urban Harvest Festival- Saturday Nov 1st

UHUH poster revised

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$5,000 anonymous donation made to The Friends of Alice Birney Elementary!

We are so excited to announce that we are the fortunate recipients of an anonymous donation in support of Birney’s IB program. We wish we could thank our donor in person. Instead we hope that our message of gratitude reaches them through this message!
Read our thank you letter here.

University Heights Urban Harvest Festival- vendors needed

vendors needed

University Heights Urban Harvest Festival!

Save the Date – November 1st, 2014

UHUH corn

Friends of Alice Birney Elementary with the University Heights Community Association, will host the 2nd Annual University Heights Urban Harvest Festival on Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Willie Serrano Joint-Use Field at Birney Elementary

The entire community is welcome to this FREE event to celebrate the fall harvest and urban gardening.  Bring a picnic or just come to enjoy Birney garden tours, freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, music, pumpkin-composting games and much more!  Bring your Halloween jack-o-lanterns to launch them from our trebuchet and to recycle them into compost for Birney’s award-winning eco-garden!

For more information please contact  Vendor, volunteer, and sponsor opportunities are still available.

Is your company or organization interested in sponsoring this event? Please review UHUH Sponsor Opportunities for detailed information on all available sponsor packages.

There are dozens of volunteer opportunities at the festival. For more information about how you can help, email

We still have vendor space available. Please review the information below if you are interested in becoming a vendor for this event.
UHUHF Vendor Invitation 2014
UHUHF Vendor Rules 2014
UHUHF Vendor Application 2014

Pride Parking Fundraiser!

We still need volunteers on Saturday, July 19th — 8a-12p(ish)

Birney has a permit to use the huge District parking lot as well as our own lot and charge for parking for the 2014 SD Pride Parade! It is quick, easy money to help support our IB Program and “Specials” classes. We need 15 volunteers to help set-up and/or help direct cars and sell water. Click here to sign up or contact

Parents Night Out – Friday June 27th


So many items to bid on:

Can’t be there Friday? But want one of the auction items? Submit a proxy bid!


  • Pizza lunch for three students with Ms. Amanda
  • Lunch time sports clinic with Coach Lord and 5 students – pick YOUR sport!
  • Milk, cookies, and bedtime stories with Ms. Rapczynski – at YOUR house!
  • Trip to Trolley Barn Park for pizza lunch and playtime for two students with Ms. Fisher
  • Trip to Trolley Barn Park for pizza lunch and playtime for two students with Ms. Wilsie
  • Trip to Trolley Barn Park for pizza lunch and playtime for two students with Ms. Pirouzan
  • Trip to Trolley Barn Park for pizza lunch and playtime for two students with Ms. Arguilla
  • Ice Cream with Mr. O’Malley and 2 students


  • Beat the hassle for parking with a dedicated parking spot (the Principal’s!) for September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014
  • Beat the hassle for parking with a dedicated parking spot for Kindergarten promotion on Monday morning, July 21 (Principal’s spot!)
  • Beat the hassle for parking with a dedicated parking spot for Fifth Grade promotion on Monday afternoon 12:00 PM, July 21 (Principal’s spot!)


  • Pick up a fresh fruit and vegetable box full of Birney organically grown produce, once a week for the entire fall trimester! Provided by D3 ($120 value)
  • Send your child to one week of Dig Down Deep Garden Campthe last week of summer break. Provided by D3 ($200 value)
  • D3 will come to your home and help you set up your very own compost system including mentoring to keep it running smoothly! ($100 value)


  • A taquiza party hosted by Senora Goudy for 5 students!

Reserved Seats!

  • 5 Reserved front row seats for Kinder performance and awards ceremony
  • 5 Reserved front row seats for First Grade performance and awards ceremony
  • 5 Reserved front row seats for Second Grade performance and awards ceremony
  • 5 Reserved front row seats for Third Grade performance and awards ceremony
  • 5 Reserved front row seats for Fourth Grade performance and awards ceremony
  • 5 Reserved front row seats for Fifth Grade awards performance and awards ceremony

Opportunity Drawing MC by Ms. Amanda and Coach Lord!

  • $100 Visa gift card
  • Papa John’s gift cards
  • Sprouts gift cards
  • Albertson’s gift cards
  • Girls’ flip flops
  • Birney swag!
  • SD Fab Fair Family 4-pack
  • DVDs
  • Video games
  • …and more coming!


giveBIG 2014 Results – Thank you!

The San Diego Foundation’s giveBIG held back on May 6th was an incredible success! The Friends of Alice Birney is pleased to announce that we received $1,915 from our donors during the 24 hour window of the event. On top of that, The San Diego Foundation matched with another $345. The grand total for this fundraising effort was $2,260! The fact that we were able to draw this level of support with next to no publicity just speaks to how much the greater community appreciates and supports Birney’s world-class IB program. Thank You San Diego!!

Run for the Green 2014 – Thank you Sponsors!

Dear Alice Birney Families,

A gigantic thank you to Coach Lord for another exhilarating Run for the Green. It was wonderful to see so many Birney families on campus while 560 students, as well as family, friends, and staff ran laps for an entire hour! Coach Lord’s music mix along with the energy coming from the students made for a very exciting and exhausting afternoon. Whose kids didn’t fall asleep while eating dinner?

Each year this annual run is paired with a fundraiser organized by the Friends of Alice Birney to raise much needed funds to support our Specials. Students solicit donations for their efforts and volunteers solicit local businesses for cash and prizes. We are pleased to announce that we raised $28,793.58 this year. Each year more and more businesses support our school, and this year they provided over $15,000 in cash and prizes. Please make sure to patronize these businesses and tell them you appreciate their support. Our “Queen Bee” sponsors are on this page along with a complete list of all sponsors.

Throughout the school year we host fundraisers like this to make it possible for Birney to maintain its International Baccalaureate curriculum, certification, and Spanish, art, earth science (garden) and library programs. While we came short of our $33,000 goal, we are only $10,000 from our goal for 2013/2014. Stay tuned for our late spring and early summer fundraisers. Please contact if you would like to help us reach that goal.

Again, thank you for your continued support!
Sincerely yours,

Jennifer Ayala
President, Friends of Alice Birney Elementary