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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2013 Run for the Green

2013 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

Healthy schools are the backbone of healthy communities; they bring higher property values, new families, and a sense of pride to the neighborhood. Your neighborhood school is Alice Birney Elementary. Birney has experienced a dramatic turnaround over the past decade due in large part to our International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. Our IB program helped double our enrollment, achieve excellent test scores, and attract students and families from outside our district. (Many of these families must join an enrollment waiting list.) But severe budget cuts threaten Birney’s ability to offer classes which are integral to our International Baccalaureate accreditation.

On Friday, March 15, 2013, Birney students will hold our 6th annual Jog-a-thon. Our goal is to raise $35,000 to support Spanish, Art, Library and Garden programs. But we can’t do it alone! Would you please help support your local neighborhood school by donating cash or prizes to our fundraiser?

If every local merchant gave $75 we would reach our goal. Your support at any level is greatly appreciated. Thank you for making a donation to support a healthy community and a stronger future.

Corporate Sponsorship Details

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.”

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Big Give 2012 – Thank You!

119 Donors! $13,053 raised in 14 hours! $5,000 in matching grant for a grand total of $18,053!

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

We are speechless. Words cannot express our gratitude or pride at the amazing generosity from our Birney friends and family. Thank you to each and every one of you for taking the time to donate to our very special school in the middle of a bustling holiday season. This is just one more reason why Birney is and continues to be such an incredible school.

The anonymous donors were thrilled by the amazing activity from Friday and the significant increase in donors from last year. As a result, they will be giving FOABE a $20 per donor grant, plus a total 20% match, for a grand total of $4990, which they will round up to $5000. This total is reflected in the numbers listed above.

Please keep reading below for messages from our fearless Principal Ms. Amanda and Laura Dadmun our Friends of Alice Birney Board President. Thank you again for your incredible support!

Message from Ms. Amanda…

Having spent the week going through teacher, parent and (most important of all) student surveys for our re-authorization application due to the IBO on 12/28, I am so gratified that the Birney extended community actually listens to the Birney students. In students’ comments about what they thought were the best characteristics of the school, their “Specials” got 4 times more votes than anything else, followed by their teachers! Fortunately for us, the district covers the expense of the teachers, so our ongoing support of the “Specials” is first on the list of needs that we have going in to the next year (still a tough budgetary year for CA, despite Prop 30). The response to the Big Give on Friday was so positive, so amazing – Birney supporters continue to show their true colors – I consider myself so fortunate to be working for such a great group of people! –Amanda

Message from Laura Dadmun…

I want to express my profound gratitude to the people who supported Birney by donating to Big Give yesterday. It is so gratifying to be part of a community that values the outstanding school that Birney is and the value that is placed on teaching the whole child. Spanish, art, music, dance, garden, a library…these aren’t “extras.” They are the things that open a child’s eyes to the world. And thanks to all of you, our kids will have those experiences at Birney. I wish you all a beautiful holiday and a healthy and wondrous new year. –Laura

$5,000 Matching Grant Announced

The anonymous donors were thrilled by the amazing activity from yesterday and significant increase in donors from last year. As a result, they will be giving FOABE a $20 per donor grant, plus a total 20% match, for a grand total of $4990, which they will round up to $5000.

Big Give 2012 – A Fantastic Success

Thank you! When all was said and done, we raised $13,053 from 119 donors.

Big Give 2012 is ON!

7:04 – Good Morning! The event has just started and already a couple of early birds have gotten us started. We’re starting out with $60.

7:30 – Off to a strong start: 5 donations and we’re up to $660. Add your comments below…

8:00 – That must be some really good coffee! Our total has perked up to $1760

8:35 – No Grinch’s around here! We’re all about Giving at Birney! We just broke $2000

9:30 – A donation just came in with a note saying “Thank you for all you do for our children!!” – You’re welcome and back atcha – none of this works without donations from generous folks like you! Tally stands at $2700.

10:30 – Birney Bees Big Give! Birney Bees Big Give! Birney Bees Big Give! Whew, that’s quite a tongue twister. Try saying it three times fast while making your donation. The fun just doesn’t stop around here! 28 donors have given $3,395

11:30 – For those of us with third graders, this update is in ‘expanded notation’. Our current total is 3000+900+60+0

Let’s keep this rolling – here are some of the reasons to give now…

Reason #421 to join the “Big Give” right now: Tax break next April 15!
Reason #14 to join the “Big Give” right now: Saving Spanish
Reason #123 to join the “Big Give” right now: Your generosity is multiplied by an anonymous match!
Reason #19 to join the “Big Give” right now: The giddy sense of satisfaction you get from helping out
Reason #204 to join the “Big Give” right now: Coach Lord knows where you live.

12:00 – Is this the lunch rush??? Our total just shot up to $5,280!!! One of those donations came with this note: “I have two happy students at Birney. We love our school. Happy Holidays!” We love it too – thanks for your generous donation!

1:00 – Soooooo close to half way at half time. We’ve had 50 donors contribute $6,995 so far.

1:30 – Word on the street is Birney rocks (and by street I mean the entire city of San Diego)! Just passed the $8,000 mark

2:30 – Afternoon lull… $8168

4:30 – 2 and a half hours left – how much can we do? We’re just over $8800 from 72 donors now… can we find 22 more people and beat our donor count from last year?

5:30 – We’re really close to breaking 10K – $9,888 and counting

5:45 – $10,658 from 84 donors

6:30 – Can hardly keep up – like drinking from the firehose – but that’s ok – keep it coming…. 92 donors for $11,068 only 2 more donors needed to break last year’s count

6:37 – Another note from a donor – “We love our school and we’re so grateful for all of the wonderful ‘Specials’. I so wish I could donate more. These programs are really wonderful.” Your sentiments are shared by so many – with 94 donors we have now officially beaten last year’s donor count.

7:00 – Time! Put your pencils down and pass your papers to the middle…

7:19 – Time for Extra Credit! You can clean the chalk boards or Donate Now!! The Big Give 2012 has been extended until 9:00

8:15 – Interesting – lots of last minute types :) We now have 109 donors and $12,463. That means we’re only $1,538 away from beating last year’s total. Can we beat that in the 45 minutes we have left? Go for it!!

9:00 – Well, that’s a wrap. What an amazing day! Thank you to everybody who participated. It was a great turnout – far better than last year. Looks like there may still be a straggler or two in the PayPal queue, so we’ll post final totals tomorrow morning.

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