BVEF is a private, nonprofit, 501 c3 created by Bennett Valley parents in the early 1990’s.
Why was BVEF Formed?
The Bennett Valley Education Foundation was formed by Bennett Valley parents during a budget crisis in the early 1990’s to raise and spend funds on enhancements to the curriculum for all Bennett Valley students that might otherwise be subjected to budget cuts. The purpose was to provide funding for the curricular enhancements parents really wanted for their children.
How have funds been raised?
From its inception, BVEF has always had a family contribution campaign requesting annual donations of Bennett Valley families. In addition, BVEF has other fundraisers throughout the year which change per the decisions of the BVEF Board. In the early 90’s, one fundraising event was the Brain Wave—students collected pledges for academic decathlon-type questions. Valley of the Arts, an adult dinner event with a live and silent auction is the current largest BVEF fundraiser.
How have funds been spent?
When BVEF was first developed, funds were distributed via a grant process. Parents, teachers, grade level teaching groups, and administrators could submit maxi or mini grants for visiting instructors, assemblies, field trips, music and art programs, and other needed items. A committee of the BVEF Board would review all the grants and determine which to fund with eye toward making an equitable distribution of enhancements for all students. Over the years, the majority of grants were going to programs in the arts, and the arts have never been adequately funded by the state, so the BVEF Board decided to focus its work on funding the programs. Rather than continuing the use of a grant funding process, today, administrators and teachers work together to determine arts and music programs that would enhance the curriculum for all students. The district then submits a funding proposal each spring that the BVEF Board funds entirely or partially.
What programs are funded now?
Currently, BVEF funds part of the cost of Strawberry’s band and chorus and all of the cost of the artists in residence who provide programs in multicultural dance music and movement, visual arts centering on a different featured artist each year, our wonderful Art Docent program in which parents are trained to deliver curriculum-relevant art lessons, some years also classroom music, recorder and/or percussion—all classes receive a lesson series from the instructors funded for the year.
Although there has been some change in the programs funded and the way funds are raised over the years, each year the parents on the BVEF Board ensure that the funding raised goes to important and impactful programs that enhance the grade level curriculum and that contribute to the comprehensive curriculum all students need and deserve!