Full STEM Ahead Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q) for Full STEM Ahead

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What is “Full STEM Ahead”?

Full STEM ahead is a fundraising initiative focused on recruiting and hiring a full-time STEM Coordinator for Evansdale’s students and teachers by August 2015.  One of Evansdale’s goals is to become STEM certified and the Foundation was asked to help!Currently we have a computer lab, STEM kits, Promethean boards in every classroom, and tablets on the way – but the teachers urgently need coaching and support to activate this technology in the classrooms.  Full STEM Ahead is a financial movement to step-change the integration of STEM and technology in our children’s daily education experience.

How much money are you trying to raise and what are you using it for?

We hope to raise $20,000 to invest in a full time STEM coordinator teacher position for Evansdale who will begin in the fall of 2015.

What is STEM?

STEM is an educational program that combines Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, rather than teaching them separately, to engage students in problem solving and finding solutions.  It aims to transform the typical teacher-centered classroom to a learning environment that allows students to be more active – discovering, exploring, problem-solving – and when students are more active, they take more ownership of their learning and better develop skills they will need for higher education and the workforce. Studies have shown that most STEM-related jobs pay 26-40% higher than non-STEM jobs and have better job security. By 2018 over 8 million jobs in the United States economy will require a college degree in a STEM discipline.

Why hire a STEM coordinator?

Teachers and students currently have access to promethean boards, lap tops, tablets, and even STEM science kits, but no training or roadmap to integrate these tools into curriculum standards and learning objectives.  A STEM coordinator would help develop grade level learning plans to provide training and guidance to teachers to activate all the technology already available to them. This coordinator would ensure regular integration of engaging lessons via technology; seek out new technologies, programs and opportunities that drive engagement with STEM; and coordinate participation in clubs/competitions that would drive exposure for the school and experience for our children.  He/She would also collaborate with our Outreach Parent to create a basic learning plan to familiarize inexperienced parents with basic digital competence in key ways that will help support/encourage their children and families.

How will this benefit all students?

Our kids are “Digital Natives” – a generation born into networked digital technologies and the skills to use those technologies. Major parts of their lives and daily activities are mediated by digital technologies, and even testing and assessments will be completed online by spring of 2015.  We are receiving the technology and infrastructure we need, but we need dedicated digital capability, planning, coaching and support to help teachers bring it to life in the classroom.  This is the role that a STEM Coach has successfully played for other schools like Briarlake Elementary.  Every student at Evansdale will have more technology integrated into their curriculum, facilitated by the STEM Coordinator. And by becoming STEM certified, more grants and funding will be available to the school.

What is Uruut (crowdfunding) all about?

For this fundraiser we chose to take our campaign online with Uruut, an Atlanta based company that created a platform to help bring together individuals, businesses and foundations to obtain community-level funding.   Our hope is that by using this platform we can reach an even wider audience including business sponsors, and that through the power of social media, and online marketing we can raise funds not only from our community but through our extended networks as well.   Locally,  schools including Lakeside High School, Ashford Park Elementary and the GLOBE Academy have all used Uruut for their recent fundraising projects.

Can I write a check or donate cash? 

Absolutely!  Although this is an online fundraising campaign we will happily take your offline donation in whatever form you chose to pay.  Simply fill out this donor form so we can make sure you receive a receipt and are recognized at the appropriate level.  Return your check or cash to the front office no later than March 2nd.  Unfortunately we can’t display your name on the fundraising website however we will include your giving in our year end donor listing.

Is this tax deductible?  Yes, the Evansdale Education Foundation is a 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.  You will automatically receive a receipt when you complete your donation online.   Offline donation receipts will be sent separately and at a later date.

What Happened to Red, Hot and Blue (spring auction?)

For the past 4 years, the foundation has organized and hosted a spring fundraiser that featured a live and silent auction.  This was a ticketed ($30-40 per person) event with a cash bar and a chance to bid on items that would then benefit the Foundation and school as a whole.   These events are fun and effective but require hundreds of volunteer hours (your time!), solicitation from local businesses (who are already spread thin), teacher involvement (they are already so busy) as well as additional costs to host the event. While we love the idea of a gathering to build our community and celebrate our accomplishments, this year the Foundation has decided to scale back to accomplish a single and critical priority, identified by our school’s administration.   And unlike the auction, where ticket prices cover expenses and your auction purchases are not tax write-offs, every dollar you share will go to our effort to recruit a STEM coach, and every dollar is a tax write off.

What is the event on March 7th?

March 7th will be a fun, social event where we can continue to celebrate our accomplishments as a school and a community, recognizing and appreciating our teachers, administration, and valued donors.  There will be food, drinks, and prize drawings, and opportunity to meet new friends and enjoy the ones you know.

Can I buy tickets to the event?

No. To attend the Donor Party you must donate $75 for one entry, $150 for two. This is less than most of us spent to buy tickets, and bid on items at the auction in previous years!

What are you giving away at the event?

We are giving away a variety of items at the event, which will be done by an old fashioned prize drawing. Prizes will be announced throughout the campaign! The more you donate, the more chances you have to win!

How is the foundation different from the PTA?

The Evansdale Education Foundation and PTA are similar in that both organizations focus on providing the best resources and programs available to enhance our children’s early educational experience.  The most important difference is that the Foundation has the freedom to hire STAFF to supplement when the county allocations fall short.  Hiring new teachers, like our Reading Intervention teacher or this STEM Coach, helps improve our student:teacher ratios, differentiated learning opportunities for the kids, and our early intervention reading and math programs.

How can I learn more about the Evansdale Education Foundation?

Please visit our website at www.evansdalefoundation.org and be sure to join our mailing list.  And please consider joining the Board to be a part of fundraising and investment decisions that can help establish Evansdale one of the strongest elementary schools in Dekalb County.

Ok, fine– you’e got my donation.  But I forgot what to do?

Easy!  Just click HERE and donate before March 6, 2015.  Thank you for your continued support!




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