PARENT GROUP COLLABORATES WITH CARLSBAD EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION AND LOCAL BUSINESSES TO HELP CASH-STRAPPED CUSD SCHOOLS
Parents concerned about the growing number of cuts affecting Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD) created a plan to help raise funds to reduce the district’s budget deficit in an effort to help restore cut programs, prevent loss of instructional days and further increased class sizes.
Parents and community members began meeting at local parks in October 2011 to brainstorm innovative ways to generate new revenue streams for their cash-strapped schools. The group formed a strategic partnership with the Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF) to create the “I (heart) Carlsbad Schools” program during the week of 4/28 - 5/6, where local businesses are able to support the schools by donating a portion of the proceeds from sales brought to them by the friends and families of CUSD.
In addition, the group has given out nearly one thousand buttons declaring a wearer’s “love” for Carlsbad schools for a suggested minimum $1 donation, which has raised funds and helped spread awareness about the program and the budget crisis.
“We are so encouraged by the amount of enthusiasm and generosity Carlsbad’s citizens and local businesses are showing for our schools. People who don’t even have kids in our schools are wearing the buttons to show their support of high quality schools in Carlsbad.” said, Claudine Jones, Kelly School mom and co-chair of the CUSD Parent & Community Budget Task Force.
The program’s kick-off coincides with CEF’s annual Celebrate Carlsbad Day at LEGOLAND California on April 28th. The group is planning to continue their mission of education and outreach to the community at the City of Carlsbad’s Spring Fiesta celebration on May 5th in the city’s barrio neighborhood. Their volunteers will finish the week’s promotional activities at the Carlsbad Chamber’s Village Fair on May 6th.
Some local businesses are stretching their on-going support by offering creative new menu items, such as Carlsbad Village restaurant, Señor Grubby’s. The restaurant’s cooks have devised an “I heart Carlsbad Schools” burrito, of which sales of the item will provide $1 back to the schools for the remainder of the year. Owner and Carlsbad High alumnus, Justin Jachura, states he got involved with this program because, “Carlsbad’s future is in the hands of its youth and if we aren’t involved...then we are abandoning this beautiful city’s future.”
Participating businesses are only one part of the equation for this program to be a success for Carlsbad schools. CUSD’s families and friends are encouraged to take a break from cooking at home and to also try shopping at places that may be new to some families. Claudine Jones said, “This program is similar to the ‘cash mob’ concept where small communities have come together and focused their shopping patterns to help struggling proprietors. We hope the mutual ‘sharing of love’ will also greatly benefit the participating businesses who have been experiencing a slow recovery in today’s tough economy.”
The Task Force website will serve as a portal for the community to find participating vendors and also download a “voucher” which will ensure their purchases are credited back to the group. Stores and restaurants are being asked to display a window cling bearing the button’s message of support. This will also help customers quickly identify participating businesses.
Not all vendors are selling products or food, some are donating for services. David Morash, a Buena Vista parent and mortgage broker for Ocean Mortgage stated, "In addition to personally giving back for a full month at my mortgage practice, my family is going to take this opportunity to venture out from our favorite places and find new shops and restaurants who are participating in this event. Hopefully we can find some new gems."