Author: Sarah Durand

Breakfast with Phil Kaye & Sarah Kay

LBHS students and teacher enjoyed a special live performance with two world-renowned spoken word poets, ​Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye, this morning through Project VOICE​.​ The duo has collectively performed in 30 countries on stages from TED Talks to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and garnered over 20 million views online. Their most recent poetry books have both been Amazon bestsellers: ​All Our Wild Wonder,​ by Sarah Kay, and​ Date & Time,​ by Phil Kaye. Their work was featured in Uniqlo’s “Poetry Beyond the Page” artist series and sold in stores around the world.Next, Phil and Sarah will meet [...]

Warmest Holiday Wishes to Your Family from SchoolPower

2020 has been a tough year for education in our small town and across the globe. Here at SchoolPower we've stayed focused on the heart of our mission: Laguna Beach students. Last week, we deployed over 85 gift packages to families in our district who are facing financial hardship. We are committed to partnering with LBUSD to assist in covering basic needs and supplemental educational resources for students in need. Through our COVID Impact Fund, we've awarded over $25,000 to teachers and coaches who are engaging students in creative ways. Teachers like Ms. LaPierre who, armed with craft supplies [...]

The Power of Community

This week, we came together and raised over $175,000 to help over 300 families in our district who are facing financial hardship. I am proud to announce we have exceeded our goal. We are blown away by the generosity of this community and so thankful for all 176 donors who got us to this point. Yesterday, we reached the initial goal of $150,000 after a surprise $50,000 gift from the Wayne Peterson Fund of the Laguna Beach Community Foundation. Today, Carol and Dennis Berryman gave an additional $25,000 to enable us to do even more to help families! We [...]

A Note of Gratitude

We are thankful to you! This community's generous support of SchoolPower has strengthened our schools and directly benefitted students since 1981. This year, students need our support more than ever. We are grateful for the social emotional support team and programs that your donations helped put into place. Through grants made possible by your gifts, our teachers and coaches are well supported as they teach in new ways. We appreciate your support and the opportunity to continue to help Laguna students thrive. As you celebrate the holiday today, perhaps in a whole new way, I hope you are able to [...]

SchoolPower Sets Goal to Raise $150,000 for LBUSD Families on Giving Tuesday

This Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2020, SchoolPower will launch an effort to raise $150,000 for its COVID Impact Fund to help Laguna Beach school district families in need. “Over 300 students in Laguna Beach schools are eligible for free and reduced-price meals--that’s 11% of the student body,” says SchoolPower Executive Director Sarah Durand. “Our goal is to provide real help for students and families in our small community, many of whom are experiencing major challenges due to the pandemic.” SchoolPower is partnering with LBUSD to amplify the district’s support of students and families in need and secure resources for [...]

SchoolPower Invites Community to Join Together in Supporting Students, Teachers & Families

SchoolPower kicked off its community campaign with a $10,000 gift to Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach from its newly formed COVID Impact Fund. SchoolPower’s community fundraising efforts this year will focus on immediate help for students, teachers, and school district families. “This year, more than ever, I think we all want to help. We want to ensure our educators have the resources to effectively deliver instruction within the constraints of the health authorities, and we also want to make sure we help district families who are struggling,” says SchoolPower Executive Director Sarah Durand. SchoolPower’s gift to the Boys [...]

Gorjana Receives SchoolPower’s 2020 Hall of Fame Award

On Sunday, May 31, 2020, SchoolPower presented its top honor, “The Hall of Fame Award,” to gojana. Owned by LBUSD parents Gorjana and Jason Reidel, this company began supporting SchoolPower in 2014 when their son was in kindergarten. “When we saw the tremendous impact that SchoolPower had on our schools, we wanted to get involved,” says Jason Reidel. The Reidels went on to join the Board of Trustees, with Jason eventually serving as vice president of the executive board and Gorjana chairing the annual dinner dance. “We wanted to make a positive impact on all the children in this [...]

Kendall and Chris Clark Receive SchoolPower’s 2020 Bill Steel Award

On Sunday, May 31, 2020, SchoolPower presented “The Bill Steel Award,” its annual recognition of exceptional volunteerism, to Kendall and Chris Clark. The Clarks have been passionate, unwavering supporters of SchoolPower for 23 years. In 1997, their neighbor invited them to become SchoolPower trustees, prompting them to make an usual decision--to join before their children had even entered Laguna Beach Schools. “Chris and I looked down at our 3 kids aged 4, 2 and 6 months and wondered, isn’t it a little early for us to get involved?,” says Kendall. “But Chris said it was precisely the time to get [...]

Listening & Learning

During these times, I’ve struggled with what to say. Sometimes I wish things would go back to “normal,” but the current protests remind me that “normal” was not comfortable for many. As I prepare for another year in my position at SchoolPower, I am reading, listening, learning and thinking. As a parent, I feel the weight of my duty to raise empathetic, compassionate global citizens, now more than ever. We have work to do as parents and within our schools to fight racism and unconscious bias that persist in our society. Last week, Superintendent Dr Viloria shared a few [...]

$10,000 Gift for Social Emotional Support

Thank you to the Laguna Beach Community Foundation for a gift of $100,000 from the Wayne Peterson Fund. This generous gift to the SchoolPower Endowment will be used to help expand the Social Emotional Support program in our schools. Philanthropist Wayne Peterson, a former mayor of Laguna Beach, passed away in 2019. He was a member of the SchoolPower Endowment board, a longtime City Council member, and supported many Laguna Beach nonprofits during his lifetime. Wayne Peterson, left, and his longtime partner Terry Smith attend the Laguna College of Art + Design’s Collector’s Choice gala in June 2014. (Courtesy [...]

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