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Celebrating 40 Years of Impact

We can’t get Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” out of our heads! Last week’s gala was an incredible way to commemorate our 40th Anniversary and engage the community in support of public education.

From the game show and remarks from Governor Polis to our wonderful speakers and the 5280s Band, the evening reminded us how important – and fun! – it is to celebrate success. 

Together we raised over $400,000 to continue engaging students and empowering educators across the Boulder Valley School District.

Click here to view more photos from the event.

OUR PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Were you unable to attend? Watch this new video to learn a little more about how Impact on Education came to be and where we’re headed.

We’re grateful to have a strong community behind us. It’s because of you that we’re able to help BVSD students receive an excellent and equitable education. We all shine brighter together.

Thank you for being part of our work!

BEFORE YOU GO

Impact on Education is an independent non-profit supporting the Boulder Valley School District. We depend on the support of our community to put our mission into action. Will you help us provide opportunities and resources to marginalized students across the Boulder Valley School District?

BVSD students need you more than ever

For every student who confidently raises their hand in class, another has trouble keeping up. When a team roster is posted at school, most players are overjoyed, but some wonder if their family can afford the fees or uniforms. And in every classroom across the Boulder Valley School District, there are students quietly in crisis.

Our students worry about these learning, financial and emotional struggles; they’re so attuned to everything that’s happening around them. Can you imagine how the COVID pandemic, a mass shooting, and Colorado’s most destructive wildfire have impacted their mental health? Every student carries these experiences with them, and decades from now this will be a turning point.

You can help create a lasting legacy of mental well-being and compassion for others that our whole community carries forward.

Your gift ensures we’re able to continue focusing on the mental health of students, their families and our valued educators. Our greatest strength is our ability to adapt to meet emerging needs, and we hope we can count on your support today!

After the Marshall Fire we provided students, educators and families with direct financial support, school supplies and replacement academic materials. A critical part of our response was providing funding for BVSD to hire four new Mental Health Advocates to support the most impacted students and schools. These investments happened alongside an expansion of our summer learning program for rising Kindergarteners, launching a new Career Readiness Academy for underrepresented high schoolers, and awarding grants to schools and educators.

The gift you make to Impact on Education enables us to make these targeted long-term investments and to meet immediate needs that surface throughout the year.

“Impact on Education is there for us in our moments of greatest need.”

Dr. Rob Anderson, BVSD Superintendent

Our partnership with BVSD includes the voices of our educators, from counselors to administrators to classroom teachers, and many others. These are the people who know what students and families need, and they trust Impact on Education to help. 

When you make a gift to Impact on Education you’re helping to drive change for local students, public education and our whole community.

Shane Co: A local jeweler dedicated to education

Many of you know the iconic radio commercials, but did you know that Shane Co. has strong Colorado roots and a passion for education? Our partnership is built on shared values and a desire to support our local communities.

A devastated community leads to a new partnership

With two retail stores in Colorado and both Tom and Rordan Shane as alumni of the University of Colorado Boulder, the Boulder area has special meaning to the Shane Co. family. When the Marshall Fire devastated the Louisville and Superior communities, they reached out to see how they could help support students, staff and their families impacted by the fire. With their dedication to giving back to local schools and students in need, our organization values are strongly aligned with Shane Co.’s philanthropic values, and they made a gift to support our Marshall Fire response.

Being able to support communities at the local level is important to Shane Co. and a leading factor of why they see education as common ground for giving back. They also believe that by providing equal opportunities to all students will allow them to have a part, no matter how small it may be, in the fight for equitable learning. 

Why education is important to Shane Co.

Over the last several years, Shane Co. has been committed to supporting underserved kids and under-resourced schools in our local communities through the Kids-In-Need Foundation. Supporting education and equitable learning reflects the strong core values and family focus that is the foundation for the success of Shane Co., a fourth-generation company. 

Shane Co. believes the fight against racial injustice starts with education. 

Their regional partnerships with Kids In Need Foundation further aims to create equitable learning environments by supporting schools where the demographic is primarily composed of students who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. 

Similarly, Impact on Education is committed to equalizing opportunity in education across racial and socioeconomic lines. We understand how important education is in determining a child’s future, and we work every day to ensure all Boulder Valley students have a bright path forward.

A little more about Shane Co.

Since 1929, and for four generations, the Shane family has been dedicated to helping their customers with their biggest life moments: proposals, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, and more. Tom Shane and his son, Rordan Shane, are carrying on their family’s legacy as your trusted jeweler and friend in the jewelry business. Shane Co. has deep roots in Colorado, with Shane Co. stores in the Front range area for over 50 years, and Tom and Rordan Shane both graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder.

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 30,000 students and 4,000 educators of the Boulder Valley School District.

Volunteer Spotlight: Cindy Arbuthnot

Cindy Arbuthnot has worked for Broomfield-based Premier Members Credit Union (PMCU) for over 32 years. She specializes in reporting and analytics that support their portfolio department and is often the first to raise her hand to support the strong partnership PMCU has with Impact on Education.

What motivates Cindy to volunteer

Helping other people and making a difference in her community brings Cindy joy. While we appreciate the time and energy she spends helping the students and staff of the Boulder Valley School District, she enjoys making them feel appreciated. PMCU regularly offers opportunities for their staff to volunteer with Impact on Education, most recently helping assemble and distribute over 900 comfort kits to students across the district who remain displaced by the Marshall Fire.

Cindy was lined up to help with the Comfort Kits, but a last-minute emergency kept her from participating. She has, however, volunteered her time helping with a number of wonderful projects, including assembling welcome back bags for every BVSD staff and educator in fall of 2020 and welcome baskets in the fall of 2021.

Welcoming staff and educators back to school

The fall of 2020 and the fall of 2021 looked very different, and Cindy supported two very important volunteer projects for back to school.

In 2020, the school year began with all students learning remotely from their homes. In order to boost the spirits of staff and educators we partnered with PMCU to put together over 5,200 welcome bags that included water bottles, pens, notepads, and some local chocolate from Lily’s Sweets! It was a huge undertaking and the bags were so appreciated throughout the district.

In 2021, the school year began with in-person learning. Everyone could feel the excitement, the anticipation, and the pure joy of being back at school. We partnered with PMCU again to deliver over 120 welcome baskets to each school and BVSD building break room, filled with snacks, stickers, dry erase markers, sticky notes and other fun items to help start the year off on a high note.

Meaningful volunteer opportunities

While Cindy’s analytical mind was key for putting together efficient assembly lines, she also enjoyed the creative element required to make the bags and baskets look special.

“I want teachers to know they’re appreciated. I could never do what they do, and it’s important for them to know other people are paying attention.” 

Cindy Arbuthnot, IOE Volunteer

Cindy says she has a lot of fun volunteering on these projects. She knows that they’re doing meaningful work and gets to broaden her network by connecting with people from other departments and branches of PMCU.

Find volunteer opportunities with us

Is your organization interested in partnering with Impact on Education to support the students and staff of Boulder Valley School District?

Your support of Impact on Education makes a difference and we’ll work closely with you to ensure the community knows you are committed to public education. Together with our corporate partners, we create opportunities to strengthen brands while building support for public education and meeting the needs of local students and teachers.

Learn more about IOE Corporate Partnerships >>

Five ways we are supporting Marshall Fire recovery for the BVSD community

Four weeks ago, the Marshall Fire devastated our community, and left many of our family, our friends, and our colleagues unexpectedly displaced. Our schools and neighborhoods are collectively grieving and working to help each other rebuild, both physically and emotionally.

We remain grateful to every individual, business and community partner who’s reached out to us looking for ways to help. Thanks to this generous outpouring of support, we’ve raised over $700,000 through our Critical Needs Fund to support BVSD students and staff. 

We’ve already distributed backpacks full of school supplies to students who lost their homes and here are five additional ways we’re supporting recovery for the BVSD community right now.

1. Providing 900 “Comfort Kits” to displaced students and staff

Thanks to a generous donation of backpacks from JanSport, we’ve been working with local volunteers to build “comfort kits” by filling these backpacks with gift cards, blankets, art supplies, journals, letters of support from students and community members and other age-appropriate items. 

This week, schools will receive enough “comfort kits” for every student that is still displaced by the Marshall Fire and included on the McKinney-Vento roster. Soon after, kits will also be delivered to each of BVSD’s over 70 displaced staff members.

We’d like to say thank you to JanSport, Boulder Book Store, Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe, and every individual and business that has made a donation of their time or resources.  

2. Supporting the mental health of students and staff

Families rebuilding their lives after the devastation of the Marshall Fire face a mountain of challenges, and that stress and uncertainty weighs heavily on them. In close coordination with BVSD Student Support Services, we are working to secure funding to increase the number of Mental Health Advocates available and programming that will support the emotional well-being of students and staff. The Marshall Fire’s impact on our community’s well-being is significant, and we feel strongly that we must immediately increase the mental health services available to BVSD students.

3. Transportation stipends

With students from Louisville and Superior now displaced and living all across the Front Range, getting students to and from school each day presents a new and immediate challenge for families. With the shortage of bus drivers, providing additional routes and changing current routes cannot reach all displaced families. BVSD is promoting the school pool program, in the hope that families will be able to help others who need help getting kids to school, but carpools and buses are not enough. 

The McKinney-Vento Act provides an optional reimbursement for personal transportation costs, but it’s modest and barely covers the cost of gas. Impact on Education is supplementing the transportation reimbursement so all families who now have to drive their students further can be fully reimbursed for those costs. We know it’s not the same as living in the neighborhood, but we hope it makes things a little easier for families who are struggling. 

4. Replacing instruments and athletic equipment

Working closely with our partners at BVSD, we are identifying students that are missing academic materials, including textbooks, library books, musical instruments, Chromebooks and athletic equipment. When these items can’t be replaced with a donation or insurance, Impact on Education is paying for replacements so each student can fully engage in school. From golf clubs and violins to textbooks and hockey pads, we’re making sure students can return to their learning, their music, athletic endeavors and other extracurriculars without delay. 

5. Crocs donating shoes to every BVSD student and staff member

You may have already seen that Crocs committed to providing over 30,000 pairs of Crocs to students and staff in the Boulder Valley School District. We’ve all been through a lot, and this generous donation is extra special because it will provide a little comfort to the entire BVSD community of students, educators, administrators and staff. We’re helping facilitate the distribution of Crocs in the coming months, starting with our schools impacted most by the wildfire.


What lies ahead

We’re only able to do all of this impactful work with the support of volunteers and community partners, and our work is not done. Your help allows our small staff team to continue focusing on tackling the ongoing needs of all students. 

We’re working on providing summer learning opportunities for 160 rising kindergarten students, facilitating a Career Readiness Academy for low-income BVSD high school students, and addressing economic and learning barriers that curtail student success

The importance of our mission does not change during a crisis. The students in our community rely on us to ensure they have the resources needed to fully engage in their learning. Our work to empower students and educators drives us in good times and in challenging times, too.

Crocs to donate 30,000 pairs of shoes to the BVSD community

In the wake of the recent wildfire, everyone in our community is looking for ways to support each other. We’re excited to share that Crocs, the Broomfield-based maker of innovative casual footwear, has committed to providing a new pair of Crocs shoes to every student, educator and staff member within the Boulder Valley School District. While we know it’s a long road to recovery, we hope this simple gesture provides a sense of comfort.

The impact of the Marshall Fire throughout the BVSD community

Many of us were evacuated or under pre-evacuation orders for the Marshall Fire, with 2,400 students and almost 200 staff members from the the Boulder Valley School District living within the burn area boundary. Over 500 students and 40 staff members lost their homes, and over 800 students and 50 staff members are currently displaced because of the fire. 

“As with every tragedy our community has endured, we immediately heard from people who wanted to help students, schools and staff,” said Allison Billings, Executive Director at Impact on Education. This outpouring of support is what makes the BVSD community so special. The needs of our displaced family, friends and colleagues are continuing to emerge and it’s difficult to imagine how a community recovers from devastation like this. It’s gestures like these that remind people they’re not going through it alone.”

Impact on Education has now raised over $600,000 through our Critical Needs Fund and we’re working closely with BVSD to support the immediate needs, long-term recovery, and mental health of all BVSD students and staff. 

Crocs is a local company making a huge impact

Crocs has called Colorado home since its founding in 2002 and more than 450 team members work out of their Broomfield headquarters.

“Like so many, we were heartbroken to witness the devastating wildfires that will forever impact the lives of our neighbors, friends and colleagues in Boulder County,” said Shannon Sisler, SVP & Chief People Officer at Crocs. “Over the past few weeks, we’ve received countless requests for Crocs shoes and are committed, through our partnership with Impact on Education, to provide a sense of comfort during this difficult time to the students, faculty and staff of the Boulder Valley School District. While the path to recovery is still unclear for many, we hope this donation will supply simple comforts as our community rebuilds.” 

The generous donation has the potential to impact over 30,000 people throughout the district. The gesture stems from Crocs Cares, the brand’s global philanthropic arm, which is dedicated to providing comfort when and where it’s needed most.

How the Crocs will be distributed

Impact on Education is working with school principals and their PTO/PTA organizations to create a roll-out plan for delivering shoes directly to students and staff. Crocs’ mobile truck will visit each school – beginning with those hardest hit by wildfire – potentially as early as next week, and will continue making stops at area schools over the coming weeks. Students and staff will get to choose from donated products from the brand’s Classic Collection.

The road to recovery

Our partnership with Crocs is one way we’re looking to support all students and staff during a difficult time. We’re also working to provide cash assistance to staff and gift cards to students most in need of support, and will soon be delivering “comfort kits” with letters of support from students and community members, art supplies, journals and other age-appropriate items for these students and educators. 

Looking ahead, we’re working closely with BVSD to fund additional mental health resources for the BVSD community to support the recovery of our students, staff, and their families. 

Thanks to a new partnership with the Arly Kruse Educational Foundation, Impact on Education is facilitating an additional $30,000 investment to catch up groups of elementary students at two BVSD schools with targeted academic tutoring this spring. This tutoring is part of the broader catch-up plan, offering supplemental learning opportunities to high needs students experiencing academic setbacks due to the pandemic. 

Literacy and math tutoring

Alicia Sanchez Elementary School and Escuela Bilingüe Pioneer Elementary, both in Lafayette, identified students in need of tutoring using literacy and math assessment data as well as teacher recommendations. 

“This is fantastic! Thank you so much for advocating for our students. Their parents are so grateful for and supportive of the opportunity.” 

Anabel Rafoul, Assistant Principal of Escuela Bilingue Pioneer Elementary

Targeted tutoring is now in place for 44 high needs elementary school students. Students at both schools receive two hours of tutoring per week in literacy, math, or both, to improve their academic skills and future success. Teachers are already seeing the growth and are reporting increased student confidence as well as noticeable improvement, specifically in reading. 

About the Arly Kruse Foundation

The Arly Kruse Educational Foundation aims to enhance the education of children from diverse backgrounds through academic support and tutoring free of cost to Boulder Valley School District families.

The Foundation’s namesake was a retired teacher with a belief in the power of tutoring. Her husband and organizational Founder, Jack Kruse, shared, “We’re thrilled to be able to partner with Impact on Education to provide supplemental and targeted literacy instruction to students in need.” 

As the Foundation for Boulder Valley’s public schools, Impact on Education was uniquely positioned to identify schools with specific needs and partner with the Arly Kruse Educational Foundation to bring those resources to the students who needed them most. We are so grateful to be able to provide high quality supplemental instruction to students whose learning has been disrupted.

Alenka Žnidaršič started volunteering with Impact on Education over two years ago after volunteering with her son’s school. She first helped review grant applications before becoming more involved with our fundraising and events. 

Originally from Slovenia, Alenka received a Masters in Information Technology before obtaining her PhD in electro-technical engineering from the University of Ljubljana. She started working with artificial intelligence (AI) technology and became fascinated by the connection between people and technology.

Through her education and travels, Alenka learned four languages and is quadrilingual, speaking Dutch, English, German and Slovenian. She moved to Colorado 10 years ago alongside her husband and son. Her son was 5 when they moved which gave Alenka the opportunity to volunteer in his classroom during his early education.

Why she values education

During her own early education in Slovenia, Alenka’s school placed great emphasis on developing critical thinking skills and an appreciation for others’ differences. The latter was not something she saw being valued in the U.S. education system and one of the reasons she is so passionate about early childhood education. She would like to bring some of the values from her home country to help improve education in the U.S., particularly the awareness and acceptance of differences and diverse identities. 

Alenka’s family was another element that drove her commitment to education. Coming from a family of educators, she started helping out in her mother’s classroom as a child. She says, “technology has my heart, but teaching is a close second.” After obtaining her degrees, she taught computer science to elementary school students. She also mentored children through the Scouts of Slovenia, helping to foster a curious learning environment.

“Technology has my heart, but teaching is a close second.”

Alenka Žnidaršič

Her work with Impact on Education

Alenka first started volunteering with us two years ago, helping review applications for our Classroom Innovation Grants. These awards go to BVSD teachers focusing on instructional innovation to enhance student learning in the classroom. She loves watching these applications turn into classroom innovations. 

In addition to the grant reviews, she now supports our Fundraising & Special Events Committee, helping our staff plan and orchestrate events. Alenka’s educational and career focus of bringing people together through technology is especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, where we’ve seen a heightened need for virtual events and interactions.

A love for adventure

Outside of her work as a leadership development coach and volunteering, Alenka is passionate about spending time outside. She particularly enjoys skiing, hiking, climbing and kayaking. Alenka and her family love traveling and have an appreciation for meeting people from and experiencing different cultures and perspectives. With the pandemic making traveling more difficult, they’re enjoying playing strategic and collaborative family games, such as Settlers of Catan.

Premier Members Credit Union is passionate about supporting education in our community. Growing from a small financial institution serving teachers in the Boulder Valley School District, to one that serves tens of thousands of members throughout Colorado and nationwide, they recognize the importance of financial literacy and responsibility as a critical educational tool.

Bringing banking to high schools

In 2009, PMCU partnered with Boulder High School to open the Panther Student Credit Union. Their partnership offered unique and valuable hands-on learning experiences for students to dip their toes into the world of finance and business. After the initial success of the Panther Student Credit Union, Premier Members created similar programs in three other high schools in the Boulder Valley School District. In 2010, Fairview High School launched the Knight Student Credit Union, and Monarch High School launched the Coyote Student Credit Union, while Centaurus High School opened the Warrior Student Credit Union in 2011. Each of these credit unions are primarily student run with oversight from Premier Members’ team members.

The student experience

High school students are recruited in the spring to work at their school’s respective credit union for the following academic year. After completing two training sessions at a Premier Members branch during the summer, students are equipped with the skills needed to run their school’s credit union. Each student receives similar training to the professional tellers in Premier Members’ branches.

“Promoting financial literacy, and operating the high school branches exemplifies Premier Members’ commitment to building lasting relationships that strengthen the communities that we serve. Providing educational opportunities and supporting the financial literacy of our youth is a staple of the “Premier” experience.”

Susan Finesilver, AVP Community Relations at Premier Members Credit Union

While school is in session full-time, students working at their school branches are well-equipped to independently operate the credit union. Students are responsible for setting up daily, managing the cash box, helping members and prospective members with their accounts, and working with confidential information. Student interns receive both an hourly wage and elective business credits throughout the school year.

Real-world financial skills

Each student working at a student credit union engages with real-world personal finance situations during their high school experience, allowing them to build financial literacy in a safe and structured environment.

All student members develop money management skills and come to understand the importance of saving for the future. They gain experience managing their own debit card and checking account and finding appropriate ways to establish and maintain good credit for future use. Not only do student interns successfully learn financial management skills, they experience committing to a position for an extended period of time. The students get to experience being professional and working with a business in a structured and secure environment. They develop unique cash handling skills as they deposit money into different accounts with larger transactions while keeping member information confidential. In addition to the cash handling skills, students learn and use other bank teller skills, as well.

“The student interns are learning critical skills that are applicable to anyone, not just those interested in finance.”

Steve Carr, Student Branch Liaison at Premier Members Credit Union

This is a rigorous program that both requires and instills student commitment and responsibility. Students leave the program with a toolkit full of self-initiative, responsibility, and critical financial and business skills. While it is not required, students often stay with the credit union until they graduate, and train younger students for their position.

The next step for Premier Members’ student credit unions

When schools shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, the four student-run credit unions were forced to temporarily close as well. Premier Members is exploring ways to relaunch the program amidst our new high school environments.

Chris Snedeker was looking for a way to serve the community when an email from Impact on Education dropped into his inbox. For Chris, serving his community is about engaging with people on a personal level and paying it forward. BVSD and Impact on Education have been ever-present entities in his life as his kids wound their way through the school system. The many challenges and great people—teachers, administrators and of course, their friends—on that path always impressed him, so it was easy to say yes to a request for help distributing food to BVSD student families.

Behind the scenes

After an online training, Chris was given a confidential list of eight BVSD student families who needed food deliveries. He showed up at Columbine Elementary School early the next Monday unsure of what to expect. The day prior he made a practice run to ensure all of the student’s homes were accessible. 

At Columbine, Chris was greeted with cheerful smiles—yes, you can see twinkling eyes above those masks—helpful guidance and kind gestures. The BVSD personnel were busy pulling cartons of food off trucks, stuffing individual bags of food and organizing gallons of milk. Despite how busy they were, they took time to walk him through the procedure: delivering one and one-half gallons of milk and a full grocery bag to each student, each week. 

“I encountered people who were energetic, conscientious and fun to work with.” 

On the road making deliveries

Setting off to make the deliveries, Chris didn’t know what to expect at the other end. BVSD advised volunteers to make contact and be friendly, but maintain distance. What he found with each and every delivery was someone who came to the door, smiled at him and said thanks with an evident depth of gratitude. This was true of each of the five households (eight kids). After a couple of weeks, the deliveries were doubled to 16 kids, but the friendly welcome and gracious appreciation continued. 

Chris continues to deliver food each Monday to make sure BVSD students have the nourishment they need to tackle their studies. He says he is struck by the consideration, gratitude and friendliness he encounters at every step of this journey. 

Paying it forward

“I’m having fun and thankful for the opportunity to engage with members of our community that I rarely see,” Chris says. By giving in this way, Chris is seeing his own horizons expand. Helping the community he raised his family in is further strengthening his ties to Boulder, Impact on Education and BVSD.

Interested in volunteering with us? Learn more or sign-up on our volunteer page.

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info@impactoneducation.org
303.524.3865

Impact on Education
721 Front Street, Suite A
Louisville, CO 80027

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