Investing in Our Children’s Educators, Environment, & Experience
November 9, 2017

Guest Contributor: Tolu Lawrence

I wanted to talk to you about 100x100 - our community giving campaign to support Harbor's Annual Fund. And, I'm well positioned to talk to you about donating to the fund because I didn't do it last year. <pause for dramatic effect>

Instead, my husband and I gave to the auction (highly recommended) with the support of a very generous open bar. However, this year, we decided to take a second look at Harbor's Annual Fund. I did some digging, asked some questions, and ultimately, it came down to one thing: It's for our kids.

I wanted to share what I learned (because yes, what we learned inspired us to give to the fund this year), and I'm also offering up an easy way to remember what the fund supports.

The Gap
So, here's a fact: every independent school operates with a "gap" -- the difference between the operating budget and tuition. At The Harbor School, tuition covers 78% of our children's education. (Not bad!) This gap is why every independent school has an annual fund. The fund supports the day-to-day operations of our schools and allows us to close the gap.

Educators. Environment. Experience.
By helping close this gap, we are investing in our children's:

1. Educators: Harbor has the best teachers (52% of them have advanced degrees, and 100% of them are wholly committed to enriching our children's development.) The fund allows us to retain the best teachers and support them in their endeavors to pursue professional development opportunities.

2. Environment: Two words: small classes and small ratios -- the fund not only helps us retain the best teachers, but it also ensures that each of our kids gets one-on-one time with them. It ensures that when our kids have tough days, we get an email or text or phone call (sometimes all 3) from their teacher sharing details with us and helping us troubleshoot.

3. Experience: The fund allows us to enhance our kids' experience at Harbor. There wasn't always a 7,000 book library, a multi-sensory playground, or Calvin (just kidding, Calvin wasn't funded by the school). Investments in our school community have made the things we love about this school possible.

So, this year, (and really every year) Harbor's Annual Fund is about this community and the power of our collective investment.

How to Give?
1. Give online
2. Pay by check - Grab an Annual Fund envelope from the front desk and drop your check off in the lighthouse bowl when you're saying hello to Maureen.
3. Monthly Installments - Give a dedicated amount each month instead of paying in one lump sum. Contact Dana Riley to arrange.
4. Pledge Now, Pay Later - Give what you can, when you can. No need to do it all at once. Contact Dana Riley to arrange.

Track Our Collective Efforts (Including the Kids' Kindness Contributions)
Also, in the hall when you enter the school is the prettiest cheat sheet you'll ever see (photo above) -- thanks to Leslie Drexler and Kristina Harsanyi for this fun way to track our progress! Take a look at that to keep tabs on how we're doing as a community, refresh your memory on why we give and how, and see all of the acts of kindness that our kids are contributing to the effort.

Harbor School