April 27, 2023

Dear Harbor Families,

As we set out the centerpieces, stock the bar, and arrange the auction items on tables for tonight’s auction event, A Toast to Harbor, I thought it would be helpful to reiterate why the auction is an annual tradition at Harbor and other independent schools, for those of you who might be newer to the concept.

I remember my first experience with an independent school auction, as a teacher coming from the public school system 18 years ago - and thinking to myself, why all this fundraising if families are paying tuition? Over time, I came to understand more about the importance of a culture of giving at an independent school. The fact is that the tuition at independent schools is priced lower than the overall cost of educating, and fundraising fills in the gap between tuition and expenses. The auction is organized by the Parents Association each year and serves the dual purpose of bringing the community together with the opportunity to connect socially and enjoy each other and our shared goals. Not to mention, bidding can be a lot of fun, especially since so many of the items are to places we might spend money anyway - and when we remember that our bids directly support our children’s excellent education.

If you are joining us tonight, you will notice that many of our faculty and staff attend the auction, bid on items, and raise their paddles in support. As members of the school community, they have the experience over the years to know that any amount of support helps the school. They are all also offering teacher experiences - outside of their work day! - as fixed-priced auction items, and have guided the students in creating impressive artwork for the auction. I find it extremely powerful that the teachers at Harbor, who give of their time, energy, and care to our kids each day, show up in this way - above and beyond - in support of the school. (Thank you to our amazing teachers!)

Finally, I want to reiterate the importance of the Raise the Paddle portion of our online auction, which will also be a component of tonight’s event. This is an opportunity to offer support for a specific purpose or goal. Those of you who were at Harbor last year will remember that we raised the paddle for books. Now, our library has purchased a large number of new books representing curricular and DEI goals, and our students have a renewed set of leveled reading books for reading instruction - all due to the generous support garnered as part of last year’s Raise the Paddle. 

This year, we are raising our virtual paddles to support enriching student experiences and programs, both on and off campus. We are excited about bringing cultural experiences such as plays and performances, environmental and animal programs, the mobile planetarium, and more to the campus, as well as supporting more field trips off campus to support classroom learning. Funds raised in our Raise the Paddle (item #1 on the website), will enable us to enrich the student experience even more in these ways!

If you are joining us tonight, we really look forward to an enjoyable evening with a strong, shared sense of community and support for our special school. If you aren’t able to attend, we encourage you to watch the auction website carefully from home as the 9:30 PM auction end time gets closer - and bid on items, raise your virtual paddle, and get your child’s spot in a teacher experience!

Thank you for your support!

Warm regards,

Leah Musico
Head of School

Harbor School