With a bit of elbow grease, a lot of determination, and a wealth of community support, San Ramon’s Walt Disney Elementary School beat out thousands of schools nationwide this month to take home a grand prize in the Avery Give Back to Schools competition.
Walt Disney Elementary was the highest-performing California school, taking fifth place in the contest in which more than 9,000 other schools competed.
Parents, teachers, Patch readers, Cub Scouts, city council members, school board members and many others in the local community helped the school get out the vote, and that dedication paid off to the tune of $2,500 in cash, $1,000 in gift cards, and $10,000 in school supplies, which will be delivered later this year.
“This continues to demonstrate to our children how dedication, commitment, and every vote can and does make a difference,” said Curtis Haar, principal of Walt Disney Elementary.
For more than four months, the Walt Disney community got out the vote. California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted on the school's behalf. Local business owners, including Mexxi’s restaurant, supported the cause. To help generate awareness of the contest, more than half the school participated in a flash mob, which was attended by San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson, as well as school district officials.
The awards are like gold for the school, which has seen its funding at the state and local level grow much tighter in recent years.
The school relies on parent donations and creative venues such as these to primarily fund critical positions and programs, including the school librarian, computer instructor, classroom aides, and technology for the computer lab. Even items like Kleenex and basic materials for classrooms are provided by parents.
Missed the voting competition but still want to help? Consider making a donation to the school’s non-profit fundraising arm, to help support critical programs.
You can find a donation button at the bottom of this webpage.