Chamisa 5th graders receive copies of the book ‘Wonder’ from the LAPS Foundation. Courtesy photo
Students are eager to start reading the book ‘Wonder’. Courtesy photo
The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation has just announced that Lou Santoro State Farm Insurance has generously offered to match all donations to the LAPS Foundation, up to $5,000, between now and Dec. 31. That coupled with the fact that Facebook is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to match donations that are made on Facebook on #GivingTuesday, means that a donation to the LAPS Foundation through its Facebook fundraiser Tuesday, Nov. 28 will triple a donor’s contribution.
#GivingTuesday is recognized worldwide as a day of giving at the beginning of the holiday season. It always falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It is a way for one to reflect on what matters to him or her and support organizations s/he cares about before all the chaos of the holiday season.
Other ways to support the LAPS Foundation include designating a contribution through LANL’s Employee Giving Campaign running now through Dec. 8, to which LANS adds about $0.38 for each dollar donated, sending a check to 1900 Diamond Dr. #1, or donating online with a credit card at www.lapsfoundation.com/donate. The latter two will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Lou Santoro State Farm Insurance.
“Tough cuts are made at all of our public schools every day based on available resources,” said LAPS Foundation Executive Director Laura Loy. “The LAPS Foundation provides a means for the community of Los Alamos to invest in education, which is something that strengthens our community, better prepares our future workforce, and just makes good sense.”
The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is infusing another $16,000 into schools starting this month. Earlier this fall, the Foundation accepted grant applications from district teachers in three categories: Great Ideas, Professional Development and Professional Book Groups. In total, the Foundation received nearly 40 applications requesting more than $60,000. A committee comprised of LAPS Foundation board members reviewed the proposals and made the difficult decision of how to allocate the available funds.
One of the Great Ideas Grants is already underway at Chamisa Elementary School, where each 5th grader was presented with a copy of the book Wonder purchased by the LAPS Foundation. The book is about a boy named Auggie who was born with a facial deformity and how his peers initially perceive him. Ultimately he makes new friends and accepts himself for who he is. In the process, Auggie teaches all of us how to be better people. It’s a truly inspiring story that fits perfectly with Chamisa’s theme this year of “Mindfulness”, and the students are excited to read it. They will also have the chance to watch the movie based on the book at the Reel Deal Theater next month.
“I was lucky enough to be at Chamisa the day the books were handed out to the students,” Loy said. “Their enthusiasm for reading it was infectious, and I was impressed that upon discussing the book, they grasped the theme of how important it is to have compassion, not judge others and except everyone for who they are, including themselves.”
The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is an independent organization that supports, challenges, and invests in a successful future for all Los Alamos public school students. Since its inception in 2005, the LAPS Foundation has infused more than $1 million into Los Alamos Public Schools to fund opportunities and materials for students, provide professional development for educators, defray operating expenses, and assist with capital improvements to enrich learning environments in the Los Alamos public schools.
To learn more about the LAPS Foundation and how to get involved and/or make a donation, visit http://www.lapsfoundation.com or call 505.500.6501.