The Oracle School District (OSD) may be small, but our dreams are big. With the 2014 override renewal funding and additional efficiencies instituted by administration, our District has begun to realize some of these dreams. This year we were able to hire a music teacher and a school counselor. Additional academic tools, the arts and facility upgrades continue to be unmet needs.
Funding increases, though, are hard to come by these days. That is why a few concerned citizens decided to start a foundation to help fill in the gap. Their efforts resulted in the Oracle Schools Foundation’s (OSF) recent approval as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the IRS. The OSF’s vision is to be a beacon of excellence in public education, and the mission is to provide financial and related support to ensure that every Oracle student has unlimited opportunity to succeed.
The foundation is headed by President Edwin Hartman, a retired professor and Oracle resident. He is joined by three retired SaddleBrooke residents: Vice-President Alan Levenson, lawyer; Secretary Maria Menconi, school superintendent; and Treasurer Richard Borland, banker. Two additional board members are both Oracle residents: the OSD Superintendent Dennis Blauser and Andrea Jennings, a District parent. OSD Governing Board member Linda Lyon, retired USAF Colonel, is on the foundation board as a non-voting member.
Foundation board members have scheduled a foundation charity gala for November 17 at The Vista at SaddleBrooke One and have been the first to step forward with donations totaling almost $3,000. Half of this funding came from Alan and Betsy Levenson for creation of the Levenson Reach Scholarship. This first year’s recipient, 6th grader Natalye Pinedo, will attend the Sally Ride Science Camp at UC San Diego this summer. Providing opportunities like these to very deserving students like Natalie is indicative of the type of life-changing experiences the foundation hopes to facilitate.
Donations to the Oracle Schools Foundation are tax deductible but totally separate from Arizona’s tax credit program. Under the state’s tax credit program, individuals are allowed to donate $200 to any public school district and reduce their state tax bill by that same amount. Donations to the OSF reduce a taxpayer’s tax liability on Federal taxes and may be made in addition to making a tax credit contribution.
Interested in helping? The foundation website address is www.OracleSchoolsFoundation.com and its Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/OracleSchoolsFoundation. You can also email the foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opportunities to give online will be available in the future, but for now you can send a check to P.O. Box 5454, Oracle, AZ 85623. We may not be able to change the world, but together we can make a real difference for our local children.