Dear Friends and Fellow Parents,
We hope you are well and that you and your kids are getting as much out of JCDS as our family is this fall. Some of you know us as Miriam’s (3rd grade) and Reuben’s (1st grade) parents. We are writing to ask you to reflect and act on what you can do as parents to sustain and advance the School. Specifically, we ask you to join us in giving what you can to support JCDS this year, and in particular to take advantage of the generous $100,000 match which has been offered by one of our donors.
We hope you have already seen Shira’s video message to the school community and understand that the School is seeking exceptional financial support to navigate this year’s special circumstances. Understanding how important parent giving is to the ongoing success of the School and the experience of JCDS students, we urge you to join us in supporting both the COVID and the annual parent appeals. Here are some reasons we believe it is important.
First of all, we pay tuition to send our kids to JCDS and this is a significant commitment for all of us. Education is expensive, and the intensive and intentional education JCDS provides, with multiple teachers in small classes, makes it even more so. We all appreciate that JCDS does not waste money on frills, but rather invests in great teachers and a nurturing learning environment. The reality is, however, that tuition does not cover the true cost. Every private school looks to parents’ generosity to deliver on its mission. It is even more important for a young, small school such as JCDS to raise financial support from parents over and above the cost of tuition. JCDS depends upon the generosity of parents, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, families, and the wider community to survive and thrive.
This year, as we know only too well, COVID has changed everything. Shira and Gavi and the entire team have worked tirelessly to develop a sustainable mode of operation for the School, investing in new equipment such as filters, tents, computers and desks; new classroom layouts; new instructional strategies; and so much more, to make it possible for our kids to learn from each other and from their teachers, in a safe and nurturing environment. These costs have been and continue to be substantial, but are not reflected in our tuition dollars.
We feel very fortunate to be able to send our kids to school at this time, and to know they are being given every opportunity to learn and grow and have fun as children should. We are fortunate to have teachers and staff who care about each individual child and who build relationships with our children and serve as role models for them. We are fortunate that our children are able to learn to read, speak, and understand not just English, but Hebrew too; and that they are given insights into the values, wisdom and history of our Jewish traditions. We are fortunate that our children are encouraged to reflect on how their actions can help or hurt others; that they are given the opportunity to think about and the tools to solve problems of all kinds, from math and engineering to peer play and surprise emotions; and that they are educated to believe that if they persevere and stay brave they will learn new things and conquer new challenges.
Because we value these and so many other things about JCDS, we choose to give to the JCDS Annual Fund and to the COVID Campaign. Please join us in giving at a level that reflects the value you see in the extraordinary work of the School.
Deb Gaffin and Richard Bennett