At less than $6,000 per student - or about half the national average - Nevada’s public schools find themselves among the least funded in the nation. Now Incline Village has a group dedicated to filling the gaps in learning left by that shortfall.
In August, The Incline Education Fund (IEF) became a new fiscal sponsorship of The Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation.
IEF is focused on supporting academic achievement and skill development for Incline Village public school students.
“Our mission,” says IEF cofounder Mary Danahey, “is to help provide a world class education to our students. We will work as a critical independent advocate for the continued progress of K-12 schools in Incline Village. Ultimately, we will build a self-sustaining financial endowment that supports these efforts.”
Danahey worked with Sharon Schrage to form IEF. The two have extensive volunteer experience, including serving as Incline High School Booster Board members. Both have built a strong network of community and school relationships while raising their children in the town.
Working directly and independently with each school administrator and each of the Booster/PTA groups in a strategic, on-going capacity, IEF will help to create and implement a vision that will bridge financial gaps as well as ensure programmatic continuity across grade levels.
IEF will support existing programs and help launch innovative new programs that promote educational excellence and lifelong skill preparation. IEF will help provide access to 21st century tools and programs that prepare our students for their futures. That education includes technology skills, experiential learning programs, enriched literacy programs, mentor and internship programs, college counseling, career coaching, and financial literacy courses.
To assist families, IEF will provide parent education classes, movies and speakers to address concerns such as phone/screen time, bullying, anxiety, substance abuse and college planning.
To support teachers, IEF plans to fund professional development opportunities, provide classroom resources and advocate for educators.
“IEF will also act in the role of educational cheerleader, spreading the word on the achievements of our schools, students and teachers in an effort to reinforce a positive public perception of Incline schools,” Schrage said. “At the same time, we expect to keep the community informed about issues in education.”
To achieve its objectives, IEF has set its sights on building a $1 million endowment fund within 10 years.
“This would create a self-sustaining, long-term funding source for generations of Incline Village families,” said Danahey.
Danahey and Schrage have proven success fundraising for Incline schools. In 2014-16, they launched the Incline High School Technology Initiative as part of the Incline High School Boosters. At the time, the school had only 19 outdated or broken computers to serve more than 300 students. That campaign brought in more than $500,000 and continues to this day. Its success allowed Incline Village High School to have a computer for every student and to become the first Washoe County School District school to do so.
“We are proud to support IEF’s efforts in our local schools. This partnership strengthens the relationships between all those involved with fundraising and educational programming, and it will produce positive, measurable outcomes encouraging donors to invest in the future of Incline Village schools,” said Claudia Andersen, CEO of the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation.”
Donations to IEF can be made by check payable to the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation with IEF indicated in the memo line, and by credit card on our Donate Now page. The Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation also accepts gifts of appreciated securities. For more information on IEF and how to donate, please contact Megan Weiss at 775.298.0188.