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Wish List

Funding Opportunities, Fall 2010

$50-500           Entry-Level Robot Kits for Engineering Club

On the heels of great success with students who participated in Engineering Club last year, several new students have expressed interest in participating for the 2010-2011 school year. Entry-level kits introduce students to robotics and spark an interest in technology and engineering. A total of ten kits are needed, at $50 each.

$100                Paint a classroom mid-year

Most walls at school get a fresh coat of paint each summer, but some rooms can use a face-lift over winter break. Keeping the school neat and clean is part of taking pride and seeking excellence in everything we do at Freire Charter School.

$250                Honor Roll Ice Cream Party

Builds community by celebrating those students who have made the Freire Honor Roll for one semester (Quarters 1 and 2). To earn a place on the Honor Roll at Freire, a student must earn an average of 85.00-89.99 for second honors, and 90.00 or above with no single grade below a 75.00 for first honors.

$400-$1600     One to four Netbooks pre-loaded with MSWord, to raffle for First-Quarter Honors

In much the same way as eating a good breakfast improves focus and performance throughout the day, we believe that a strong start in the first quarter leads to greater success throughout the school year. First quarter grades are the last set of grades a college or university will see in a student’s college application, so to encourage a strong start to senior year, we would like to enter all seniors who achieve first honors during the first quarter into a raffle for a netbook. To encourage a strong start throughout the school, four netbooks could be raffled at the end of the first quarter, one for each grade level.

$500                Funds one Student Club annually

Each year, Freire offers clubs and extra-curricular activities, depending upon student interest and faculty expertise. In the past, club activities have included Robotics, Book Discussion, Marine Biology, Chess, and Music Production. Cost for each club varies, but averages $500 per year.

$500                Pre-PSSA Breakfast for the Junior Class for three days (Math and Reading)

Studies have shown that eating breakfast has a positive influence on students’ ability to concentrate and on academic performance. Providing a hot, nutritious breakfast before entering each day’s grueling PSSA exams prepares our students to achieve beyond our goals and creates a sense of community and camaraderie within the class. This funding opportunity would provide a hot breakfast buffet before the PSSA exams in March, 2011 at Tony’s Restaurant on 21st Street.

$500                Pre-PSSA Breakfast for the Junior Class for three days (Writing and Science)

See above.

$600                Medals for all full-year Honor Roll Students

Recognizes those students who have made the Freire Honor Roll all four quarters. To earn a place on the Honor Roll at Freire, a student must earn an average of 85.00-89.99 for second honors, and 90.00 or above with no single grade below a 75.00 for first honors.

$750                Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

At Freire, our teachers go above and beyond to provide our students with the best possible college preparatory experience. Once each year, we’d like to thank them with a staff luncheon.

$900                One new laptop computer for teacher or administrative use

Many of our teacher and administrative computers are three and four generations behind current technology. While the need is greater than one, every new computer makes a difference!

$1,500             Five Lego NXT Robot Kits for Engineering Club

Ten students who participated last year will return this year and are ready for the additional challenge of programmable NXT robots. Several other students have expressed a desire to join the group as well. These kits are reusable and durable, and will serve current students and many more for several years to come. Extracurricular involvement in programs such as our Engineering Club is critical to ensuring that our students are competitive college applicants alongside students from more affluent public and private school communities.

$1,600             Four Netbooks pre-loaded with MSWord, to raffle for Full-Year First Honors

To encourage students to maintain high achievement throughout the year, a raffle would be held at the end of the year for one netbook per grade level. For each quarter a student earns first honors, they would receive one chance, with a bonus chance entered for earning first honors in every quarter, with one netbook awarded per grade level at the end of the year.

$5,000             Emergency College Fund

More often than we’d like, our students are accepted to their dream college only to be unable to afford to visit campus to make a final decision. Or they earn tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships, only to fall short on their housing or admissions deposits, or can’t afford the registration fee to take the SAT a third time when only two fee waivers are allowed per student. An emergency fund would give some students that final push to get to college after four years of hard work at Freire.

$5,000             Freire Charter School Marketing Material

With a relatively small investment in marketing materials such as banners, a logo tablecloth, building signage and newspaper ads, we could better spread the word about the wonderful accomplishments of Freire Charter School. Your support will allow us to “crow” just enough that people will know who we are and what great things we do!

$5,000             Fund a Founders’ Scholarship for one year for one student

The Founders’ Scholarship is Freire Charter School’s most prestigious honor. Each year at graduation, a four-year, $20,000 scholarship ($5,000 per year) awarded to the senior who best embodies the spirit of Paulo Freire. Often, this scholarship closes the financial gap and enables that senior to attend his or her first choice college. A family is usually expected to pay $3,000-5,000 of an annual $55,000 college expense, and for most Freire families, that contribution is beyond their financial ability.

$8,000             Excellence Day Trip

Each year, students who are working to the very, very top of their potential are rewarded with a fun trip. Past events have included a day at Dorney Park, go-kart riding, horseback riding, etc. Students who are considered for such an event include students who have achieved first honors, but also (for example) students who may be struggling academically or at home but manage to achieve all B’s through diligent effort.

$9,000             Ten New Laptop Computers for teacher and administrative use

Many of our teacher and administrative computers are three and four generations behind current technology.

$10,000            Homework Club for Ninth Grade and some Tenth Graders

As students enter Freire, it is our goal to acclimatize them to our rigorous curriculum and to prepare them to meet academic challenges, which will prepare them to succeed later at Freire, in college, and beyond. Mandatory Homework Club for ninth graders allows the school to ensure that expectations are being met, and enables the students to seek additional help as needed and to establish good study habits that will serve them well.

$14,500             New Reading Program for Incoming Ninth Grade Class: 100 Book Challenge

This amount would cover two sections, to support those incoming students who need intensive reading programs most.

$19,500             New Reading Program for Incoming Ninth Grade Class: 100 Book Challenge

This amount would serve five sections, to support all incoming ninth graders who need intensive reading programs.

$20,000-22,000           Daily Breakfast for all Freire Students

For benefits of breakfast, see Pre-PSSA breakfasts, above. During the 2009-2010 school year, Freire Charter School provided boxed-breakfasts for all students. We found that that program, despite being wildly popular and successful in improving student focus and performance, and even sense of community, just wasn’t financially feasible. For 2010-2011, we propose to provide each student with a Nutri-Grain cereal bar or Nature Valley granola bar each morning, purchased by the school at a warehouse club such as COSTCO or Sam’s Club, and organized and distributed in-house by Freire staff.

$20,000                       Fund a Founders’ Scholarship for four years for one student

The Founders’ Scholarship is Freire Charter School’s most prestigious honor. Each year at graduation, a four-year, $20,000 scholarship ($5,000 per year) awarded to the senior who best embodies the spirit of Paulo Freire. Often, this scholarship closes the financial gap and enables that senior to attend his or her first choice college. A family is usually expected to pay $3,000-5,000 of an annual $55,000 college expense, and for most Freire families, that contribution is beyond their financial ability.

$20,000 each   Writing Center, Math Center, new Science Center

Freire students have benefitted greatly from our existing Writing and Math Centers, which we hope to expand upon for 2010-2011, and also add a Science Center. These Centers exist to provide supplemental support and opportunities outside the academic day. In writing, for example, students are invited to come for help with the writing process, from brainstorming a topic, to proofreading a poem or story. In math, students are able to come for extra help and practice problems or to seek greater challenges, and in science, students may come to work on projects outside of the limits of class time, with all the supplies they’ll need. Centers are staffed by Freire faculty, with additional fellows – Freire students who have been trained to assist their peers in these subjects. These centers are outstanding models of Freire’s foundational principle that everyone is both a learner and a teacher.

$25,000                       Support for all Freire Charter School Team Sports

Participation in team sports and other extra-curricular activities has a positive effect on student health and on academic performance. Involvement in organized sports increases self-confidence, teaches teamwork, and demands time-management and priority-setting skills. Additionally, participation in sports programs enhances students’ college applications to help them stand out from the crowd. This amount would fund an entire year of athletic programs at Freire, including summer basketball camp, new uniforms, transportation to inter-scholastic games and participation in tournaments.

$30,000                       One Fully-Stocked Laptop Cart

This amount would provide a specialized cart and 30 laptop computers for teacher and student use, both in class and for additional research and special project needs.