Southeast Seattle Schools Collaborative Fundraiser seeks community support to raise funds

PR Newswire
Sunday, April 21, 2024 at 5:30pm UTC

Southeast Seattle Schools Collaborative Fundraiser seeks community support to raise funds

PR Newswire

SEATTLE, April 21, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The fourth annual move-a-thon fundraiser, led by Southeast Seattle Schools Fundraising Alliance, will kick off on Monday, April 22, and run (literally!) through Friday, May 3, to benefit approximately 7000 students attending 17 elementary, K-8 and middle schools in District 7 of Seattle Public Schools.

"SESSFA has never been 'just' a fundraising group."

Seattle Schools Fundraising Alliance, will kick off on Monday, April 22, and run (literally!) through Friday, May 3, to benefit approximately 7000 students attending 17 elementary, K-8 and middle schools in District 7 of Seattle Public Schools.

The collaborative fundraising effort aims to raise $500,000 for schools who have historically been unable to raise the kind of funds typically generated by parent organizations elsewhere in the district. The funding comes at a critical time as Washington State faces an educational funding crisis and the Seattle Public Schools district faces a $104 million budget shortfall for the 2024-2025 school year.

"Our alliance of 17 PTAs and PTOs in our southend Seattle community acknowledges that since the fundraising capacity varies across our schools, fundraising can unintentionally create opportunities and access for some students and not for others," says Christina Jiménez, who is a founding member of the alliance, and has children in Seattle Public Schools. "By collaboratively fundraising and equitably fundsharing, all our students can have access to the benefits of PTA fundraising, not just those schools that have the capacity to hold fundraising events or solicit donations directly from their families. Our communities not only share funds but also share in our advocacy work, resources, and a recognition that collaboration and equity are at the center of our work together."

Julia MacCracken, also a parent and volunteer with SESSFA, explains, "SESSFA has never been 'just' a fundraising group. But over the years, our collaborating and sharing with one another has helped us break out of the silos in our individual schools, allowing us to better understand and support our communities, and ultimately reinforcing our mission to provide mutual aid across our schools."

"SESSFA was started as a way to fundraise more efficiently and equitably, but our PTA connections across many schools have been valuable for the exchange of ideas, support, and collaboration on projects outside of fundraising," adds Thuy Do, an SPS graduate and parent, as well as a volunteer for SESSFA working on business outreach. "Honestly, I never thought I was going to be a PTA parent, but I'm now so proud to be a small part of this amazing network of parents who care deeply about our community and social justice in our education system."

Last year, the alliance raised and equitably distributed $398,000 among the 17 participating schools. The funding was used for school-wide snacks, 5th and 8th grade graduation incidentals, library books, after-school programming, teacher appreciation events, translation and interpretation services for families, community events, field trips, and emergency financial assistance for families in the community. Each PTA makes their own decisions as to how the funds are spent.

This year, the Southeast Seattle Schools Fundraising Alliance will again engage students in participating in a bingo board-based move-a-thon to raise money. Participants complete bingo cards with activities like dancing to a favorite song, learning and playing a new sport and navigating an obstacle course while pretending the floor is lava. Individual school PTAs are planning their own events as well, including family weekend events, after-school programming and in school PE and recess game activity stations.

The two-week move-a-thon has a twist this year: all 7000 students will receive a pedometer and can log their steps on the SESSFA website. The step-tracker will combine students' steps and track their collective mileage; teachers and adult family members can join in by logging their steps in the adults section. As community members track their steps, the website will show kids and adults in a race around the world.

Engagement with community businesses and sponsorships have been a crucial part of the alliance's fundraising. "We are partnering with local movement-based organizations like the Double Dutch Divas, Good Foot Collective, Lotus Jujitsu, Union Cultural and Washington Capoeira Center, who will be participating in some of our live events," Jiménez says.

Students can ask family and friends to sponsor them as they complete the bingo board squares, and any individual or organization can donate online. Follow the alliance on Facebook and Instagram, or visit the Southeast Seattle Schools Fundraising Alliance website to donate and become a sponsor and participate in the move-a-thon. Or Text D7Moves to 44-321.

List of participating schools:
Aki Kurose Middle School
Beacon Hill International Elementary
Dearborn Park International Elementary
Emerson Elementary
Dunlap Elementary
Graham Hill Elementary
Hawthorne Elementary
Kimball Elementary
John Muir Elementary
Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary
Maple Elementary
Mercer Middle School
Orca K-8
Rainier View Elementary
Rising Star Academy
Southshore Pre-K-8
Wing Luke Elementary

Media Contact
Charlie Cole, SSFSA, 1 4256526697,

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