Evanston is an amazing community full of people who care deeply about the world around them and the people in it. One of the fundamentals of this strong community is a shared commitment to education and a belief that all children deserve a rich and powerful educational experience. Achieving this requires the dedication and passion of all of us. At Foundation 65 we believe that community engagement and participation is essential in providing the best educational opportunities for our children. You can help us make a difference.

F65 partners with individuals, private foundations and institutions to bring together the power and dedication of this great community to support our students and schools. Our current grant-making includes:

Kindergarten Library Tours – Partnering with the Evanston Public Library, F65 invests in bringing all of our youngest students to the library and encourages return visits with family to use their new library card.

Kindergarten LEAP – Teaching key literacy skills and social interaction through play, this F65 funded program supports emergent readers. Developed by the outreach librarians at the Evanston Public Library and implemented by D65 school librarians, this program benefits 790 kindergartners in the district.

Family Author Experience – A collaboration between D65 librarians, PTAs and F65, this F65-funded program brings celebrated authors to each middle school and its feeder elementary schools. This year, 1500 students in grades K-8 will learn about the creative process from the authors and embark on an exploration of literature through art, music, drama, technology and writing.

Advancing Literacy for All (ALL) – Addressing the critical and higher-level literacy skills required to “read to learn,” ALL is designed to support reading and understanding informational texts in science and social studies. Critical to supporting the rigors of high school and college level work, ALL is a partnership between District 65 and National-Louis University made possible by Foundation 65 funding and is in its last year of a three year pilot with District-wide implementation to follow.

In the spirit of community engagement, readers are invited to attend our annual benefit on January 21, 2011. Join us as we bring together people from across all D65 schools to support our work and our schools. This year’s event is titled “My 65” and asks, “What do our public schools mean to you?”

For longtime residents, it may mean fond memories of taking now-grown children to the first day of school or attending school plays that recall the too-brief time when our children were young.

For parents of children currently in school, My 65 represents the building blocks of their children’s futures – their happiness and success supported by a rigorous, exciting and diverse educational experience.

And for our community as a whole, Foundation 65 would like to suggest that My 65 is a fundamental expression of why we live in Evanston. Our public schools embody our shared beliefs in fairness, equity, excellence, justice and the power of education to change the world one child at a time.

Foundation 65 seeks to harness the power and spirit of our collective commitment to children and education. Achieving our mission is possible only with the resources and commitment of all of us who are determined to make a difference in our schools and our children’s education. Working together, we can nurture academic achievement and enrich opportunities for all of our students.

Please support Foundation 65 – and the great schools and children of our community – by sharing some of your time, treasure and talent. Alone we can do a little; together we can do so much.

For more information or to make a contribution, please go to our website – www.foundation65.org.