The Aragon Excellence Fund has begun its five-week period of fundraising for the school year. This year, the AEF is funding the new dance class while also continuing its support of other classes, including many foreign languages and electives.
As a group of the Parent Teacher Student Organization, the AEF directs all of its funding towards academics. According to its mission statement, it aims to give students “more of what they need to excel.”
The AEF funds classes that aren’t part of the district’s basic requirements, said AEF Director of Marketing Julie Savage. This includes Creative Writing, Multivariable Calculus, Biotech and AP Chemistry.
“Aragon is one of the best public schools in the San Mateo County, and it’s because of a strong parent and teacher partnership,” said Dr. Pearl Wu, a “Regent” donor.
Additionally, the AEF buys new materials and technology for classes. Last year, the Fund purchased 60 new microscopes for biology teacher Catherine Kliegel’s classes, said AEF Vice President Michelle Murphy.
Fundraising for the AEF only lasts five weeks. A highlight of the fundraising period is Aragon Gives Day.
“This year it will be held on Sept. 15,” said Murphy. “On Aragon Gives Day, AEF receives a $30,000 challenge grant if Aragon families donate 100 gifts in a 24-hour period. So 100 gifts will earn our students $30,000.”
This year, AEF is pushing to get every Aragon family to donate.
“Currently, less than 40 percent of our Aragon families donate to the fund. We’d like to change that,” said Murphy.
“This campaign, Sept. 15, we want 100 percent participation, if at all possible,” added Wu. “Anything, a dollar, would be worth it.”
Although top donors such as Wu are recognized as such on the AEF website, anyone who donates to the AEF can have his or her voice heard.
“Everybody who even donates their time, their effort,” Wu said, “as long as they’re able to really selflessly give to the cause, all donors, all volunteers — their inputs matter.”
Families can donate to AEF online at aragonfund.org or drop off a check or cash in the main office.