Tahoe Truckee Aim High close to funding goal | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Truckee Aim High close to funding goal

Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Thanks to significant contributions from within the community and out of the area, Tahoe Truckee Aim High administrators are confident they will reach their March 1 fundraising goal to launch the program for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) this summer.

Queen of Hearts members Lisa Krueger and Nancy Gisko have rescheduled the Feb. 29 Cedar House Sports Hotel fundraising event, as the storm coming in looks to be a doozy. The reception introducing Alec Lee, executive director of Aim High, will now be held March 14, 5:30-7 p.m., also at the Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee. Dr. Rob Leri, TTUSDand#8217;s new superintendent, will also be present.

Aim High, which has a successful 25-year history in the Bay Area, is a five-week summer enrichment program for under-resourced middle school students. The program combines intensive academic and personal enrichment with an added emphasis on outdoor and environmental education. This marks the first time Aim High will expand to a rural community.

In its inaugural year, Tahoe Truckee Aim High will be offered to students entering sixth and seventh grades, with the goal of adding a grade each summer to ultimately support students from sixth to ninth grades. Aim High will work closely with the district, school principals, educators and the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe to recruit students, hire teachers and implement a high-quality summer enrichment program. The program will reside at Kings Beach Elementary School, and transportation will be provided, allowing students from Tahoe City and Truckee as well as Kings Beach to participate. For this summer’s program, all incoming sixth- and seventh-grade TTUSD students will be eligible to apply.

The Tahoe Truckee Aim High initiative began more than two years ago through the encouragement of Rob Kautz of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort; Lisa Dobey, previously of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation; Laura Brown of Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation; Steve Jennings of Tahoe Truckee Unified School District; and Isabelle Rodriguez Wilson, formerly of the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe.

Since then, fundraising efforts have been underway to enable the program to be implemented for a minimum of three years. To ensure the program is tuition-free, Tahoe Truckee Aim High has a goal of $120,000 per year for three years, or $360,000 total. The organization has secured generous commitments of $75,000 from individual members of the Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund and $30,000 from Excellence in Education, as well as substantial amounts from the Truckee Rotary and Optimist Club. In addition, Aim High received pledges of $5,000 apiece from Duane Andrews and Kevin Marshall of Clear Capital, the first private corporate donor from the Tahoe Truckee area. These donations, combined with seed money from many second homeowners and other individuals who are familiar with the program in the Bay Area and who wish to support the Tahoe region’s quality of life, have brought Aim High very close to its fundraising goal.

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Additionally, one of Aim High’s objectives is to address summer learning loss for students, which has shown to be a significant contributor to the achievement gap in schools. Reducing this gap has been a focus of TTUSD for many years, and Adams is hopeful his summer program will aid in that effort.

To donate or for more information visit http://www.ttcf.net/give/queen-of-hearts-womens-fund/aim-high-program. For information on Aim High, visit http://www.aimhigh.org.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com