How to Help Local Schools During Covid-19

How to Help Local Schools During Covid-19

Our community of students, teachers and parents are facing unprecedent challenges due to the Covid-
19 pandemic, leading many Carlsbad residents to ask, “How can I help?”

The Carlsbad Educational Foundation has stepped up with its #MoveForwardTogether campaign to
provide childcare, special programs and other support for our local school district. But they need your help.

Established by a group of Carlsbad High School parents in 1983, the Carlsbad Educational Foundation
funds curriculum-based programs in music, STEAM, and educational innovation for every student in the
Carlsbad Unified School District.

The Foundation relies on your support to help students grow into passionate learners and reach their
fullest potential. This school year presents new challenges.

In response to the Covid-19 health and economic crisis, the Foundation is adapting its funding priorities
to include groceries for families facing financial hardship, individual school supplies for items that can no
longer be shared under current health guidelines, and child care to help parents get back to work.

Here are ways you can help:

1. Sign up for a one time or reoccurring donation at
2. Enroll your elementary-aged student in a Carlsbad Educational Foundation enrichment program
to learn STEAM concepts in a creative, fun way. Visit to
3. Sign up your students for the Kids Care program held at every elementary school campus for
academic and social support. Enroll at

The Foundation’s tuition-based programs like Kids Care and enrichment classes help fund the
Foundation’s daily expenses, so every dollar you donate goes directly to science, technology, music
and other critical programs in our schools.

Join the Foundation’s #MoveForwardTogether campaign to support our local students during these
unprecedented times! Every dollar makes a difference.

This article was published in the November 2020 edition of Calavera Hills Living.

Adapting & Innovating to #MoveForwardTogether

Adapting & Innovating to #MoveForwardTogether

School closures and the plan to begin our school year with distance learning impacts everyone in our community.

The new reality challenges us to rethink the way we live, work, play and learn as we adapt to evolving COVID-19 guidelines for our health and safety. These changes will have the most significant impact on our students, and we want to ensure they have a voice.

As a senior, it was a challenge to accept that the end-of-year events I had looked forward to since I was young didn’t happen, said Carlsbad High School 2020 alumna Catherine Allen.

Catherine is one of 11,000 public school students in Carlsbad whose life drastically changed with school closures and event cancellations. She is also a member of the Carlsbad Educational Foundation’s Student Leadership Council (SLC), a high school program focused on leadership development and student engagement in our community. The SLC is one of the programs that adapted to a virtual format during the state shutdown.

“Having a platform through the SLC to discuss obstacles like this pandemic helped me adapt with my peers, reminding me that I’m not facing this alone,” said Allen.

The Foundation provides programs like the SLC in alignment with the Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD). There is a program for every student, from Kindergarten through graduation, in relevant subject areas such as STEAM, Music, and Innovation.

The COVID-19 health and economic crisis presents a unique opportunity to support Carlsbad schools’ collective movement during this critical time.

Your support of the Foundation’s #MoveForwardTogether campaign will help adapt critical and relevant academic programs that inspire and bring hope to every Carlsbad public school student.

Learn more this September during the Foundation’s “Education is COVID-19 Urgent” panel webinar focusing on the pandemic’s social-emotional impact on students. Receive information about this event by visiting

To support students in Carlsbad Unified School District during this most challenging time, donate at

This article appeared in the August 2020 Carlsbad Business Journal.

Educational nonprofit, corporations invest in Carlsbad through STEM

Educational nonprofit, corporations invest in Carlsbad through STEM

Thermo Fisher scientists volunteer at the first 8th grade DNA sequencing lab in 2017. Photo courtesy of CEF

From The Coast News | Catherine Allen

CARLSBAD — STEM proponents are reimagining programs that can withstand the pandemic and prepare Carlsbad students for expanding scientific fields.

As a biotech hub, Carlsbad is able to bring together the Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF) and local corporate donors to fund about 40 educational programs, with a growing focus on science, technology, engineering and math.

But with an indefinite shift to online learning, the hands-on experience typically vital to STEM must now be reworked to either a virtual or socially distant platform.

“It’s important now more than ever to support these programs,” said CEF’s CEO, Michelle Ginn. “The challenge we face is that we have more to do, there’s more of a need for us and yet we have fewer resources.”

Thermo Fisher scientists volunteer at the first 8th grade DNA sequencing lab in 2017. An annual program that typically takes place during spring, the lab is now one of the many STEM programs funded by the Carlsbad Educational Foundation that have been canceled due to COVID-19, causing the foundation to question how to maintain Carlsbad’s investment in STEM. Photo courtesy of CEF

Despite a fall in revenue, some key sponsors remain. Since 2014, Thermo Fisher has invested over $85,000 in FIRST Lego League robotics and elementary and middle school Science Days. Thermo Fisher’s support expanded in 2017 with an 8th-grade forensic lab program led by scientists that put their DNA sequencing curriculum into action.

Though in-person programs are halted, Thermo Fisher’s philanthropic support has continued throughout the pandemic.

“I’m really happy to see more students and young minds interested in STEM,” said Dr. Grace Zhang Li, a Thermo Fisher staff scientist. “There is always something exciting, something new– not only coronavirus. A challenge is a new opportunity for the people going into the field. What we’re experiencing right now just makes people feel like there’s more value in this work.”

Li estimates that we’ll see further growth in STEM industries over the next few years. Still, weak public school funding can leave students unprepared, which pushes CEF and companies like Thermo Fisher to engage students beyond the basic curriculum in hopes of filling those future jobs.

For instance, “STEAM” is rising in popularity, adding the arts as it applies to STEM. While CEF’s programs such as robotics employ an artistic focus with critical thinking and creativity, according to Li that vision actually aligns with the artistic design skills that are increasingly incorporated into Thermo Fisher’s product development team.

Despite an evolving platform for STEM programs, Ginn says these corporate partnerships highlight a common goal of expanding student experiences, bridging a gap between their curriculum and their community. It’s a long term investment, potentially paving the way for Carlsbad students to work for Carlsbad companies in the future.

“We have such an incredible community of STEM in San Diego, specifically Carlsbad,” Ginn said. “We know people that grow up here want to come back and work here, so by providing STEM education, we’re really hopeful that it comes full circle and that students can come back and contribute to our community here in Carlsbad.”

Our Commitment to You During School Closures from Covid-19

Hello to Our Carlsbad School Community,

It is hard to believe how different our lives look today compared to just one week ago. 

We recognize the disappointment and stress that looms large in our community. It’s not easy to talk to your high school senior about their missed commemorative moments. Or to console our community’s athletes, actors and scientists whose weekly routines have changed, and much
anticipated competitions or performances have been cancelled. We also understand you are trying to help your elementary school students comprehend where their teacher and classmates went –
while keeping them engaged in learning. 

We get it. We know the impact caused by the school closures and the state’s lockdown measures. As a team, we stand committed, and in alignment with the Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD), to provide the best education for your student.  

After considerable thought and research, we have finalized an action plan we hope preserves the mission of our Foundation and secures programs in Music, STEAM, and Innovation for when your student returns to class. We commit to: 

– Share resources and stories from our Foundation’s community to highlight the importance of
educational opportunity for every student, every day. 
– Develop adaptable plans for our 40+ programs to implement quickly once school resumes and
ensure our students get the innovative and enriching educational experience they deserve.  
– Virtually connect Kids Care staff to our families with resources to keep young students engaged
and prepare enrichment activities when school resumes to help bridge the transition back to full
time curriculum.
– Continue to offer our Summer programs as scheduled. Students will choose among 50+ summer
camps, attend our full-day Summer Adventure, or get ahead in school with Summer Academy
– Maintain the essential operations of our Foundation remotely with our staff working limited

We at the Foundation feel grateful – and inspired – by the bright, creative minds of our District’s students. It’s a testament to how programs like elementary school music, BizTown, Science
Day, Finance Park and the Student Leadership Council inspire a passion for learning. It will certainly be one of these student’s minds that will solve challenges like the ones we’re currently addressing in our society.  

Your support will be even more important and vital to our schools once their doors reopen and our District gets back on its feet. As tax dollars are reallocated for recovery relief and economic stimulus
packages, our Foundation will be called upon to fill the gap where state dollars fall short. Should you be in the position, please consider making an investment in the Carlsbad Educational
Foundation today in order to ensure a strong recovery for our Carlsbad students, please click here

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing stories of what your support and partnership makes happen. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram via @CarlsbadEdFoundation or find us on LinkedIn

From the Carlsbad Educational Foundation family to yours, with gratitude and hope, 

JR Philips  Michelle Ginn

Carlsbad Educational Foundation Presents Carols of Carlsbad: A Showcase of Music from Carlsbad Students

The Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF) celebrates the music programs of the Carlsbad
Unified School District (CUSD) at its annual Carols of Carlsbad event.

Students in CEF’s elementary music program, as well as middle and high school students in
choir, band and orchestra, perform holiday carols at the Tree Lighting Ceremony at Omni La
Costa Resort & Spa. Stay for carols, enjoy complimentary cookies, cocoa, and holiday festivities– including a visit from skydiving Santa!

The Carlsbad Educational Foundation funds music programs at every CUSD school. In the 2019-20 school year, CEF granted more than $350,000 to CUSD for music education, including:

  • A dedicated music teacher in every elementary school to instruct weekly K-5 music
  • Middle and high school music equipment and instrument repairs
  • Middle and high school music coaches and specialists
  • High school spring musicals and theater operations assistants

Carols of Carlsbad is a free event to say thank you to our community of parents, businesses, and
partners who help ensure music is part of the excellent educational provided by the CUSD.

You may support music and more than 35 other programs by donating to the Carlsbad
Educational Foundation. Every donation of just $50 provides one week of music instruction to an entire K-5 class. Make a gift online today:

Great Schools are at the Foundation of Great Communities

Great Schools are at the Foundation of Great Communities

The Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD) is ranked the fourth best school district in San Diego County. The Niche ranking, factored from U.S. Department of Education data, includes state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, teacher quality, reviews from students and parents, and more.

Our schools are a key part of what makes Carlsbad a great place to live – but great schools don’t just happen.

California ranks 41st in the nation in per-student funding. In San Diego County, CUSD is the lowest-funded unified district and receives 22% less in per-student funds than neighboring San Diego Unified (recent statistics from Ed-Data show CUSD receives $10,393 per student, compared to $13,259 per student in San Diego Unified).

In order to provide an exceptional education, the Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF) partners with the dedicated leadership of CUSD to bridge the gap where state funding falls short.

Last year, CEF invested more than $1 million in music, science and innovational education programs for every student, grades K-12.

What would Carlsbad public schools look like without CEF?

CEF’s district partnership pays for 100% of 2nd-grade robotics, K-8 Science Days, 5th-grade BizTown, 12th-grade Finance Park, middle and high school science lab assistants, and the salaries for every elementary school music teacher.

CEF also supports 25+ other enriching programs that truly make a difference for Carlsbad students and prepare them for their future.

Many CEF programs are part of STEAM education, an innovative learning approach where Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics develop a student’s critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving in subject areas that are relevant to today’s tech-driven world.

CEF is the only organization in Carlsbad raising private support for these programs that benefit all 11,000 students in the CUSD. Every dollar CEF earns from donors, supporters, and fundraising events benefits Carlsbad public school students.

To support our students or learn more, visit

This article appeared in the August 2019 Carlsbad Business Journal.

Carlsbad Educational Foundation Ramping Up for Donor Drive

The Carlsbad Educational Foundation hosts its 10th annual Carols of Carlsbad on Dec. 1 and is currently in the midst of its annual Star membership drive, which runs through Dec. 31, to raise money to fund numerous programs for Carlsbad Unified School District students. Photo courtesy the Carlsbad Educational Foundation

From The Coast News | By Steve Puterski

CARLSBAD — As the holiday season comes into full swing, the Carlsbad Educational Foundation is putting on its annual showcases.

First is the 10th annual Carols of Carlsbad, where elementary through high school students will serenade attendees and visitors at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa plaza from 3 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 1, followed by a Christmas tree lighting and a skydiving Santa from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free and there will be a raffle and auction.

“It’s just a really cool way to see a good percentage of our music programs,” said Taylor Beveridge, director of development for Carlsbad Educational Foundation. “This is a big thank you to the community and a way to showcase our music programs in the schools.”

She said the foundation is also in the midst of its annual Fund Drive, which aims to recruit donors to gift $365 per year.

The Star memberships, she said, benefit foundation’s ability to cover all costs for music instruction, including teachers’ salaries, for all kindergarten and elementary students. In addition, the funds donated to Carlsbad Educational Foundation also benefit STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and educational innovation programming for Carlsbad Unified School District students.CARLSBAD — As the holiday season comes into full swing, the Carlsbad Educational Foundation is putting on its annual showcases.