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District community unites to form Sunnyvale Education Foundation

The Sunnyvale Education Foundation (SEF) received its official 501 c3 nonprofit status last June, and is making a good start on its fundraising goals. It’s taking a different tack from many other education foundations in the area by not asking parents for money.

“The PTAs and parent groups do a great job serving their individual schools,” says Melinda Hamilton, former Sunnyvale mayor and president of SEF. “We don’t want to interfere with that.”

Instead, they’ll be approaching businesses and corporations in Sunnyvale for donations.

SEF is already helping. Every school is represented by at least one parent on the board, and the board has been busy nurturing relationships within and between the 10 schools. SEF recently hosted a round table event where more than a dozen parent leaders from eight SSD schools showed up to network. The group had a great discussion about what they can learn from each other. Topics of interest include:
• how to engage a wider swath of parent volunteers,
• how to best promote events across the district, and
• how to increase community access to technology.

Future SEF round table events will provide a venue to work through these challenges and more.

In short, the Sunnyvale Education Foundation is making a difference in the short time they’ve been around. They hope to continue making a difference for many years to come!

For more information about the foundation, visit or email

Contributor: Kate Degelau-Pierce, Sunnyvale Education Foundation Vice President of Communications

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