EdUCate! keeps University City schools in the black
by Morgan Carmody
Published - 03/14/12 - 02:16 PM | 1 1 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Many in the University City area are quite familiar with Taste of the Triangle, the annual event put on by the nonprofit foundation EdUCate! What most might not know, however, is just how much more the group does for the five public University City schools. Since its founding in 1993, EdUCate! has raised and distributed more than $1 million among University City High School, Standley Middle School and Doyle, Spreckles and Curie elementaries.

Taste of the Triangle, however, remains the group’s most visible fundraising effort. This year’s 18th annual event will take place on April 20 at the UCSD Faculty Club. So far, 15 restaurants have signed on to participate, and EdUCate! is hoping to get another five to sign on. On the list so far are The French Gourmet, Sushi on the Rock, Lorna’s Italian Kitchen and the Marine Room.

Adding interactive fun to the event, an auction will be held featuring prizes like a new driveway, various dinners, two complete UCHS prom packages, and sports camps and activities for children. Tickets go on sale March 14 for $75 in advance ($85 at the door) and $50 for staff from any of the five UC schools. If families are so inclined, they can adopt a teacher and pay for their admission to the event. All proceeds go directly back to the UC cluster of public schools.

The recent move to hold Taste of the Triangle in the spring, as opposed to the fall semester, was done to raise the caliber of restaurants that would be willing to participate, the idea being that restaurants wouldn’t be so swamped from the holiday season.

This has proven beneficial in other ways: it opened up EdUCate! to hold another similar event in the fall — Oktoberfest. Held on a smaller scale than Taste of the Triangle, Oktoberfest last year featured local breweries, as well as games for children, making it a truly family-friendly event.

Aside from these highly visible events within the community, EdUCate! does a lot behind the scenes.

“We sponsor a couple scholarships such as the Thalia Murray and Pat Preston Scholarship for students of UCHS,” said board member Marge Lorang.

With the death of former UCHS teacher Ray Perkins, one of EdUCate!’s “most verbal advocates,” the group is in the process of setting up the Ray Perkins Memorial Foundation, as well.

EdUCate! has also received a $20,000 grant for the Las Patronas Tech Project. The clusterwide effort aims to put better technology into classrooms, including cameras and projectors. And after seeing the success Escondido schools had, EdUCate! is attempting to furnish classrooms with three full sets of iPod touches. The iPods are about half the price of an iPad, but accomplish much of the same ends. Lorang described the San Diego Unified School District as a “very tech-embracing district.”

EdUCate! also sponsors giving in the form of a dollar-a-day (aimed at technology in classrooms), Honor A Teacher and teacher wish lists, giving donors the chance to recognize the teachers that have had a strong impact on their children. Teachers can also make direct requests for certain items throughout the year. At the end of the year, said board member Brook Feerick, teachers are awarded a certificate as well as a small gift.

“We make sure that every student gets the same attention and that funds are evenly disbursed,” Feerick said.

For more information about Taste of the Triangle or to make a donation to EdUCate!, email president@uceducate.org.
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mlorang
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March 15, 2012
Just a slight correction...our URL is www.uc-educate.org. Inquires should be sent to president@uc-educate.org.

To clarify, EdUCate! received a grant in 2009 for laptop computers as part of a document camera / digital projector project. We recently applied for additional funding for the iPod Touch technology, but are awaiting word of any award.
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