By Jessica Kelmon
When she needed to find a kindergarten for her son, Kathleen Nemeth was overwhelmed. Like most moms, she felt it was her duty to find a school that would be the right fit for her son. Using GreatSchools’ reviews and articles to guide her search, she accomplished her goal.
Her son is now in second grade at their neighborhood school in Long Beach, CA – and he’s thriving in accelerated classes. Kathleen loves the school’s strong PTA, its enthusiastic young principal, and the immensely involved parents (the school boasts over 200 parent volunteers). Sounds perfect, right? But even this sunny school couldn’t escape the budget cuts sweeping the nation. As they were scheduled to lose their Title 1 funding, Kathleen knew she had to take action.
Coming out of an eight year maternity leave, Nemeth (a former attorney) and a small group of parents started the Longfellow Legacy Foundation to supplement and expand on PTA fundraising. Their primary goals are to fully fund the school’s tutoring, music, and P.E. programs by going for deeper pockets (like local businesses, national entities, and big corporations). Kathleen’s group had made great strides: Last year they were able to fund a new science lab for the school. This year, in order to save the school’s P.E. program, they formed a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs. In exchange for signing the school’s eight hundred students up as members, the Boys & Girls Clubs will provide trained professionals to teach P.E. at the school. It’s a pilot program now, but Kathleen has high hopes to expand it to the entire school in the coming year – and expand it again by adding a health and nutrition component.
Kathleen Nemeth is a powerhouse school mom. She’s working tirelessly to save (and improve) programs at Longfellow. For this reason, we are excited to announce that she’s one of our iPad2 winners. A few months ago, more than 10,000 readers participated in our customer satisfaction survey. As a thank you, two lucky respondents won iPads. It’s no surprise that both of our winners (and no doubt all participants) are highly dedicated to quality education – just like we are. That’s why we’re so thrilled to put this “transformative” tool in Kathleen’s hands. She plans to use her iPad 2 to help plan her fundraising meetings, put together her pitches, and organize her presentations. We can’t wait to hear what she accomplishes next. The fact that this iPad 2 will have an indirect, positive impact on a school that needs resources makes it all the more meaningful. Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey – we’re so appreciative for your feedback.