For the past nine years, Mounds View Public School staff, district parents and community members have gathered and demonstrated extraordinary generosity through their participation in the flagship fundraising event for Mounds View Schools Education Foundation (MVSEF) – Rock the School House.
The “At Home Edition” was a welcome distraction from the pandemic and offered hundreds in the community an opportunity to help ensure students receive the support they need in these extraordinary circumstances. This year, the event was held online and it kicked off the foundation’s giving season as it is committed to supporting the Mounds View School District’s need for resources that will ensure reliable internet access for students and the necessary technology to support learning whether at home or in school.
Since 1987, the MVSEF has been a leader in philanthropic support for district students. The foundation takes great pride in this legacy and the impact it has had on students over the years. “As the foundation has evolved, so have the ways we have engaged our community in supporting our efforts,” said Erik Rasmussen, president of the board of trustees for MVSEF, and a graduate of the district.
“Although this year’s Rock the School House At Home Edition may have lacked the intensity of 300 people gathered in a single venue, the importance of the dollars raised this year has never been more critical.”
During the online event, hundreds of viewers tuned in to hear about the technological challenges students are facing during this pandemic. “There’s an assumption that all students have reliable and capable internet in their home and their place where they’re working on their schoolwork,” explained Jeff Ridlehoover, assistant superintendent of Mounds View Public Schools.
“We found both within our district, Mounds View Public Schools, as well as our surrounding districts and in talking to colleagues, that’s not always the case,” Ridlehoover noted.
“Some of the challenges with technology are multifold, but certainly, this becomes an equity conversation,” said Chris Lennox, superintendent of Mounds View Public Schools. “Making sure that all of our students have access to adequate technology, to broadband, to internet access, devices, spaces where they can connect, and then engage with our educational staff to support them in their learning. That is significant.”
Nearly a decade ago, the foundation launched its first fundraising event, known as Rock the School House. While this event has become synonymous with fun, it has also been the primary source of the foundation’s revenue. “While we are proud of the success of Rock the School House and will continue to host our flagship fundraiser, we are also committed to focusing on the most strategic and sustainable fundraising tool we have — our annual giving program,” said Heather Meyer, executive director for MVSEF. “The annual giving program, by essence of its efficiency, ensures a consistent revenue stream thereby allowing for the strategic direction of resources to important initiatives that impact students.”
Rasmussen said, “A heartfelt thank you to those who have already demonstrated their support by making a donation, but there’s more work to be done.
“For those that have yet to contribute, my hope is that you will be inspired to make a gift to help address some of the challenges confronting our students; notably, the need to ensure reliable internet access and the necessary technology to support learning. The foundation has impacted students for over three decades and it strives to continue its work for decades to come.”