SOS - Support Our STEAM
“TOGETHER, we can Support Our STEAM”
What it is
The SOS (Support Our STEM) campaign was created in 2004 by passionate Fremont parents to raise funds for the science and technology labs after LBUSD ceased their funding. It was changed to Support Our STEAM in 2017. These monies are completely separate from the general PTA fund and are held (similar to a savings account) and distributed by the Long Beach Education Foundation (LBEF) for Fremont.
Why we do it
The SOS campaign is a necessary school-site driven fundraiser. PTA regulations prohibit fund raising for salaries. Fremont PTA raises funds for school enrichment activities and programs for our students, their families, and our Fremont community. Please help us continue to be the outstanding school that we are by donating to SOS.
What you get
Science and computer instruction specialists enrich our students’ elementary education with hands-on science and technology lessons. The majority of Fremont 5th-graders achieve advanced proficiency on the STAR Science Test, which proves that this enrichment helps our students. Also, middle school parents and instructors have told us that Fremont students are better prepared in computer science than their peers. Fremont is the only K-5 school in the entire LBUSD that offers curriculum integrated labs taught by designated specialized instructors in both science and technology, and this makes a difference for our students.
Doesn’t the school district pay for the labs?
In 2004 a series of deep budget cuts eliminated many of the programs that are vital to a well-rounded curriculum—even programs our children need to stay competitive with their peers and attractive to future employers. Formerly a Science magnet school, Fremont lost lab funding too, but we didn’t let budget cuts hurt our students: Fremont parents united and raised the money needed to preserve our labs. The future of Science & Technology at Fremont still depends on our Fremont community.
Isn’t the district now paying the salary of the science lab teacher?
It is true that we were thrown a lifeboat in 2015 when the district approved Fremont’s request for an alternative use for literacy specialist funds. Our current science lab teacher, Mrs. Malloy, is splitting her time as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) between teaching in the lab and working as our school literacy specialist. Although this money is available for the next 4 years, we must reapply annually to use it for a position other than a full-time literacy specialist. What this means for S.O.S. is that although our annual financial responsibility has become less, S.O.S. must be prepared to reabsorb the responsibility of the science lab salary in 4 years or less. Funding from the district is not always a guarantee and cuts can often be made with very little notice.
Isn’t the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) involved?
Fremont’s hardworking PTA shoulders the weight of many important Fremont programs, and works hard to raise funds for classroom supplies and support. Every dollar is carefully allocated to raise the level of education for each Fremont student. The PTA is pleased to contribute a percentage of the needed monies to S.O.S. when the budget allows, but the vast majority of lab funding comes from individual Fremont family contributions to LBEF via the S.O.S. Fund Drive.
What if it’s a financial hardship for our family to contribute?
It’s rare that families don’t have to make difficult choices about how to use their limited budget. We urge families to make education a priority and to teach children the value of learning. Making a contribution, if you feel so inclined, shows your children that you are willing to invest in their education and their future. When we see school-wide participation in the S.O.S. Fund Drive, we reach our goals faster and with less burden on individual families. We are so much better together!
When it’s tough to find the money, Fremont families have found creative ways to contribute, including:
• Monthly subscription. Set up a monthly PayPal deduction that makes giving more painless (starting at $10/month)!
• Neighbors. Go door-to-door with a parent to ask neighborhood families to contribute spare change. It’s surprisingly easy. Even neighbors without school-age kids know that neighborhood housing values reflect the quality of our school.
• Student-lead fundraising. Host a yard sale, car wash, art sale, bake sale, lemonade stand – the possibilities are endless! Donate the proceeds in one lump sum and you are done!
• Eat in. If you forego one pizza a month or one latte a week you can give $15/month!
• Relatives. Ask family members for contributions in lieu of gifts.
We ask every Fremont family to contribute what they can- for some that may be $20, for others it may be $500. If EVERY Fremont student donates $180 to the Fund Drive, we can make our goal! Your contribution in any amount truly matters.
Take the challenge and subscribe monthly! It’s easy. Many families love this option because they can give a little all year round. It only takes $15/month per child to reach our goal.
A flat contribution is another way to do your part. Write one check and be done! Either way, it’s tax deductible.
We thank you for taking the S.O.S. Challenge and doing your part.
(Make checks payable to Long Beach Education Foundation Tax ID #33-0357679)