G.A.R.D.E.N. Annual Giving Campaign FAQs
What does GARDEN pay for?
Each summer, teachers continue their professional training with an “Art of the Grades” course that prepares them for the challenge of teaching the entire upcoming years’ worth of new material across all academic subjects as they move up with their class. We also have on-going educational needs for our Specialty teachers such as Kindergarten, Handwork, Movement, Music and Spanish.
Our Teachers typically seek Waldorf specific training at Colleges such as Rudolf Steiner in California.
Training our teachers is critical for maintaining the extraordinarily high-quality instruction our children receive. Teachers who are new to Waldorf education take foundational courses on the philosophy and teaching methods. They may also observe and be mentored by highly experienced teachers in the Lower 48.
If we do not use all funds raised during GARDEN for Teacher Training, please know that WPG will carefully allocate it to fund online teacher training, and to offset classroom needs or projects in service of the students of Winterberry.
Q. How much money does it take to train the teachers?
A. Historically, the WPG has consistently spent between $20k-$35k per year on training and school support. This amount can vary slightly depending on what courses are available and what teachers need but it has maintained a steady average over the years.
Q. Is this the same as the Supply Fee?
A. Nope. Supply Fees are due at registration and are collected by the administration and used to purchase the materials and supplies specific to our Waldorf curriculum.
Q. Aren’t public schools funded by the state and local property taxes? Why do you need to fundraise?
A. All ASD teachers must be certified to teach in the State of Alaska. Additionally, Winterberry teachers need specialized Waldorf training to offer the “head, heart, hands,” whole-person education that allows our children to flourish. It’s an education steeped in beauty, reverence and the wonders of the natural world.
Our teachers allow for the gentle unfolding of each child and feed an innate love of learning through connection, presence, play and storytelling. That’s why many of our dedicated faculty devote much of their summers to multi-year professional development training. Your contribution to GARDEN ensures they’re ready to provide this high-quality education to children every day. We can do it one person, one family, one class at a time,
Our goal is 100% community participation.
Q. Isn’t there a better way to fundraise?
A. GARDEN is a major part of WPG fundraising. It is worth noting that this is the only fundraiser for which volunteer time, materials or skills are not required. The ask is simply for 100% community participation and any donation contributed in your family’s name counts toward that goal. You may not even need to get out your own checkbook! Some creative options to leverage participation include maxing out employer matching donations, appealing to friends, petitioning grandparents and talking to business contacts. Think of people you know who are invested in your student’s success and/or simply need a tax write off to a good cause. (That’s right! The WPG is a 501(c)3 organization – all donations are tax-deductible!)
Q. How much should I donate?
A. In the past, the WPG has gratefully accepted donations of any amount from $5 to $500 and beyond! It has been suggested that $120 per student keeps us on target but in truth, the amount is far less important than that our entire community participates. High community participation can impact our access to grants and future funding opportunities so 100% is a number we strive for and are proud to achieve.
Q. Okay, you’ve convinced me. How do I contribute?
A. Wonderful! You may donate by any of the methods below:
At the GARDEN Display Table in the School Lobby using cash or check. Donation forms are in the lobby.
By mail to: Winterberry Charter School, Attn: WPG Treasurer, 4802 Bryn Mawr Court, Anchorage, AK 99508 – please include a donor form with your gift. You may download and print a form by clicking here.