How Your Dollars Make a Difference


When we support the Foundation, we enable excellence in our schools.

For the 2018-2019 school year, we need to raise at least $1,500 for every student so that we may grant the district $3.7 million to help fund the following priorities:

1. Teachers and Professional Development. We support 28 additional best-in-class teachers and their professional development, which allows students to enjoy 15% smaller class sizes (compared to CA average) and more personal attention.

2. Arts & Sciences. Credentialed specialists have been hired to give our children the best educational experience possible. We aim to spark their scientific thinking, help them express themselves through art, music, and the performing arts, and to explore new ideas in our stocked and staffed libraries.  At Hillview Middle School, MPAEF funding allows for 47 diverse elective choices for students.

3. Innovation & Technology. We look for new and better ways of doing things and support innovative projects, including design thinking workshops and a thoughtful use of technology in the classroom.

4. Guidance & Wellness. We support the whole child, inside and out. MPAEF funding allows for a mental health safety net for all students, including dedicated psychologists and counselors at every school.  

MPAEF Fundraising

Here is what your children experience in our district when we Invest in Education Together:

“Thanks to Ms. Bennion, Oak Knoll’s librarian, each of my three sons loves to read. Her enthusiasm about books and stories, and her kind, welcoming spirit make students want to spend time in the library with her. She helps students find books that are interesting to them, and she encourages reading through little challenges and incentive programs she does throughout the year. My sons love the Books Come Alive event on Halloween. Ms. Bennion's summer reading program motivated my sons to read every day of summer in order to write enough book reports to be invited to her party in the library at the end of the school year.” —An Oak Knoll Parent

“Not only did my daughter use the skills gained in her mini-course immediately, she worked directly with teachers, parents, and staff volunteers who were passionate about sharing their expertise. Who knew Mr. Haug and Mr. Shack were such accomplished photographers?”—A Hillview Parent

“When my son started kindergarten at Encinal last year, he started coming home with stories of Karin Bloom, Encinal’s full-time counselor. Forget reporting on the odd playground fracas or complaining about his lunch that day, during family dinners Henry told us what Miss Bloom taught his class about Tibetan singing bowls, perseverance, and feelings thermometers. At one memorable meal, Henry had the entire table taking 10 mindful breaths. It was a very zen experience.

We’re so grateful that the money MPAEF raises makes it possible for Miss Bloom to be there in spirit at our dinner table, calming us down and keeping us emotionally balanced as a family. Check out her Counselor’s Corner where you can see what Miss Bloom teaches Encinal students each month of her Social Emotional Learning program.” —An Encinal Parent 

“For me, it has been a joy watching the creative nature in my daughter be fostered by the care and curriculum in the Laurel Art Room. Monique Donecho brings each student into focus with her creative projects. She fosters in the students a feeling of "try it, see if it works". Monique clearly has a passion for her work both as a teacher and an artist. She draws on the energy of the kids to fine tune her curriculum. My daughter's projects hang in our home, and each day I am reminded about the learning happening in the colors and lines." —A Laurel Parent

“On any given day on the campuses of the Menlo Park City School District, you’ll hear enthusiastic voices bellowing in the halls. You’ll hear instruments growing louder and louder, perhaps more chaotically. Our children strum out chords or melodies, drum in unison or in a cacophony of notes, and feel like masters of music. John Ashfield, music specialist at Encinal School, beams as his students when they grow louder and seemingly more chaotic. The class can never go off track or fail because the point of his lesson is to have his students connect with music from the inside out. Ashfield, who has been teaching in the District for over 20 years due to the funds provided by the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation, believes ‘Music always sounds horrible before it sounds good. The fun for the student is the process in making it sound good.’ Ashfield, like many of his other seven music colleagues in the District -Rachel KnightBee TeeRachel BergeronJanet JohnsonEmily ChietMary Beckstrom, and Richard Vaughan - has a passion and a gift for teaching music to children.” —An Encinal Parent