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2023 Back to School Letter- Five Elementary Schools

Dear Summit Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back to school! As we kick off the 2023-2024 academic year, the Summit Educational Foundation (SEF) pledges our unwavering commitment to support public schools as safe, welcoming, diverse, and inclusive places to learn.

Creating Possible

The mission of the Summit Educational Foundation is to maintain and enhance the high quality of a Summit, New Jersey public school education and ensure that all students receive the best education possible by encouraging creativity and innovation. We achieve this through generous community donations, a close working relationship with the school district, and careful review, evaluation and financial oversight of supported initiatives.

SEF Benefits Our Children with Funding for Innovation STEAM Labs and the Science of Reading Curriculum

SEF’s partnership with the district for the creation of Innovation STEAM Labs at all five elementary schools has been a huge success! Students in grades K-5 engaged in hands-on creative learning experiences in all areas of STEAM since the labs opened last September, and the feedback from students, parents and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive! These labs are a direct result of parent donations! Through your generosity, SEF was able to award grants in excess of $876,000 to the district to ensure the completion of the labs and staffing needs, which were not possible within the district budget.

Since fall of 2021, SEF has strongly supported Summit Public Schools’ transition to the Science of Reading Curriculum in the primary and elementary grade levels. Extensive research surrounding best practices for learning to read has shown that early phonics instruction and access to high-quality decodable texts are critical for later reading success. SEF has approved over $260K in decodable text book grants across the district in the last 2 years. In addition, SEF has funded close to $30K in professional development courses including in-person training for primary staff and administrators from phonics expert Wiley Blevins and educational consultant Lizzie Hetzer. SEF will continue to support this critical literacy curriculum. A detailed overview of all approved SEF grants is available at

SEF District Highlights include:

● 37 Years of Partnering with Summit Public Schools

● 4,000 Students Positively Impacted Every Year

● $10.6M in Science, Literacy, Math, Technology and Arts Education Grants

● 437 Grants Approved in the Past 5 Years

Get Involved

SEF funds initiatives to help ensure academic excellence in the Summit Public Schools. Our Board is composed of parents, teachers, and community members – people committed to providing the best public-school education possible for our children. Each year, more than 100 volunteers give their time and talent to help advance our mission, and about 600 families make financial contributions. To get involved as a volunteer, please contact your school’s SEF Representatives or one of our Board members.

Every Financial Contribution Makes a Difference!

There are thousands of wonderful reasons to give! Your donation to the Summit Educational Foundation will directly support grants that provide a wide variety of learning experiences and opportunities that prepare our students for educational and occupational success. Simply put, school budgets are tight, and SEF enables teachers and administrators to do more. As Superintendent Hough has said, “SEF helps to make the district whole”. We are grateful to all families who support SEF – no matter the amount, your donation is critical. You can submit the attached envelope to your school, mail directly to us, or donate online at

We wish your family all the best for a successful and enriching school year.

Melissa Madden, Co-President

Heather Thomas Co-President Co-President

P.O. Box 268 • Summit, New Jersey 07902-0268 •

SEF is a non-profit 501(c)3 foundation.

Donations are fully tax-deductible and qualify for corporate matching gifts programs. SEF is a United Way designee


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