PAT fills funding gaps


Students set up snack shack on a recent morning before lunch. The Snack Shack is a fundraiser run by the Parent Action Team.                                    Photo by Daniel Golovin

By Piper Stephens

The Charter News

Chromebooks, blinds, and assemblies: All of these things have one thing in common. The money required to run these events and obtain needed supplies is gained by fundraising.

Fundraising is a huge part of Alliance Charter Academy (ACA), and there are many ways it is done. Fundraising last year gave the school approximately $14,000 for teacher needs, safety updates, educational aids, and recreational events, according to Parent-Action Team (PAT) president Deb Siscaretti, PAT manages fundraising and is necessary for ACA to continue educating students.

The ACA website states that as a public charter school, ACA only gets 80% of the funds granted to a traditional public school. That is true for each student grades kindergarten through 8th grade, said ACA director Nic Chapin. ACA receives 95 percent of state funding for 9th-12th grade students. The Oregon City School District uses the state’s funding formula for charter schools and uses the difference for administration and a variety of other purposes, Chapin said. PAT’s efforts help fill the difference, which is approximately $250,000.

The PAT runs many different types of fundraising for ACA, including: Scrip, Book Fair, the snack shack, penny wars, plant sale, and rummage sale. All of these help ACA get the money it needs to help its students learn. Another important part of fundraising is the Annual Fund Drive; the proceeds from which go into a general fund and help create raises for teachers. The Annual Fund Drive is one of the most lucrative fundraisers, as it brought ACA approximately $10,000 last year. One other of the most important kinds of funding at ACA is the Snack Shack.

“The Snack Shack, I think, is successful on two accounts.” said ACA Bookkeeper Danelle Till. “It serves a need in our school and also raises funds through the work of volunteers particularly with the hot lunch options.”

The forms of fundraising available to ACA can also offer incentives: You can buy a book from the book fair or use the plant sale to start a garden; ACA gets a percentage of the money from these sales. Some of the easiest ways to raise money for ACA are scrip, Amazon Smile, and the Fred Meyer Community Rewards Program. Scrip looks like a gift card. You buy the card from ACA for its face value then use it to shop, and a percentage of the money is donated to ACA. To use Amazon Smile and the Fred Meyer Community Rewards Program, all you have to do is enter ACA as your organization and shop normally.

Another very important part of ACA is volunteering. You can gain volunteer hours by selling scrip, helping with school events, attending PAT meetings, or sitting at the greeting table. ACA asks families to do thirty hours of volunteer work, which is kept track of by Help Counter. The PAT decides on how the money from fundraising is spent, as well as organizing fundraisers. Last year, fundraising money was used to buy twenty-five chromebooks to help teachers have more technological resources in their classrooms. Currently, the PAT is deciding on a budget for this year’s fundraising, and their next meeting will be on November 7, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM in the staff lounge.

Works Cited

Till, Danelle. Personal interview. 8 October 2016

Siscaretti, Deb. Personal interview. 5 October 2016

Alliance Charter Academy Website. Alliance Charter Academy, 2015, Accessed 3 October 2016