Being a supporter of a local elementary school means more than just haphazardly signing a check and mailing it in. Although, that is certainly a generous gesture and gratefully accepted by every school around town… but to truly support a local school, one must don a shiny purple blouse and gold medallion should the occasion call for it. Castle Heights Elementary had its annual spring auction this past weekend and it was a disco theme. Because I sponsor the raffle, I get the honor of pulling the first and second place winning raffle tickets out of a bucket of roughly 14,000. Selling raffle tickets and holding auctions are just two ways schools try to earn extra money. And the phenomenon isn’t limited to just public schools. Private schools do it, too. The resources are so limited that the schools need a variety of fundraisers to give students as much as possible. Of course, at most private schools, those resources may be the newest in technology like an extra 3D printer or state-of-the-art laptops for every student. The needs at most public schools, especially those in the greater Los Angeles area, are a bit more humble. The librarians, teachers’ aides, computer labs, even most physical education programs are paid for from fundraising efforts such as raffle tickets and auctions. This idea seems to directly correlate to what is considered a ‘great neighborhood school.’ Yes, the teachers are important and so is a strong principal. But, what really makes the difference between a great school and one that is just OK is how active the parents are in raising money. The parents who really roll their sleeves up and commit not only to fundraising but to involving other families in working together for the greater good- these are the men and women who can help take a school that’s struggling to one that is really strong. And, we in real estate know that a strong neighborhood school benefits every homeowner, not just the ones whose kids may or may not attend the local elementary school. One of the first questions I get when showing a property is: ‘How is the school?’ The better the school, the more valuable a home is.

So, yes- proudly, I will put on the tackiest disco shirt I can find and boogie on down to help raise money for our beloved local elementary school. It’s one donation I can honestly say I see the direct benefit from and I’m always happy to do it year after year.