COVID-19 EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND
PSUSD COVID-19 Emergency School Fund
Together we can and must help our most vulnerable students
During these challenging times, it’s crucial we keep students learning and thriving – to build a better future for them, for you, and for our community as a whole.
Now it is more important than ever to help the most vulnerable among our students stay engaged in school, earn their diplomas, and build a better future for themselves and our communities. The PSUSD COVID-19 Emergency School Fund is a philanthropic response to address emergency needs for our students and their families -- families who are struggling with keeping up due to this pandemic.
As communities respond to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, students find themselves facing a wide variety of challenges and costs. The PSUSD COVID-19 Emergency School Fund was created to cover unplanned financial expenses for the district such as school supplies, books, technology for online learning, and more-- to support educational continuity and school completion for Palm Springs Unified School District students living through this crisis.
PSUSD deeply values and appreciates the generosity of alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends who can make gifts to PSUSD COVID-19 Emergency School Fund.
Together, we can help students, families, and our campuses as a whole that have been directly affected by the loss of income, work, and interruption in classroom learning during school closures. Your gift will be put to work immediately to alleviate unexpected expenses, like last-minute school supplies, books for home reading in the absence of library books, instruments for music lessons and practice, robotics equipment for STEM classes, technology to make online learning possible, and other necessities. The health, education, social services and welfare needs of students come first and foremost, and must not be ground to a halt by the pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do you need donations? Won’t the federal aid package help?
PSUSD is exhausting its resources at breakneck speed – from feeding all children under the age of 18 and providing students in grades 3-12 with a Chromebook and internet Hot Spot . . . to building the infrastructure so that teachers can teach, and students can learn online. Existing funds are being spent and the federal relief will not cover or reimburse these funds. As a result, we need to raise $1 million to purchase supplemental education materials to keep our students’ education intact and moving forward. Students need more than a computer screen to stay focused, engaged, and learning at home. We’re turning to our community and asking help for basic school supplies; help in protecting the arts; and to help keep kids reading.
Q: How does The Foundation for The Palm Springs Unified School District define a small and/or medium-sized donation?
Across the country, people are experiencing dramatic shifts in their daily lives as a result of COVID-19. With extended school closures, we anticipate significant economic impacts on students throughout our community. While the immediate future may be uncertain, we know that the needs will be great for our students and their families. Any size donation is significant and appreciated. Donations add up -- so whether your donation is $20, $200 or $20,000, you will make an immediate and significant impact. Please be generous and donate today.
Q: Are there special tax advantages to giving right now?
Yes! Because of the COVID-19 health crisis, Congress passed a stimulus bill that expands the charitable deduction to all taxpayers for a one-year Universal Deduction. For those who itemize, the bill lifts the cap on annual giving from 60 percent of adjusted gross income to 100 percent for the 2020 tax year, and allows non-itemizers to deduct up to $300 in cash giving. Another great reason to give a gift to The Foundation for the Palm Springs Unified School District.
Q: What do you mean when you say, “the health, education, social services and welfare needs” of our students and campuses come first?
PSUSD has tried to stress a focus on helping students who are in greatest need during the course of the pandemic and related shelter-in-place directives. To us, this means serving vulnerable or at-risk students. We also acknowledge that amidst these pressures, our major (and minor) fundraising events have of course been cancelled.
We are now deficit-spending, testing the ability to provide important academic services. Helping our students, faculty and campuses in these predicaments is a top priority. We want to help serve increasing numbers of people in need during this challenging time, and we want to see our students survive it over the long-term.
Q: What kinds of educational services will you consider as falling into the category of basic needs at this time?
Educating at-risk populations about the steps individuals can take to create productive homeschool learning environments and learning online is critical, especially for populations that may not speak English, may not receive information through traditional media, or who may be living in conditions that would be conducive to distractions and challenged learning environments.
For many of our students, school meals make up the majority of their daily nutritional intake. The closure of schools because of COVID-19 cuts them off from this nutrition, which is crucial not only to their health, but their ability to learn. A hungry student cannot perform academically. PSUSD is now serving more than 22,000 meals per day, even during school closure.
These are examples of what we consider to be basic needs at this time, as opposed to “nice-to-have” services and other kinds of support for students who have had classes canceled. Suffice it to say this time is a universal challenge for every student.
Q: You shared the need for school supplies, books for reading, protecting the arts, and a summer learning institute – can you share more about these needs?
SCHOOL SUPPLIES: School Supplies Needed for Homebound Students
To complement online learning, our students need the basics to maintain their academic lessons and to enrich their home-schooling experience. They need 3-ring binders, double-sided pocket folders, lined notebook paper, washable markers, construction paper, scissors, composition books, pencils, ballpoint pens, erasers, index cards, and sharpeners. Not mention a dedicated place to learn and study that has a desk, chair, and lamp.
BOOKS TO READ: Students Need Books to Read
We must keep students reading. School libraries have always provided important equal access and opportunities. By providing free access to educational, news, and historical resources, libraries help keep our students informed with facts as well as interesting and mind-expanding fiction. Our libraries act as a hub of information, and our librarians have been torch bearers for facts. Libraries provide English language learners with the opportunity to immerse themselves in their new language, whether it be through periodicals, books, or even audiobooks. Without physical access to school and public libraries, our kids need books now more than ever.
PROTECT THE ARTS
As an arts-equity district, PSUSD prides itself on being a leader in our valley for arts education, including our celebrated performing arts, musical theater, visual and fine art programs, and bands and symphonies. As is now well known, Arts Education is a key element in helping kids succeed. Participation in the arts boosts students’ overall academic achievement, social engagement, attendance & graduation rates, and college & workforce readiness. Protect the arts by donating today!
SUMMER LEARNING INSTITUTE
During this time of isolation and social distancing, students get pushed further and further behind in their required course work. They struggle to stay connected. Add the layer of fear that students experience around falling behind, and you have an emotional situation that creates stress, anxieties, and ultimately poor academic performance. Students need help getting back on track, especially high school students who will be facing graduation. PSUSD has begun to address the need for a supplementing academic institution that provides a valuable learning environment for students. This summer institute will be taught by high-level qualified professionals in an inclusive and safe setting. Students can build appropriate levels of academic skills in way that’s more experiential than the traditional classroom, leading to deeper learning and highly applicable skills.