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Holiday Greetings from the Executive Director 

Dear Friend,

As we pause to reflect upon the year that is coming to a close, we are thankful for the many donors who gave in support of a variety of Foundation initiatives that aimed to enable every student to experience educational success. This year, our Holiday Season will be punctuated by the generosity of the men and women employed by Montgomery County Public Schools.  The Foundation is pleased to assume fiscal oversight of the MCPS Cares Campaign, in a new streamlined format. (See article below.) The effort kicks off on Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2015 and continues until December 31, 2015.  The Foundation will solicit support for Foundation funds that are directed toward the needs of our most vulnerable children and youth.  

May your Thanksgiving be filled with peace, love, and joy.  And, may the joy of this Holiday Season sustain you throughout the New Year.

Happy Holidays,

Yolanda Johnson Pruitt


Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has asked the MCPS Educational Foundation (the
Foundation) to conduct its MCPS Cares Campaign. The charity campaign solicits contributions from the more than 22,000 MCPS employees. The change also brings various fundraising campaigns that receive employee support into one focused campaign period.

The Foundation will offer MCPS employees the opportunity to support the GIVE BACKpacks, Kids in Need, Toolkits, and scholarship funds, while also encouraging consideration for nine additional charities that were chosen to participate in the campaign.

Nonprofit organizations that serve MCPS students and families were invited to apply in October to be direct recipients of employee donations through the Foundation.

“We are excited about this evolution of our MCPS Cares Campaign, as we believe it will allow those employees who participate to make a direct positive impact on the children and families in our community,” said Brian Edwards, MCPS chief communications officer.

"MCPS colleagues have been very responsive to appeals for backpacks filled with schools supplies, emergency funds for students and their families, memorial funds, and scholarship awards,” said Yolanda Pruitt, executive director of the Foundation. “Now that giving opportunity will be offered as part of the MCPS Cares Campaign.” 

 Pruitt says she is also pleased with the selection committee’s choices.  “Each of the selected organizations is really valued by MCPS for their services to our students and their families. I think placing the spotlight on these nonprofit friends will bring a new spirit to the campaign.”

As a result of the changes to the campaign, the timing of the campaign is being adjusted this year. The Charity Campaign will kick-off on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, and will continue through Thursday, December 31, 2015.  Employees may participate via credit card, check, or payroll deduction.

The following charities were selected to participate in this year’s campaign:
  • Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation
  • The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
  • United Way of the National Capital Area
  • George B. Thomas Learning Academy
  • Manna Food Center
  • Identity, Inc.
  • Imagination Stage, Inc.
  • CollegeTracks, Inc.
  • Family Services, Inc.
  • JCA Heyman Interages Center

76 Small Grants Funded to Promote Innovative Classroom Instruction

After a very competitive annual small grant process for the fiscal 2015-2016 school year, the Foundation Grants Committee, chaired by Pennie Abramson, chose to fund 76 grants totaling more than $68,000. This year’s projects supported a range of initiatives such as literacy programs, social development for students with special needs, technology resources, and programs for the arts. The Foundation also funded five extended technology grants totaling more than $11,000. See the full list of projects here.

Retiree Donates Instruments for Music Instruction
Roberta Spitzberg
Dr. Carole Rawlison, left with Roberta "Bobbi" Spitzberg, right

Roberta “Bobbi” Spitzberg is a retiree who spends most of her time traveling the globe to capture images of people, nature, and works of art in countries experiencing transition.  “My travels sensitized me to the needs of vulnerable children, says Spitzberg, and then I realized that we have children similarly affected right here in Montgomery County.”

As a child, Spitzberg always wanted to play an instrument, but the private lessons were not affordable for her family.  She decided to give the opportunity for musical instruction to children at Harmony Hills Elementary School.  To enhance the instrumental instruction offered at the school, Spitzberg purchased two violins and two trumpets, then donated the instruments to be added to the school's permanent instrument inventory.

The instruments were presented to Dr. Rawlison, Friday, November 20 at Harmony Hills.

Fifth Grade Challenge Nomination Process Now Open

The Foundation’s signature event, Are You Up to the Fifth Grade Challenge?, is now accepting nominations for the on-stage fifth grade class. Twenty-seven students are needed to be cast in the April 11, 2016 production at the AFI Silver Theatre.  Elementary school principals were  asked to nominate one boy and one girl by December 18, 2015. Participating students will receive a $500 grant for their school, a parting gift, and a certificate for their participation. For more information, click here

News Updates Now Offered Via Text

The Foundation now sends text messages to interested constituents. MCPS Alumni, Employees, Retirees, and Friends will have even more opportunities to stay connected with the charity. Earlier this month, a text was sent to 5000 constituents inviting them to join the mobile community.   Those who replied "YES" will receive occasional text messages from the Foundation about programming, news, donor stories, as well as opportunities to donate to the Foundation securely and easily from a cell phone.  Beginning December 1, anyone can text MCPSEF to 27722 to begin receiving the texts.

Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation, Inc.
850 Hungerford Drive, Room 149, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone: 301.517.5099/301.279.3432  |  Fax: 301.279.3428  |  Email: