Eugene Education Foundation Announces Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the Eugene Education Foundation are excited to announce Dana Fleming as the organization’s Executive Director. Fleming brings incredible expertise, a passion for public education, and a deep knowledge of the organization. She joined EEF in 2015, most recently serving as Interim Executive Director. 

            In her new capacity as Executive Director, Fleming will provide leadership, direction, and vision for the Foundation, identifying private funding and strategic partnerships that will support EEF’s efforts to make a difference for every child and every school in the School District 4J. In a statement, Craig Smith, President of the EEF Board of Directors, praised Dana’s commitment and leadership: “Dana has been an incredible asset to EEF and to our community. Her passion and capacity will have a tremendously positive impact on our community’s contributions to our public schools.”

            Fleming has a strong connection to public education as a parent of four children who attended public schools, a teacher, a daughter of educators, and a product of public schools. Upon relocating to Oregon with her family in 2012, Fleming began to volunteer and advocate for 4J schools, serving as the head of fundraising for Adams Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization and Coordinator of PAR, Roosevelt Middle School’s parent organization. She is currently an active member of South Eugene High School’s Parent Council and is a member of the Strategy Team for the local chapter of Stand for Children. She also serves the community through her board positions on the Lane County Cultural Coalition and ArtCity Eugene. 

            Fleming earned a degree in Art History from Birmingham-Southern College in her home state of Alabama. She is excited to share her commitment to community engagement and her strong desire to make educational access and opportunities widely available to all students. 

            Please join the community in welcoming Fleming at Eugene Education Foundation’s Annual Dinner, on Tuesday, March 5, 5:30-8:00 pm, at the Ford Alumni Center on the University of Oregon campus.  For more information, or to purchase tickets to the Annual Dinner, visit EEF’s website at, or call 541.790.7744. 


When EEF has the opportunity to throw support behind an excellent program that will impact EVERY SINGLE student in Eugene School District 4J, we get really excited. That’s why I’m thrilled to share that this year, because of your support of EEF, we’ve had the opportunity to fund an incredible math program called DreamBox for every single kindergarten through 5th grade student in 4J!

We’re featuring an interview between EEF Executive Director Rebecca Sprinson and 4J K-12 Curriculum Administrator for Math and Science Sue Wilson, who is going to share why DreamBox is so fantastic.

Rebecca Sprinson: How has EEF helped expand access to DreamBox?

Sue Wilson: We are excited to share that every 4J K-5 student now has access to DreamBox both in school and at home. We were/are also usingDreamBox to support middle and high school intervention; however, the thought is that if we can better support students to not develop gaps during K-5 grades, we will decrease the need for intervention in the upper grades.  Additionally 6 of 8 middle schools have purchased seats, with Cal Young, Roosevelt, and Monroe providing seats for all 6th graders. Without EEF’s $22,500 in funding for DreamBox, we would not have been able to spread the program to all kindergarten through 5th grade classes!

RS: How does DreamBox work?

SW: DreamBox is an adaptive computer platform that provides online, interactive math lessons/tasks that are aligned to standards.  The lessons are student centered, and focused on building visual conceptual understanding, key components of our elementary math adoption.  Based on student data (success/non-success with the various lessons), it  responds by providing lessons at individual rates and levels.  It provides a game-like environment with age appropriate gameification.   Additionally, it is available entirely in both English and Spanish.  Beyond the adaptive engine, teachers are also able to assign lessons that are aligned to classroom content and based on their previous DreamBox performance. The platform encourages productive struggle (hard enough to challenge, but not so hard they shut down) and is responsive to their answers.  For this reason, adults are encouraged not to provide answers, but instead to help clarify directions and/or ask questions that ask students to describe their thinking.  In  just 3 15-20 min sessions a week, students are able to make considerable growth with their mathematics understanding.

RS: Why is DreamBox the best program for our students?

SW: This platform is standards aligned AND builds conceptual understanding through use of multiple representations and math manipulatives.  The data and lessons support teachers to pull small groups to support in class differentiation, even with a large number of students.  The program identifies gaps and adapts immediately, provides teachers with tools for setting and monitoring goals, and makes math accessible for all students.  In addition, TAG students and families have found that this product meets their needs as well, as it adapts to the current rate and level of students and provides lessons in further grade levels for each standard, rather than having to complete all of current grade before getting access to advanced concepts.

RS: Thanks, Sue!

SW: Thank you so much to all EEF donors who made this possible!

You Are the Rising Tide for Public Education!

0IMG_1190Wow. Wow. Wow! That’s all we can say.

On March 6, EEF donors helped raise over $100,000 for EEF’s enrichment programs and grants for every single school in Eugene School District 4J. It is only because of your generosity that we are able to make such a huge difference in the educational experience of our students. Thank you!

Many thanks to our wonderful speakers: Jeff Geiger, Dr. Gustavo Balderas, Mike Johnson, Peggy Blair, and student Marissa Rinen.

If you attended the event and made a gift, your donation receipt will come in a separate email, and we’ll send you a link to view photos as well!. Please let us know if you have any questions!

Thank you again for joining the rising tide for public education.

If you can’t read, you can’t do.

IMG_1201“When I couldn’t read well, school was a waste of time.” –4J middle schooler

When kids aren’t reading at grade level, every part of their educational experience suffers. The effects of low literacy can harm students’ abilities to follow instructions, incorporate vocabulary, understand math and science problems, and to believe in their own abilities to learn and grow as students.

When kids can’t read, they can’t participate. They feel ashamed and lose focus. They often act out.

When kids can’t read, they can’t do.

For Oregon students, the need for improved literacy is real. Fewer than 40% of families read at home to their children. In Lane County, 50-80% of all children entering kindergarten do not have the early literacy skills they need. More and more often, our kids are starting behind, and when they start behind, they often stay behind.

Thanks to our donors, EEF invested more than $100,000 in literacy efforts across School District 4J during the past two years.

  • Funding pre-kindergarten literacy through the Kids in Transition to School pre-kindergarten readiness program, which corrects literacy deficits before kids enter school.
  • Investing in technology that allows students to practice reading at their own paces.
  • Encouraging reading at home, by funding programs that provide engaging books for kids to bring home—sometimes providing the first book that students have owned themselves.
  • Investing in Oregon Battle of the Books across 4J, which makes reading a fun social event for middle schoolers.
  • Focusing on students who have fallen behind through funding literacy interventions and individualized support.

Students who fall behind in their reading skills not only suffer in class, but they also miss out on enrichment that relies on verbal fluency. From robotics and engineering to theatre and music, if you can’t read, you can’t do.

EEF continuously works to close the gap that widens as students fall behind, but we cannot do it without our donors.  Without you, these programs would go unfunded.  

Each year, we receive more funding requests than we can fill.

Your gift to EEF ripples throughout students’ experiences in school and life.

  • A $10,000 gift doubles the number of middle schoolers to whom we can offer needed literacy interventions.
  • A $2,000 gift invests in evidence-based at-home reading incentive programs for an entire elementary school for a year.
  • A $500 gift buys Oregon Battle of the Books supplies for a whole school.
  • A $100 gift provides 40 elementary students with access to an effective literacy intervention program.

Our young readers turn into informed voters and creative thinkers. They become collaborators, designers and second-language learners. Most importantly, they become people who believe in their capacities to learn and grow.

If you can read, you can do.

 EEF’s grants also help ignite learning for all students through projects and opportunities that provide enrichment beyond the traditional course offerings. For example, EEF funded Madison Middle School’s medieval simulation game, allowing students to place themselves in a historical moment and write and read together to make important political decisions. Opportunities like this make learning fun and promote creativity and engagement.

Thank you for your continued investment in your local public schools and education foundation.


Rebecca signiture

Rebecca Sprinson
Executive Director


EEF Receives $25,000 from Eugene Hearing and Speech Center Closure

IMG_1201The Eugene Education Foundation is proud to announce a $25,000 gift from the closure of the Eugene Hearing and Speech Center. The mission of the Eugene Hearing and Speech Center was “To provide the highest quality evaluation, treatment, education and advocacy for individuals with communication disorders,” and School District 4J was recognized because of our adherence to that mission and our outstanding work for students with communication challenges.

Katie Mason, Speech-Language Pathologist with 4J, says, “EHSC was a fixture in the Eugene community for decades, positively impacting families and children to encourage growth in communication skills and providing an affordable avenue to resources.  Our 4J Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) group collaborated with their speech language pathologists and audiologists to make the best possible treatment plans for families for many, many years.  We remember their therapists with great fondness and wholeheartedly support the mission of the agency to provide access to effective, evidence-based treatment to families. The SLP group is honored to carry on this mission with this generous contribution.  We will be able to update and add to the evidence-based materials we can use with clients.  In addition, we wish to provide ongoing meaningful, targeted professional development for our SLPs to encourage the spirit of collaboration, sharing of ideas and remaining current in an ever-changing professional field.”

Teamwork for Teeth

The Eugene Education Foundation and School District 4J are excited to announce a partnership with the Lane County Medical Society and Lane County Dental Society to help fund our “Miles of Smiles” program. This program provides cleanings at LCC, oral health education, and restorative dental care to some of the neediest students in our community. LCMS contributed $3,500 and LCDS contributed $1,400, ensuring that hundreds of 4J students have access to dental care.

Dental pain is one of the leading causes of absences for K-12 students, and for many of their parents, accessing dental care is nearly impossible. Oral health is a critical factor in the healthy development of children. With these services, our students can attend school pain-free and ready to learn. We’re so thankful for the support of the Lane County Medical and Dental Societies!