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!

Celebrating Innovation at EEF’s 2017 Annual Dinner!

A Message from President of the Board, Deb Carver

Dear EEF Friends,

Our annual fundraising event was a tremendous success! Thank you for your generosity and your passionate support for public education. Because of you, we were able to raise a total of $110,000 for EEF’s grants to schools and district-wide programs. Beyond your financial commitment, your enthusiasm and commitment was clearly evident throughout the evening, and that energy is priceless.

We are on a very positive trajectory for EEF.  Our visibility and capacity for supporting our students has grown considerably over the past few years.  The Board in most grateful for your contributions, your interest, and your friendship.  There is so much work to do, but there are few things that are worth more than our kids’ education.

Thank you,

Deb Carver, President of the Board

Parents, Schools, and EEF: Powerful Partnerships

EEF is proud to partner with schools and part groups across the district to support their efforts to fundraise for specific needs for their schools, including staffing. EEF works with dozens of schools to make fundraising drives, jog-athons, and other events successful, and helps securely steward hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

Our professionally-trained fundraising staff is here to support your school! Working with EEF minimizes financial risk for parent volunteers and gives you access to the support and benefits of a full-time 501(c)(3). Among the many services we can offer you are:

  • Banking services: We can receive and deposit your checks and cash through our partnership with Pacific Continental Band, and transfer the funds to your school account with 4J.
  • Provide you with a list of donors and contacts
  • Editorial support for your fundraising letters
  • Donation remittance envelopes
  • Online donation pages just for your school or event
  • Square credit-card services at your event

Please contact Dana Fleming, Fundraising Manager and Schools Liaison, to discuss how we can support your school.