“This is an amazing group of teachers and parents and volunteers, and they deserve all the credit,” said Vickey Rinehart, Knightsen School superintendent. “This happened because everyone has picked up the pieces and made it happen.”
In order to keep the doors of the financially strapped school open for another year, the group needed to raise $75,000, or at least secure solid financial commitments for that amount, by the end of the school year. The district itself is facing bankruptcy and Rinehart has been in discussions with the Brentwood and Byron school districts over the possibility of a district merger.
So while it was clear that the $75,000 would not alleviate the district’s overall financial stresses, it would in the interim allow students to maintain their regular schedules and routines.
However, by late last month, the Knightsen Parent/Teacher Club had raised just $3,000, a far cry from the $50,000 the group needed by the end of May in order for the school board to OK keeping the school open next year.
But thanks to countless fundraisers, barbecues, pancake breakfasts and anonymous donations, nearly $35,000 has currently been raised. And to ensure the group’s success, Bob Nunn – whose family has been a well-known name in East County for generations – recently offered to make up the difference in order to reach the $50,000 goal on time. The remaining $25,000 will need to be raised by the end of June.
“My greater family has been involved in local education since the late 1800s,” said Nunn. “It’s something that has always been a priority for us. We’re happy to help any way we can, and this is not a one-time offer; we’ll continue to help as needed.”
Nunn isn’t the school’s only benefactor. Knightsen School Board Member Frank Dell has pledged $15,000 toward the project, and one anonymous donor recently chipped in $5,000, all of which puts the group within striking distance of $75,000.
When asked if the temporary rescue of Old River is a relief, Rinehart replied, “It will be – it is.” She added that the school board was expected to approve the plans at its regular meeting on May 27. “I feel very, very positive and grateful. We have quite a community here.”
For upcoming fundraising events or ways to help, call 925-626-3330. Updates can also be found on the group’s blog at www.saveoldriver.blogspot.com.