My oldest son, JJ, started Post Oak in October 2015. Like every October, the school was in its Annual Fund month. We had just paid tuition, and we didn’t know what Annual Fund month was or what our contributions were going towards, but we did not want to be the reason that our class did not hit 100%.
Our family has a history with The Post Oak School. My husband, Darryll, attended Post Oak from Primary through Middle School. Like most of our children, the tuition, fundraisers, and the inner workings of the school were not something he understood. The student perspective and parent perspective are very different, so when we started Post Oak, we were brand new parents, just like many of you.
In the first two years, we made our contributions to help our children’s classes hit 100% participation. Just like you, we received the call to action, we heard from the class captains, administration, teachers, and all those involved. We knew we could choose where we would like to direct our contributions, but other than those few categories, we didn’t know or understand much. This was not the fault of anyone at the school. We were given the information multiple times, but we never really processed everything. I actually told the development director that I would volunteer in any capacity she ever needed, but I would not do the Annual Fund!
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit our city, and our school took in water. We received word from our head of school, Maura Joyce, about the flooding, and in the same email, she informed us that restoration operations were already underway. The school had a plan, and more importantly, the finances available to not only restore the school but our children’s normalcy. I watched our community join together as we transformed our gym into six “classrooms” for over 150 Primary children. Our children missed only two short weeks because our school was able to take immediate action. Contributions from the community to our Annual Fund helped pay for this immense recovery process so our children could continue to learn with little interruption. It was then that I realized how important the Annual Fund was to our community.
In the two years that have passed since Harvey, I have become more aware of how our contributions are allocated. In the summer of 2018, the Annual Fund allowed our children’s teacher, Ms. Orly, to go on a sabbatical to Thailand. Ms. Orly returned, and she shared her new knowledge with the children. That trip to Thailand is why our children painted the “Thai Numbers” they learned on the 2018 Gala class project.
At The Post Oak School, we have two school-wide fundraisers, Annual Fund and the biennial Gala. We do not ask family and friends to buy wrapping paper, cookies, candy, or magazine subscriptions (that alone is enough to make me contribute!). For our class to reach 100%, it is based on participation, not a monetary amount. We have different levels at which you can choose to contribute, or you can contribute whatever amount you feel is meaningful and comfortable.
I was not asked to write this letter, but after four years in the Post Oak community and becoming more involved in the school, the one job that I said I would not do has become one of the most important jobs I choose to do. If you have not already done so, I am asking you to please join my family and the Post Oak community in contributing to the 2019–2020 Post Oak Annual Fund. If you would like more information, please reach out. Your contribution is meaningful and important. Thank you.