A donation of $20,000 from unused Measure L campaign money may soon mean the GOT Kids education foundation can help Lodi Unified School District campuses fund new teaching necessities.
The funds were left over from campaign money raised by the political action committee for Measure L in 2006. The measure was created to fund school construction and fix existing buildings, including removal of asbestos and upgrading classroom lab equipment.
But for the past eight years, the money was sitting unused in an account, held in case the committee reconvened to work for a new bond measure. According to Don Parsons, consultant to the PAC, the committee’s members have since drifted, and hopes of a new bond measure seem unlikely in the current economy.
Parsons and PAC treasurer Dwight Richards decided to dissolve the PAC on Dec. 31, 2013, and donate the remaining funds to a charitable organization that had educational interests at heart: GOT Kids.
“I think it is consistent with the purpose of the original committee, which was to support local schools,” Parsons said. “There are a lot of kids with a lot of needs.”
GOT Kids — which stands for Giving Opportunities to Kids — is a nonprofit organization that works to provide funding for schools and educators in Lodi Unified. Many schools don’t have the extra income to supplement daily lessons with classroom projects, materials and field trips, according to GOT Kids president Art Hand. The foundation aims to fill that gap.
Through an October fundraiser with Twin Arbors Athletic Club, the foundation was able to raise more than $15,000 for new classroom technology at Lodi Unified schools, such as tablet computers for kindergarten through third-grade students.
“We can’t put enough technology in the hands of the kids, and we take every opportunity to try to provide that for them,” Hand said.
The foundation also helps fund athletics, visual and performing arts programs, graduation and promotion ceremonies, and scholarships.
GOT Kids has yet to decide what they will do with the donation, but they have many other fundraising projects in the works.
The foundation is also seeking sponsors for an upcoming talent show on Feb. 22 at McNair High School, and they are planning a Casino Night fundraising event for May.