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Cold Spring, Warm Hearts

Dear friends: 

Rochester might be unseasonably cold this Spring but Rochesterians have been anything, but chilly in their generosity and kindness.  We've been busy visiting students and teachers who received books through our Teachers' Choice program . We love seeing the impact that your support makes in the lives of students through our books program.

We've also had a parade of musical instrument donors dropping off a wealth of instruments during March's Music in our Schools Month drive with WXXI FM Classical. The 20 instruments donated in March helped us reach  a milestone of 2,000 musical instruments donated since 2005! There are stories galore with our donated instruments. One of our donated trumpets was played in the Rose Bowl - and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  We're thrilled to give new life to this trumpet and many other instruments - and new opportunities for our city students.

Thanks to all our instrument donors - and to the 100 people who attended our Rock and Bowl event and performed in the event. The proceeds will support music lessons for dozens of students this summer. 

Please look at our stories, below, with information about our donation of Spanish to English dictionaries to hundreds of Puerto Rican students and families displaced by Hurricane Maria, the opening of nominations for honorees for our "Toast to REF" event October 17, upcoming events, college connections, and more!

Happy (Sort of) Spring!

Patricia Braus
Executive Director

Music to Our Ears

Reach for 2,018

We celebrated our 2,000th musical instrument donated, and are now hoping to hit 2,018 this month Currently the most pressing need is for keyboards, guitars and sound equipment like amps and PAs, but we do accept most instruments and equipment with the exception of organs and upright pianos. This year, we will once again be collecting musical instruments at the Xerox  Rochester International Jazz Festival  thanks to our generous friends at  M&T Bank

Rocking and Bowling For Summer Music

We also held our first annual  Rock and Bowl event at Radio Social . This lively event featured performances by RCSD music educators, a silent auction, and only a couple of gutter balls! 

Thank you to our donors and to all the folks who made this a great success- in particular, music teachers extraordinaire Rachel Dobbs and Alison Schmitt for helping to organize the event. 

The proceeds from this event will help  support summer music lessons and arts camps at Hochstein and other venues for young musicians.

Easing a Difficult Transition

The devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean displaced thousands of students and families. As a result, the Rochester City School District has absorbed over 600 students this school year. The District's  Families in Transitions Program  has been helping to ease their transition into new schools and into a new language.

Working with Associate Director Elizabeth Reyes and volunteer Denise-Marie Santiago,  REF and the Greater Rochester Health Foundation have been able to provide 600 Spanish-English dictionaries to these new arrivals.

Students are still in need of access to additional Spanish language titles to continue their acquisition of critical literacy skills.  Please contact us to purchase a classroom set of books for students!

Making a College Connection

Every student with the desire and determination to attend college should have the opportunity to do so. This year, 250 such students completed their college financial aid forms (FAFSA) with assistance at one of our FAFSA Fest events. But the college journey can't start in October of a student's senior year. We provide students with the opportunity to learn about college in a variety of ways including our College Connect program. At a recent College Connect panel, five first-generation college students (from Brockport, St. John Fisher, and the University of Rochester) spoke to students from Big Brothers, Big Sisters about their college journeys.
A Toast to Success: Save the Date!

You are cordially invited to the 2018 Toast to REF - And
Our Partners! This year's event will be on October 17th from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the elegant, all-glass atrium of the Wintergarden at One Bausch and Lomb Place in downtown Rochester. 

We'll be offering a "strolling supper" style event with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and a buffet dinner. Join us in this stunning venue for a night filled with delicious food by Monroe's, an exciting silent auction, and live jazz music. 
Please consider nominating a champion of city students. Each year at the Toast, we honor champions of Rochester city students- inspiring educators, generous volunteers, and others who make a difference in Rochester schools. 

Do you know someone who fits this description? Click here to nominate an honoree!
Please also consider being a sponsor of this year's Toast!  Your sponsorship supports REF and our programs.  Click here for more info on sponsorships!

The Game is Afoot! Guest Bartender Event May 10th

Mark your calendar for a low-key, sociable fundraiser we've got planned for May 10, from 5 to 8PM at Scotland Yard Pub, 187 St. Paul Street.  Behind the bar will be celebrity guests from the world of radio, TV, and more! 

Tips will go to fund REF and our work for students,  so bring your ones, fives, and hundreds  to decide which celebrity bartender is best.

Come enjoy a fun night out with delicious pizza and friendly bartenders to help welcome an early spring. 

Mark Your Calendars!
Guest Bartender Event
May 10, 2018 
5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Scotland Yard Pub
187 St. Paul St.
Rochester, NY
Free of charge, contributions welcome.

A Toast to REF: And Our Partners
Oct. 17, 2018
5:30 to 8:00 pm
The Wintergarden by Monroe's
1 Bausch and Lomb Place
Rochester, NY
Sponsorships and tickets available now!

Jazz Fest Volunteering Opportunities
June 22 - June 30
Two shifts nightly: 5-6:15 and 6:15 to 7:30. 
M&T Table in the Merchandise Tent
Let us know in advance if you're interested!

About Rochester Education Foundation

Founded in 2005, REF is an independent not-for-profit organization providing resources and programs to support the success of Rochester students through partnerships with educators, businesses, and the community. For more information,  visit our website .

Please consider supporting REF to ensure that every child has access to a great education. Donate now through  Network for Good  or make a contribution through the United Way of Greater Rochester donor option number #2529. 
Pass It On!

We'd appreciate your help in spreading the word about REF and the successes of Rochester students and teachers. Please consider forwarding this e-newsletter to a friend or suggest that they visit our website or connect with us on social media!

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