Donations to the Ed Foundation fund vital programs that support all students in Santa Monica.

UPDATE: We met our goal of giving a $1.8 million grant to SMMUSD for staff and programs in 2024-2025! Thank you to all those who supported!

Annually Funded Programs


The Arts

Your donations support a comprehensive P.S. ARTS Visual and/or Performing Arts Program for every student from Transitional Kindergarten through 5th grade. High-quality arts programs for all elementary students distinguishes SMMUSD as one of the few districts in the state to have a comprehensive K-12 visual and performing arts program. Click here to learn more about the Teaching Artists who provide amazing arts classes to our students every week.

The arts encourage students to explore their creative potential, advance problem-solving abilities, develop teamwork skills, and practice critical thinking while sparking their imaginations.

In recent years, an increasing number of studies link cognition, social and emotional development with the arts. Some of this research indicates that students in schools where the arts are an integral part of the academic program tend to have an academic advantage over students for whom that is not the case.

Classroom Support

Instructional assistants at our elementary schools enable small group and individualized instructions. Instructional assistants receive ongoing training in the same research-based strategies used by our teachers so they can work effectively with faculty to create a responsive classroom for every student to learn and succeed.

Enrichment Programs

Each school receives a grant to provide academic and enrichment programs unique to its school community and determined by each school’s site council. These grants are often used for science and technology, additional arts education and student health and well-being programs.

Endowment-Funded Programs

3rd Grade Recorders

The Ed Foundation funds recorders for all third graders for use in their general music classes. These classes give our young students a comprehensive introduction to music, the first step in the district’s renowned music program.

Dance Classes

The Ed Foundation funds a Dance Specialist, Robert Gilliam, in our Santa Monica middle schools. Mr. Gilliam is best known for his elaborate spectacles of fusion choreography, and his unique style of rhythmic dance comes from years of studying ballet, modern, jazz and traditional African dance. Mr. Gilliam’s classes inspire creativity, focus, and passion for the arts in his students.

Dream Winds, Dream Strings and Dream Voice

The Dream programs provide additional teaching support in music classes. Dream Winds and Dream Voice are at our four Title 1 elementary schools. Dream Winds and Dream Strings are at our two Title 1 middle schools (the elementary Dream Strings program is funded by the Gail Dorin Foundation).

Arts and Music Classes at Olympic High School

The Ed Foundation is honored to fund arts classes at Olympic High School. Currently, students are taking DJ classes with DJ Hapa, a renowned DJ and coach who is helping them tap into their creative potential. In these classes, students are finding their own voice and self-expression through music introduced to the fundamentals of instrument technique, reading music and applied theory. 

High School Theatre

The Ed Foundation gives grants to our high schools’ theater programs to fund the purchase of theater equipment and the hiring of specialists critical to the success of drama programs and performances. Current funding goals for our high school theater programs include: upgrades to sound equipment; specialists such as a costume designer, lighting designers, and set designers to work with students; and a movement instructor.

Middle School Theatre

The Ed Foundation partners with PTSAs at our local middle schools to provide an after school drama program.

Semi-Private Music Lessons and Instruments

Socio-economically disadvantaged students in grade 4 through 12 who are enrolled in music classes are eligible to take semi-private music lessons in strings, voice, and winds. 18 lessons are provided on a weekly basis during the school year by District-approved music teachers. This gives interested students the opportunity to further their love of music and stay involved in the District’s award-winning music program. This funding comes from the Peggy Bergmann Arts Endowment Fund, in memory of Lenore Bergmann and John Elmer Bergmann.

Visual Arts Grants

The Ed Foundation gives grants to secondary Visual Arts teachers for materials, supplies, and equipment necessary to enhance the visual art program District-wide. Grants have been used for new printers, ink, and special paper for the digital design classes; a kiln and special supplies for the ceramics classes; and a variety of books on art-related subjects.

Programs Funded by Earned Income

Library Support

The Ed Foundation supports all of our school libraries through the American Book Drive. The Ed Foundation receives a portion of the online sales of books donated at the American Book Drive bins on each school’s campus proceeds from online sales of books donated to the American Book Drive.

Fee-based Programs

Summer Adventure

This five-week summer enrichment program, sponsored in partnership with the Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTAs, serves both elementary and middle school students in Santa Monica.