1/22/22 – 6th Graders Create Social Justice Picture Books (photos)

Sixth graders’ social justice picture books, created for young readers, were a huge success. FRAUC helped with funds for bookbinding. See photos of some of their work at the end of this post!

From Ms. Saillant, their Social Studies teacher:

Thank you FRAUC! It was a blast working with students in our Social Justice Picture Books lit block! They are super proud of publishing their first children’s book on an issue of justice they were passionate about. My goal is to bring this into the social studies classroom so all 6th graders will have an opportunity to publish a story.

This project helps enrich RAUC curricula in that it provides students with an opportunity to do interdisciplinary work (e.g. Social studies and English Language Arts) and apply skills they’re learning and specific content to things that they are personally passionate about. Literacy blocks are elective courses that fall outside the classroom budgets.

From Bear Minimum.
From Everyone Belongs in School.
From Height.
From Fair Housing.


1/21/22 – “Altered Apparel” club fights fast fashion (photos).

Altered Apparel is a popular after school club facilitated by Ms. Victoria Leggett. As part of our grants to teachers program, FRAUC funded fabric and other supplies for the club. Some of the work is displayed below!

Here’s what Ms. Leggett says about their creative work:

“[Altered Apparel provides] a way to explore their creativity in a new format while also reflecting on themselves to discover their personal styles and identity. Through exploring more folk art mediums they get to get in touch with the cultural and historical roots that our current methods derive from.

“I teach the students different skills to customize their clothes with their own two hands like embroidery, fabric painting, embellishing, and more. The main ideas behind it is to give students agency over their style to fit their identity, build accessible/affordable skills, and fight fast fashion.”


1/21/22 FRAUC Funds a Range of Projects (Meeting Notes 1-19-22)

FRAUC met virtually on Wednesday, January 19. We covered a lot of ground, and approved a number of projects–including students’ creative work.

Here are the meeting notes.

Treasurer’s Report. FRAUC has about $32,000 in our account. The end-of-year fundraising appeal, some of which is pending, brought in $3,200.  Although we are not on track to bring in our usual $20-30K for the year, absent major fundraising efforts, this $ is welcome and will be put to good use.

 Drum purchases. About half of the order has come in, and half is held up due to supply chain issues. (Note: new ship date is (allegedly) 1/23!)

Grant Funding.

  1. Social Justice Picture Books. Last Meeting we approved Social Studies teacher Ms. Saillant’s request for $240 for bookbinding materials for 6th grade social justice projects. See a few samples of their work here.

2. “Altered Apparel” club. In today’s meeting, we approved Ms. Leggett’s request for $350 for materials for the Altered Apparel club.–see many samples of their creative work here.

Discussion of an annual budget proposal from Principal Craven.

 A couple of years ago, pre-pandemic, FRAUC discussed developing a suggested annual budget with clear expectations at the beginning of the school year.  We discussed some budget requests from Ms. Craven for this year (COVID times) as well as suggestions for future years as to what might be yearly allocations.

Although a good amount of our fundraising is for the annual DC trip for 8th graders, we want it to be clear to families that FRAUC exists to support activities for all grades. 

For DC, we try to have $10K “cushion” going into each school year, so that we can more easily raise the approximately $16K needed to provide tiered pricing for that trip. That said, prices may go up in the future, and more families may need aid in order to attend. Pandemic times make it more difficult for in-person fundraising events such as the traditionally successful gala. FRAUC’s commitment to this trip has always been that “no one goes to DC unless everyone can go.”

For that reason, we do not want to be too locked into other earmarked annual expenses that we cannot continue to support the DC commitment, but we definitely want to fund as much as we can for enrichment and support of all grades at all times. This year in particular, with no trip and a budget surplus, we want to support as many activities as possible.

With that, we looked at the list of proposed items, below. Note:

  • Some requested amounts are “special” for this year, with the influence of the pandemic on activities
  • Some are traditional FRAUC outlays.

RequestProposed amountActions—adjustments and votes taken
$1000 per grade for tickets/other costs for end of year trips$3,000We voted YES to approve $3,000 for this year, for spring 2022 trips.
We strongly suggest to future FRAUC groups to consider continuing this.
Transportation for end of year trips$6,000We voted YES to approve $6,000 for this year, for spring 2022 buses. Usually RAUC budget pays the bus expenses, but this year extra buses are needed to meet COVID distanced seating arrangements and this is an extra expense.
We suggest to future FRAUC groups to consider funding this expense if pandemic conditions continue to affect bus needs for trips.
Grant requests$2,000We voted YES to approve this for this year, and increased the amount to $2,500 for the school year 2021-2022.
(Note, we have already spent about $1,200 on drums, and $490 on requests from Ms. Saillant and Ms. Leggett)
If the total amount of 2021-2022 grant requests exceed $2,500, FRAUC can consider on an individual basis.
We suggest to future FRAUC groups to consider funding a flat amount for grants at the beginning of each school year, so that future grants can be funded more quickly and nimbly, rather than await FRAUC approval each time. 
Supporting dances once the pandemic allows$1,500We determined we did not need to fund this amount, as most dances bring in a profit of several hundred from concessions and tickets. THe last 6th grade dance we held in January 2020, revenue was $1,576 . $562 went to pizza and $100 to a DJ.
Principal’s fund$1,000We voted YES to approve $1,000 for this year as a pilot discretionary fund.We strongly recommend future FRAUC groups do this moving forward, at one of the first meetings of the year, so that the principal has the expectation of having this to work with for unexpected expenses and student needs.
Snacks for the Snack Cupboard$1,000We voted YES to approve this and increase it to $2,500 for this year as a pilot.Snacks are an eternal challenge to keep funded. RAUC will continue to ask for donations in the newsletter and will continue to need both donations and funding.
Spring community event$5,000?We voted YES to approve $5,000 for this year, for some kind of special outside event in spring 2022.
We do not expect this to be an annual event unless future FRAUC groups decide to make it so. For this year, the pandemic restricts school-wide gatherings such as assemblies, dances, and concerts. It seemed important to both approve this and get working on envisioning and planning right away. (More discussion below.)
Reserve “cushion” for 8th Grade trip to Washington DC$10,000We voted YES to leave a reserve of approximately $10,000 for the 2022-2023 school year.
This is a yearly cushion that FRAUC has traditional tried to provide each new school year so that DC fundraising is not such a heavy lift for that year.
Total$29,500 requested

29,500 APPROVED EXPENSES, including DC reserve. (Note, even though this number is the same amount as requested, adjustments were made in the amounts of some items.)

Spring school-wide event.

In the time we had left, we discussed the possibility of holding a Spring school-wide special event. If lead time and funds permit, we would like to give the school a chance to gather outside, since concerts, assemblies, and a packed auditorium are not possible during the pandemic.

Timing. Security needs make evening events prohibitive. Transportation can affect families’ ability to get to RAUC on a weekend. Overall it seemed like a school day event made the most sense. Permitting is easy, because RAUC already has use of the back field during the school day.  

Planners. We discussed forming a planning committee and asking students what is important to them in a school=wide event. Planning committee can come up with several ideas and research vendors, and students can weigh in.

Planning time. For this event to occur in Spring of 2022, it will have to come together quickly.

FRAUC agreed to email caregivers to identify a planning committee.

Future Leadership. FRAUC will need leadership into the next school year. Many of the participants have 8th graders who will be moving on to high school. Deirdre Logan steps down from her co-chair position in February 2022 after 5 years, so we need a new co-chair as soon as possible. Tracy Walton will be leaving after June 2022, so we’ll need a second co-chair. Ideally a co-chair would start now or as soon as possible for continuity during the transition. Perhaps committee work—“The Spring 2022 Event Committee” will involve RAUC caregivers—especially those with 6th and 7th grade students—for the future. In the late spring or fall, FRAUC will need 2 liaisons for each grade, as well.