Dear Osprey Families,
I hope this finds you happy and well during this wonderfully busy springtime.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know the students, staff, and families of Animas High School over the past couple of months in my new role as AHS Development Director.  I am deeply impressed by the work being done here, as well as incredibly excited to be a part of the team that takes Animas High School to the next level of excellence.  I come to Animas with over a decade of nonprofit and fundraising experience in Durango.  The bulk of my experience was at the Powerhouse Science Center, where I was a part of the original staff from the Children’s Museum in the  attic of Durango Arts Center.  I worked to renovate the old Power Plant and transform the space into the interactive science center that it is today.  During my tenure at the Powerhouse, I conceptualized, organized, and facilitated multiple successful and unique fundraising events per year.  I also worked closely with individual and corporate sponsors, as well as developed meaningful relationships with local and statewide businesses and foundations.  I have followed Animas High School since the beginning and am honored to now be an Osprey.
As part of my initial work as Development Director, I took some time to reach out to all families.  If we weren’t able to connect via phone, please feel free to contact me directly with any feedback or suggestions regarding our fundraising efforts in the past, and perhaps something you would like to see in the future.
When I began thinking about development and fundraising for Animas, I looked directly to the mission:
Animas High School prepares all students for college and post-secondary success by creating critical thinkers and engaged citizens through an innovative, student-centered, project-based curriculum.
The piece that struck me most is the idea that Animas High School serves all students. This speaks volumes about who we are and what we do.  This will be the theme and purpose of my work at Animas High School as I work to raise the money needed to move us into a permanent 21st century facility that will provide the home we need to manifest our mission, vision and values even further.
As you may know, we have applied for a BEST grant.  Through the Colorado Department of Education, BEST provides annual funding in the form of competitive grants to school districts, charter schools, boards of cooperative educational services, as well as other educational institutions.  Winning the grant, raising the matching funds needed, and moving are my ultimate goals.  However, to accomplish this, there are many smaller goals and milestones that we will need to meet along the way.  The exciting part is these are fun, and very reasonable goals.  I look to you, our Animas families, to help us get there as the strong Osprey community that we are.
The current goal is 100% family participation.  Not only will 100% participation boost the red on our thermometer on the website, and enrich our sense of community,  but it will help our case before the BEST board and give us that much more ammunition to win the grant.  While this may seem like a daunting task, it certainly is not.  We are already well on our way to 100% participation, and any of the following will allow us to count you in:

  •         Volunteering for lunch duty
  •         Helping out in the front office
  •         Helping with a fundraising event
  •         Donating money

We will reach this goal by the end of this school year, if we all commit to one of these options. If you would like to help with a fundraising event, now is a great time to get involved, as we are in the conceptualization phase for the 2015/2016 school year fundraisers. Assistance from conceptualization to execution is greatly appreciated. Please contact me directly if you are interested in joining the newly formed events committee.
If you choose to participate financially, I ask that you consider donating to our newly established Osprey Scholarship Fund.  As this fund grows, it will allow all of our Ospreys the same opportunities and access to catered lunches, Osprey Week, XBlock and other various activities that have a fee attached to them.  We are already off to a strong start with the Osprey Scholarship Fund, thanks to the fact that our students raised over $3,500 to offset the cost of free and reduced lunch through the Desert Sun Coffee Fundraiser. Because of this effort, all of our students who qualify for this program have been offered a number of free/reduced lunches for the remainder of the year. We are already making a difference, and hope to grow our capacity to do so. Contributing to the Osprey Scholarship Fund can be done online, or in person at the front desk. When making a contribution through our website, please be sure to record “scholarship fund” in the memo box, so that your funds will be properly allocated. You may also pay with cash or check; please just indicate that your donation is intended to support the scholarship fund.
We are also seeking non-binding pledges of support for the BEST grant and the ensuing capital campaign. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions regarding these donation options.
Remember, every penny counts.  There is truly no such thing as an unimportant donation!  If you would like to volunteer for lunch duty, please contact Laurel at the front desk. I know we could really use help in this arena. Also, if you have any special skills that could be of use to us, let me know!
Thank you for taking sometime today to read this letter.  Moreover, thank you for being involved in your Osprey’s education and being a part of Animas High School.
Onward and upward we go,
Ashley Hein
[email protected]
970-247-2474 x2346