111411 - LA Times Give Wasserman Foundationto give _4 million to L.A. schools program

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Wasserman Foundation to give $4 million to L.A.
schools program
November 14, 2011 |   4:18 pm

The foundation of a prominent Southern California family announced Monday that it will give $4
million for an online program in Los Angeles that allows teachers to solicit donations to fund
classroom projects.

Los Angeles Unified said its teachers -- as well as those for charter operators in Los Angeles -- have
been encouraged to post up to two classroom projects, with a total value of $800, onto the website,
DonorsChooseLA.org. Projects posted to the site include materials for a science lab, a replacement
for an antiquated tape recorder, an iPad 2 and an easel ("This will 'easel'-y do the trick!" the teacher
wrote in her post).

Through the contribution from the Wasserman Foundation, a Los Angeles-based philanthropic
group focused on education, healthcare and cultural programs in the region, $15 gift cards will be
distributed to the families of public school children in Los Angeles -- adding up to $2 million. The
families can use the gift cards for the projects posted by their children's teachers. Another $2 million
will be used to match the donations from others in the community, the foundation said.

L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy said in a statement Monday that the contribution offers teachers a
"desperately needed boost" during a cash-strapped time for public schools.

And Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement: “In these tough economic times, we need
innovative, interactive partnerships like this that empower parents to get involved in their children’s
education.”