Cedar Tree raises $32,000 in first ‘Giving Day’ event

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Cedar Tree Classical Christian School raised enough money for an updated science lab after the school took part in a 24-hour giving event. 

On May 4 through May 5, the school participated in Giving Day 2022, the latest edition of an annual online fundraising event featuring 57 organizations this year. It was the first time the school participated in the event. 

Cedar Tree was able to raise $31,900 in the 24-hour timeframe, the fifth most raised among participating organizations and far above the school’s $20,000 goal. The money will pay for upgrades to its science lab. 

Cedar Tree Director of Development Jorja Blake explained the school already had a connection with one of Giving Day’s organizers, the St. Augustine, Florida-based The FOCUS Group. She said the school got in touch with the group through the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust in Vancouver. The focus group previously helped Cedar Tree with a successful $2.1 million capital campaign prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That capital campaign funded the construction of a 6,500-square-foot assembly hall at the school’s campus west of Battle Ground. Since the campaign, Cedar Tree wasn’t able to host another fundraiser until Giving Day, which brought needed fundraising in part for maintenance and improvements to its facilities.

Among plans for the funds is outfitting the school’s recently-completed science lab. With the completion of the assembly hall, a portable previously used for a similar purpose was remodeled for the lab. Though capital campaign funds were used for that work, it still needed to be outfitted with equipment, which some of the Giving Day funds will allow.

The funds will also go to classroom updates like painting and new carpeting, Blake said. Usually the school follows a regular schedule but some of the routine updates were pushed back due to the pandemic.

The Giving Day funds will also be used for scholarships for Cedar Tree students, Blake said.

Blake based the initial goal off of conversations she had with regular donors. She wanted to keep it attainable so they wouldn’t miss the mark in their inaugural year.

“When you start something new and you’ve never done it before, there’s a lot of questions — is it going to work, is it going to be OK, are we going to hit that number?” Blake said. 

Exceeding their goal was a happy surprise. 

“It’s going to do a lot of good on campus,” Blake said about the fundraiser.

Cedar Tree is a Christian but nondenominational school. Students come from around 40 different congregations, according to information from the school’s website. 

As of the 2021-2022 school year, it had an enrollment of 233 students.

As to what makes a curriculum “classical,” Blake said students go through their grades based on three stages of learning — grammar, logic and rhetoric. Students are required to take Latin in third through eighth grade, Spanish in the first three years of high school and Greek their senior year.

By graduation, which culminates in each senior presenting their own thesis, Blake said the goal is to have a student that “likes to learn and knows how to learn.”

Blake said the successful fundraiser will allow the school to continue on its mission of classical Christian education.

“It affords us the opportunity to be able to serve our students and families well,” Blake said.



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