The Sebastopol Rotary Education Foundation: Founded in 1982, the SREF is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt foundation.  It has an ongoing endowment approaching $1 million in size from which it directs gifts every year to support certain of the club’s education projects.
               SREF’s Board members are chosen from the club and serve staggered four-year terms.  Included on the Board are many past presidents of the club.
               Over the last decade, the SREF has funded numerous educational programs for El Molino, Laguna, and Analy High Schools by providing band instruments, computer equipment and financial support for their Project Graduations.  SREF has also supported the Sonoma County Repertory Theatre, the Hallberg Butterfly Gardens, and projects that bring enrichment in the arts and sciences to West County elementary and middle schools.  There have been numerous individual scholarships and support for the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, which helps students prepare for college, sponsored at Brook Haven School.
               One of the Foundation's most prominent, annual activities is the Teacher of the Year Award.  The Foundation is committed to recognizing great teaching.  In 2017, the awards went to third grade teacher Sara Gramm of Parkside School, kindergarten teacher Kate O'Brien of SunRidge School, and special education teacher Adam Alcorn who works at Analy High School and the West County Special Education Consortium.  Each of them distinguished themselves with innovative and effective instructional techniques, like Adam's peer tutors, who are regular high school students who get involved with his students with special needs.
               The impact of SREF grants goes beyond a single item or a single project.  For example, when Analy High School decided it wanted to be one of the early adopters of a “Maker” program that teaches students hands-on about how to make things, the school turned to SREF for support.  SREF responded with a $26,940 grant to fund the Maker Project, and an additional amount of $4375 went for a laser spectrum printer and grants to help support "maker" programs at several other West County schools..   In addition, the SREF created a scholarship program for Maker student projects.  A screening committee reviewed student ideas and funding requests, and the completed projects were presented to club members at a club meeting.  In part, because of SREF’s support, noted education expert Sir Ken Robinson highlighted Analy’s efforts as an example of cutting-edge educational transformation in his new book, Creative Revolution, the Grassroots Revolution that is Transforming Education.
To find out more about SREF, click here.