In the fall of 2017, Radcliffe’s Board announced the Founders’ Fund as a way of honoring the School’s creators while addressing today's strategic priority to raise critically-needed funds for financial aid. The goal is to raise $1 million on or before June 30, 2018; it is the most significant fundraising plan ever undertaken. The Board of Trustees knows the goal is high, but believes it is only fitting. The Founders’ Fund will address multiple needs as we look into the future — endowed funds will allow sound decisions based on monies available for specific needs such as scholarships; the fund’s interest earnings may be used for that purpose. Also within the Founders’ Fund, unrestricted monies will be raised, giving the School the flexibility to address more immediate needs.
The Founders’ Fund honors the final year of Radcliffe’s Founding Director, Molly Brogan Judge, as well as the other dedicated original advisors and investors of the school. Opening its doors 22 years ago with 13 students in grades one through seven, Radcliffe’s goal has always been to create a learning environment where bright children, who learn differently, could succeed. The school today thrives under Judge’s visionary, dedicated leadership and with the support from a committed group of staff, parents, grandparents, and friends the vision continues. The kindergarten through eighth-grade program currently enrolls 82 students, while Little Creek, Radcliffe’s preschool, serves 52 students from infancy through pre-kindergarten.
Radcliffe Creek has truly changed the educational landscape of the Eastern Shore, and beyond, with students traveling from seven different counties in Maryland and Delaware to attend the school. Many students come to Radcliffe unsure of themselves not just as students, but as individuals. Because of the small class sizes, compassionate teachers, and hands-on learning, these students leave Radcliffe Creek with an understanding about what it takes to succeed. And succeed they do. Radcliffe alumni go on to college, the military, graduate school, and beyond. Many alumni point to their Radcliffe Creek School education as the turning point in their academic career.
“This is the most significant fundraising effort ever undertaken by the School,” said Radcliffe’s Board of Trustees President, Susan Newton-Rhodes. “The Board of Trustees knows the goal is high, but believes it is only fitting. This new fund will address the Board’s highest priority - financial aid for worthy students - by creating a lasting fund for those families and children who need Radcliffe the most.”
For the last 22 years, Radcliffe’s Board of Trustees has allocated as many financial resources as possible to families who cannot afford a Radcliffe education without assistance. This year alone, $350,000 has been distributed in financial aid to kindergarten through eighth-grade students. As the school continues to grow, so will this need.
“This effort will be a big challenge, but I’m passionate, as well as confident, that we can accomplish this goal to establish a $1 million legacy in honor of the many creative minds that united together to build Radcliffe Creek School,” said Judge. “My hope is that others will learn more about our past, embrace the goal of the fund, and continue to develop this endowment for years to come.”
For more information on the Founders' Fund, please contact Ellen Wise, Director of Advancement at 410-778-8150.