by WYNNE LOVE

When the Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School (EBS) became a finalist for a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project this past November, the community had to mobilize to get the online votes required to win. “It’s a lot to ask of people to vote three times per day, every day, for one month – all the time – not knowing whether you are going to win or not,” said parent Seema Moorjani, who spearheaded the effort. When EBS dropped to 16th place on the last day of voting, they had to pull out all the stops. “It was a mad rush at the eleventh hour as we tweeted for support, called news stations, sent e-blasts, posted on facebook walls and made phone calls asking for last minute votes,” said Moorjani. But it worked.

EBS is now the proud recipient of one of the coveted $10,000 Pepsi grants – awarded to applicants with ideas that will benefit schools, the community and the environment. Now EBS is putting those funds to good use. “We wanted the money to be spent on something that would benefit every child,” said Moorjani. The result: Family Science Night.

With the help of the EBS administration and parent volunteers, EBS has planned six evenings of science activities geared toward each grade level and has purchased microscopes and other equipment for the events which will include themes like forensics.

“We will be excited to learn what the kids loved about it and what kind of an impact it had on them and their families,” said Moorjani. She is especially grateful to Bob Ilko of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association and Anna Klein, a Jerabek Elementary parent, who both rallied their own organizations to gather all the votes they could for EBS. “We definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of our parents, our families and friends all over the country – and our SR neighbors!” said Moorjani.

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To learn more of the Academic Fundraising Partnerships going on at EBS, visit www.ebs-afp.org.