VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach charter school is hosting a fundraiser to help raise money for its students.
Green Run Collegiate (GRC) is a charter school within the Virginia Beach Public School system, which offers students the chance to participate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.
It was started at Green Run High School in 2013 and has since grown in size to 325 students from across the city.
The school’s Board of Directors helps to raise funds for students to pay for field trips and IB exams, which junior Andrea Faircloth says can get pretty expensive.
“Test fees can be very expensive; over $600. The board helps cover all fees for us. They help sponsor most of our field trips. I got the chance to go to a conference, the Harvard Fall Journalism Conference, and they covered the registration fees. So, they help use with our experience at GRC. It’s important we raise these funds so all students can benefit,” said Rianne Patricio, who is the head of the school.
Underrepresented populations make up 74% of the school’s population, while 49% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, according to Patricio.
For the past two years, there’s been an in-person gala to raise money, but due to the pandemic, the board had to come up with new ways to fundraise.
The virtual fundraiser “Toast to Love” this weekend is in a partnership with the New Kent Winery. While it is too late to order wine, you can still register to attend the event to participate in the live entertainment, as well as live and silent auctions.
The money will help students whose families are already feeling the stress of virtual learning and finances due to the pandemic.
“We want to make sure we keep those doors of opportunity open for our students. The IB is a great program but it’s an expensive program but you can keep those doors of opportunity open for them during this precarious time,” said Patricio.
Patricio, who’s worked at the school since it first opened, says students and staff are like family and it’s been incredible to see all they’ve accomplished over the last couple of years.
“Our five values, we’ve identified for our school, is inclusion, encouragement, respect, and open-mindedness. Those are traits that define what a family is and seeing our students help develop that culture is wonderful to see,” she said.
Patricio says the school is like a hidden diamond in Virginia Beach, but in recent years has become more well known.
Faircloth says she’s had a great experience at the school and so have other students. The fundraiser is an example of the encouragement she says they always get.
“It makes us feel really loved. I think that’s important and what I can say for all the students, when there are hard times and your school really comes through for you, that’s when you feel like you matter the most,” she said.
Faircloth encourages other students to attend the IB program and says it’s challenging but staff and students are there to help.
She also encourages people to attend this weekend’s event to make sure it all students are equitable.
To learn more or to register, click here.