A small group of community advocates and District Staff founded the Enumclaw Schools Foundation in 2004, with a mission to enhance and support academic and extracurricular programs in the Enumclaw School District. Working as a start-up nonprofit under the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce's "Enumclaw Community Enhancement Foundation," ESF began seeking contributions. Led by President Linda Atkins, ESF launched its first fundraiser "Finisterra" and the Enumclaw Schools Magic Strings Program benefit concert in March of 2005. Proceeds benefited the Magic Strings program currently offered at Southwood Elementary.
Activities of ESF were quiet over the next few years, with limited fundraising efforts. From 2005 through 2008, the Foundation helped underwrite expenses for Enumclaw School District summer "Literacy Camp" and the "Community Day of Outreach."
In 2009 several state budget cuts forced the district to reduce its premiere Full Day Kindergarten offered to all students free of charge and returned to a tuition based program. After six years of successful full day kindergarten strategies the community, parents and staff rallied at the 11th hour to fundraise for vital scholarships for the most needy children. The "All Children, All Day, Find A Way!" advocates needed a channel to work through for their fundraising and turned to ESF.
The need to raise funds to support the Full Day Kindergarten program was just the catalyst the Foundation needed to get reignited. A committee came together to implement a fundraiser and the ESF board was reorganized to provide the non-profit structure.
In 2010 ESF was granted non-profit 501(c)3 status with the IRS. That same year, Foundation board members moved beyond funding Full Day Kindergarten and stared funding Enhancement and Innovation Grants. And the mission was changed to: "Enhancing educational opportunities for students in the Enumclaw School District."
Enumclaw Schools Foundation is operated by a volunteer Board of Directors. Board members represent parents, businesses, retirees, community volunteers and district staff.