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“Wings Over Malibu” Raises Student Achievement

Mark your calendar for the Emily Shane Foundation’s annual spring fundraiser, “Wings Over Malibu,” taking place Thursday, April 21, following a pandemic-related hiatus. The event includes an online silent auction, a live auction, clairvoyant readings and more.

“You won’t want to miss this entertaining and fun event! Most of all, you will enjoy a lovely evening of socializing while knowing that your participation is helping us serve the middle school students who truly need our SEA Program,” says Ellen Shane, who created the Emily Shane Foundation with her family in honor of her daughter, Emily Shane Rose, who was struck and killed by a car in April 2010.

The Foundation’s Successful Educational Achievement (SEA) Program honors Emily’s memory by helping others like Emily who would otherwise “fall through the cracks.”

“Emily struggled in the mainstream classroom yet did not qualify or need special education. She fell outside the mold,” explains Ellen, noting they were forced to find outside support because there was nothing within the school system to address their daughter’s educational challenges.

Since its inception in 2012, some 1,000 students who could not have otherwise afforded this essential, personalized support that is critical for students to succeed to their best potential have benefitted from the SEA Program, explains Ellen. Now in its 10th year of operation, the SEA Program matches students with vetted and trained mentor/tutors (mostly university students and recent grads) to provide intensive, individualized academic tutoring and mentorship. Serving at-risk middle schoolers at 12 sites throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the program offers essential support that has proven especially important during the pandemic.

“The need was always significant; the pandemic has greatly exacerbated it,” says Ellen. “Learning loss associated with online school and many other pandemic-related factors have highlighted the need for this extra support. It also forced SEA to switch to operate virtually, which proved to be incredibly effective. We now offer a hybrid of both in-person and virtual SEA, depending on the specific school site protocols.” 

In addition to academic support, the SEA Program includes a social element. To embrace Emily’s persona and the foundation’s “Pass it Forward” motto, each student participant is requested to perform one good deed or act of kindness. These are entered on the foundation’s website and posted on a Twitter feed.

“Our hope is that this fosters a sense of ‘giving back’ and social consciousness in these youth,” says Ellen.

Opportunities to help make a difference for a child reaching their academic potential include the foundation’s “Thursdays in April” fundraiser. The Strange Family Vineyards Tasting Room in Malibu will donate a percentage of all purchases of wine (glass, bottles, cases), whether in person or virtually, on Thursdays in April between 3 and 6 p.m.

“Come on out and enjoy a glass of wine, buy a bottle to share with others and relax at the lovely setting at the Malibu Lumber Yard. Or go online to purchase the handcrafted wines offered by the Strange Family Vineyards during the times when donations will benefit the SEA Program,” invites Ellen. 

For more information about Wings Over Malibu and Thursdays in April, as well as volunteering tutoring opportunities, visit EmilyShane.org, email info@emilyshane.org or call 213.290.5441.

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