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Dear Compass Community, 

For the last 5 years, we have held a big, fancy, evening experience called the Compass Vision Event for all of the adults in our community.  We eat, drink, and dream about the future that we see for our Compass Community. 

A highlight of the event is always the unveiling of the latest Mary Walsh Original Painting (Compass parent and local artist).  Each year, Mary captures all of our milestones and whips them into a magnificent work of art.    

2020 marks 6 years since I joined the Compass Community.  Together, we have accomplished so much in that short time!  From the barn to the farm, the high tunnel to the pavillion and everything in between, our progress is quite visible!  So many of the dreams that we conjured up at Vision Events past have come to fruition!

I imagined that this, our 6th Annual Vision Event, would be our greatest celebration yet!  We would kick off with appetizers in the pavilion, then stroll through the outdoor classrooms, and finish in the barn with a ribbon cutting and dedication!

Womp womp womp… As you know, RI’s social gathering size has just been restricted to the people you live with, so the chances of us gathering for a Vision Event with 100+ adults like we usually do is out of the question. 

Like all things with the pandemic, we pivot and adapt.  You may not be able to see Mary’s masterpiece in person, but you can envision the unveiling.  So, imagine that I am standing next to the easel, with the red blanket covering the picture.  Then, I lift the red blanket off the frame to reveal the 2020 Mary Walsh Original! 

Check out the level of detail that she captured! Simply amazing. 

Now we all ooooh, ahhhhh, and clap!!! The crowd goes wild for Mary’s final piece (her youngest child is graduating from Compass this year). 

In addition to the Mary Walsh Original Reveal, the Vision Event typically kicks off our Annual Fund Drive A week from tomorrow is Giving Tuesday.  We hope that you’ll consider making contribution to Compass.  We are a 501c3 tax deductible entity and we are always sure to put your donations to good use!

In fact, the contributions of Compass families help us attract big donors.  The major funders and foundations like to see commitment from the community itself.  To date, we have raised nearly $1,500,000 from outside donors to support Compass campus improvements and programming! 

Please read on to learn more about this year’s Annual Fund.  Additionally you will receive a paper copy with a remittance envelope in your child’s backpack (K-4th) tomorrow or in snail mail (5th-8th) later this week.   If you prefer to contribute online instead of via check, please access our PayPal Account here. 

2020 Annual Appeal 

Seven months ago, Spidey Sense told us to Predict and Prepare as the pandemic began to impact our way of life at Compass. Soon thereafter, the public health crisis created a need for a virtual world of education. We remained Compass Strong as our team’s efforts progressed from blue sky vision to green grass operations.

In the two weeks following mandatory school closures, Compass rolled out a model Virtual Learning Path, adapting our campus learning model for the virtual world. Committed to our mission, our Farm remained running with Farmer Kati tending to the crops and chickens, and providing “Live from the Farm” updates every week. We set up a Virtual Farm Stand on our website, and continued to cultivate agriculture and nutrition education from afar providing capacity and instruction to our students in growing their own home gardens. Compass teachers, students, and organizations continued to connect using our new platform.  While the world was locked down, Compass lived up to our motto, “charting new directions for living and learning.”

Over the summer, we continued putting the puzzle pieces in place with our eye on the prize of offering a full, in-person reopening. In the weeks leading up to school reentry, we made significant investments to keep everyone safe and operations running smoothly. This necessitated the purchase of:

  • $1,500: Additional hand soap and sanitizer stations

  • $3,000: Plexiglass 

  • $3,000: Room Dividers for Limited In-Person Mode

  • $4,000: PPE  

  • $4,000: Outdoor Classrooms

    • Installation of sod (funded by Co-Op – thank you!)

    • Posts and Sun Sails for outdoor classrooms ($4,000)

    • Tents (some borrowed or donated by families, others funded by Co-Op – thank you!) 

  • $21,000: Hiring additional staff to sanitize high-touch surfaces

  • $10,000 HVAC upgrades and hepa filters (funded through state CARES Act grant)

  • Grand Total: $46,500       

While vital, investment in these resources has significantly depleted our account reserves. 

Every year, we kickoff an Annual Fund drive to fundraise for future big projects at Compass. As you look around our campus, you can see how the Annual Fund investment has paid dividends over the years. This year, the Annual Fund will go toward recouping our investments in Pandemic Reopening. We need to replenish our resources to ensure program sustainability.

Please contribute to the Annual Fund now through Dec. 31st!  We are able to accept donations of cash, check or through the PayPal link on our website. We gladly welcome any amount. Even $1 helps! The most important thing is your participation. It is a powerful message for us to show that 100% of the Compass WE supports the Annual Fund.

I believe in the power of the Compass WE and I know that WE will again rise to the occasion.

In partnership,

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Brandee Lapisky, M.Ed., Director