Grand celebrations and auctions

Little Dolphins, as a result of the dedication, hard work, and planning from Daniel and all of the teachers and staff, is open and running beautifully!

Most astonishing given what is happening at other schools, Little Dolphins is running at close to full capacity. It's an extraordinary achievement of which we are extremely proud, but it is one that came at a considerable financial cost as we transformed the campus and staffing to Covid-safe standards.

Even under these most trying of situations, Daniel, Margarita and our remarkable teachers and administrators have poured their hearts into creating a safe, nurturing and familiar environment for your young learners. We've spent countless hours formulating safety protocol plans, reconstructing the grounds and building to yield the safest possible layouts, and creating and fine-tuning learning plans for enriching school days, ensuring that our kids were able to return to school safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We stopped at nothing to come up with creative ways to embrace the challenging constraints of social distancing and mask wearing.

Now, more than ever, Little Dolphins needs your help with the overwhelming costs associated with our school's safe re-opening. The more than $270,000 expenditure to open and not only go above-and-beyond the countless safety mandates required by the law, the state and the county, but also by doctors, third-party safety advisors and the board was tremendous. The need for an expanded faculty and recognize that COVID-19 has caused a reduction in our student population. These things alone have stretched our budget in ways that make your donations to the Annual Giving Campaign crucial. These new costs include construction, equipment, and planting needed to transform our yard into outdoor classrooms and to enhance air circulation and partitioning including...

$40,000 in Covid-related construction
$45,000 in planting and re-forming our outdoor space
$28,000 for the sails that provide shade for our outdoor classrooms
$7,000 for furniture and flatscreens
$10,000 in additional classroom supplies

Additionally, we are adding north of $200,000 to our annual budget to cover the costs of additional teachers needed to staff the extra classrooms mandated by health and safety regulations.

The suggested donation amount is $1,500 per student in an effort to help us reach our fundraising goal of $100,000. Little Dolphins is a non-profit organization and your contributions are tax deductible. We also encourage you to check with your employer on corporate gift matching (which could potentially double your contribution). What's most important is the participation. As in past years, we are striving for 100% participation from families. If you cannot meet the suggested contribution, please give what you can. If you are able to exceed the suggested amount, of course we welcome your generosity. Your contribution is an invaluable component to our school surviving during this pandemic. Every donation matters and is truly appreciated.

If you can be so kind, please submit your donation or pledge to the Annual Giving Fund by December 31. Online donations can be done via cell phone, tablet or computer, using this link: This secure portal accepts major credit cards and/or bank account donations.

As always, donations secured during the The Annual Giving Campaign go toward providing scholarships to many deserving families, offering our teachers the best in continuing education and professional development, and maintaining a single daily program, which focuses all the resources of the school on our children. This year, the funds also will go directly toward recovering the costs of the extensive list of necessary expenditures for re-opening, including:

Increased faculty (a teacher's assistant has been added to each class)

Full-time cleaning crew, plus additional disinfecting supplies

Significant building modifications to accommodate smaller class sizes and more classrooms, including increased ventilation and roof modifications allowing for better temperature control with the new need for regularly opened doors and windows

Securing and installing the new structure from which to hang the sails needed to shade the outdoor classrooms

Portable sinks and other safety components for frequent hand washing

Regular COVID-19 testing for the teachers and administrative staff

Personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff and non-contact thermometers

Additional technology to be able to support distance learning for those students who are in need of this option

The installation of additional mature olive trees to create natural shade, allowing for more children to be in outside classrooms

Construction of the Zen garden, which provides a tranquil space for students

Extra art materials

We have found a way to maintain our educational excellence even when the physical campus was closed, and we now have the distinction, along with our sister school Seven Arrows Elementary, of being the only preschool/elementary school combo on the West Side to open during this crazy time. But there are no two ways about it - it has been, and continues to be, a struggle. Enrollment has been down. As word gets out about what we have accomplished, students are starting to return and we plan on running at full capacity by January - a marvel we can all be proud of - but those families who start late will pay reduced tuitions, further eroding our income.

All of which is to say, we are even more dependent than usual on the generosity of our families, past and present. We know that lots of folks are struggling and we don't want to put additional pressure on anyone. But any amount you think you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Little Dolphins is an extraordinary institution and we want to set it up to survive far into the future. We thank you in advance for whatever help you can offer.