Direct Appeal FAQs


Q: What is Direct Appeal?


A: Direct Appeal is the main fundraising event for Mt. Washington PTA (“MWPTA”). We finance many of the valuable educational supports and enrichments at Mt. Washington Elementary that are not fully funded by LAUSD, including an intervention teacher, classroom aides, psychiatric social worker, school psychologist, physical education, and much more. All contributions to Direct Appeal directly benefit our school and are 100% tax deductible. Click to see what we spend the money on for Direct Appeal.


Q: Why do we fundraise now for the following year?


A: The school's deadline to submit their budget to LAUSD is just after the new year. The funds raised during the Direct Appeal Campaign along with input from parents through the Needs Assessment survey inform the MWPTA budget committee and allows sufficient time to work directly with Mrs. Gravino to plan and determine what educational supports and programs we can fund. 


Q: How much do you recommend donating for Direct Appeal?


A: While MWPTA plans to spend around $600 per student for the 2023/2024 school year, we ask that each family contribute what is reasonable and within their means. It is our hope that 100% of our MWE families participate. With this in mind, donations generally start at $20 and can go as high as parents wish. For parents who have the means to contribute more, we ask that you consider the families at Mt. Washington Elementary who are not able to contribute. 15% of the families at Mt. Washington Elementary are considered socioeconomically disadvantaged. Contribute online here. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.


Q: Why does the Direct Appeal ask increase each year?


A: Every year, the MWPTA fundraises for resources to support the social emotional and academic needs of all our students. Most of our money goes toward the purchase of positions, such as teacher assistants, psychiatric social worker (PSW), school psychologist, visual & performing arts teachers, etc. The salary for these positions increases every year, hence the need to increase the Direct Appeal ask. In previous years, MWPTA has spent approximately $25,000 - $60,000 more than it raised each year. We were able to do this because the MWPTA had carryover money with LAUSD for unfilled positions.


This year the school has added an extra layer of support, the intervention teacher, for students who have difficulties with reading proficiently. The MWPTA donated $55,000 toward this position for this school year and hopes to donate the full amount, $130,000, for the 2023-2024 school year. Please help us keep the intervention teacher full time next school year by donating to our Direct Appeal.


Q: What is an Intervention Teacher?


A: This specialized teacher provides support and assistance to students who are experiencing difficulties with reading foundational skills. They provide intensive and effective instructional interventions for students who struggle in reading. They also provide daily intensive small group instruction which supplements classroom literacy teaching. This teacher infuses social emotional learning and behavior supports into reading instruction to build growth mindset and self-efficacy in struggling readers.


Q: What is Renaissance?


A: Renaissance is an online program that assists teachers with differentiating instruction in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The program provides diagnostic assessments to determine students’ instructional reading and math levels. With the diagnostic assessments, the teachers are able to better determine where a student needs the most improvement on an individual level. The teachers are then able to challenge students who are working at a higher level. Students are able to work on this online platform during independent work time.


Q: What is the difference between a Psychiatric Social Worker and School Psychologist?


A: The psychologist conducts testing and assessments to determine eligibility for special ed services. The psychologist may also provide counseling to SPED students, if services are offered through the IEP. The school-based Psychiatric Social Worker (PSW) is responsible for educating and supporting mental wellness, promoting a positive school climate, and social-emotional development for the general population. Services may include linkage/referrals to community agencies and resources.


Q: What is a Matching Program?


A: Many companies set aside annual charitable contribution funds to match their employees' donations to 501(c)(3) organizations dollar for dollar or more. Please check with your HR department to determine whether they will match your contribution. It’s a winning combination: more funds for Mt. Washington Elementary and a tax deduction for your company.


Q: How do I know if my company will match my donation?


A: Ask your HR department or check the Charity Navigator to see if your company's program is listed.


Q: Is my contribution tax deductible?


A: Yes. 100% of your contribution is tax deductible. MWPTA is a 501(c)(3) Organization. MWPTA's Federal Tax ID number is 95-6208664.


Q: What if I want to contribute, but don't have all the funds right now?


A: Contribute the amount you want using one of the recurring payment plans available online here.


Q: Is it better to make a one-time or monthly donation?


A: Whichever choice is right for you and helps maximize your donation.


Q: Will you accept checks?


A. Yes. Mail a check (payable to “Mt. Washington PTA”) to the school office at MWE, 3981 San Rafael Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065.


Q: Does MWPTA accept donations from non-Mt. Washington Elementary members?


A: Absolutely. We accept donations from relatives, friends, anyone who might want to contribute.


Q: Why do we have fundraisers?


A: Fundraising is essential to provide the high quality of education that is offered to all students at Mt. Washington Elementary. Because we are not a Title I school, we often lack the funding to provide some essential educational supports. As such, fundraisers are held throughout the year to help bridge the budget gap between what we raise from Direct Appeal and what is needed to fund all of our programs. These events are generally fun for the kids and a great way for the parents to connect with our Mt. Washington community.


Q: Who do I contact if I have questions about Direct Appeal?


A: We hope these explanations help you understand what Direct Appeal is and why we hold this critical fundraiser year after year. But if you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to email June Yang at


Click here to make your contribution online now.

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