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Major Donation from Masons Makes Scholarships, Reading Program Possible

Presenting the donation
San Diego City Council Member Marti Emerald, left, joins San Diego Unified Board President Dr. John Lee Evans, Superintendent Bill Kowba, and John Heisner, Grand Orator, Masons of California.

The Masons of California have donated $178,000 to support reading and scholarship programs around the county, including schools in the San Diego Unified School District.

Through the Raising A Reader Literacy Partnership, California Masons are bringing the award-winning Raising A Reader literacy program to kindergarten classrooms in the lowest-performing public schools throughout the state, turning the page for literacy and increasing life opportunities for thousands of children at risk for learning failure. Masons’ donations are enabling this acclaimed program to reach hundreds of California public school students for the first time.

The fraternity’s Investment in Success Scholarship Program, which launched last spring, provides college scholarships for deserving high school seniors who demonstrate an active pursuit of education in spite of significant obstacles. Students who receive these scholarships demonstrate exemplary character, drive, and scholastic potential, despite challenges in their homes or communities.

Board of Education President Dr. John Lee Evans and Superintendent Bill Kowba were joined by San Diego City Council Member Marti Emerald to accept the check from John Heisner, Grand Orator, Masons of California during a March 26 ceremony at Central Elementary School in City Heights.

The Masons of California have helped make public education a focal issue in California since their 1920 introduction of Public Schools Week, now celebrated statewide as Public Schools Month each April. The donation to support teachers and students in San Diego County schools is presented as part of the fraternity’s annual Public Schools Month kickoff celebration. Events will be held throughout California this March and April, with statewide donations amounting to more than $750,000.

To learn more about the Masons of California/Raising A Reader partnership, please visit: http://www.freemason.org/RaisingAReader or contact the California Masonic Foundation at foundation@freemason.org.