Beechwood School serves K-8 students in East Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. It was originally founded by 3 families who were involved in the Scouting program, and recognized that the boys entering their troop from East Menlo Park were behind in their reading skills. They set up the school, and have built it into an amazing place that provides excellent support for their students.
Very early Thursday morning (4 AM, well before anyone was on campus), a pinched cord on an oven in the administrative building shorted out, causing a fire that destroyed the building. Since the campus is a series of modular buildings, fortunately damage was contained to the one building (which also housed the Third Grade classroom).
Beechwood has been supported by both the Outreach Board of First Congregational Church and the Palo Alto Congregational Foundation. Members of the church serve on the Board of Directors, and we’ve volunteered twice as a church to help with work days on campus.
So, while it wasn’t exactly as if there were a fire at the school where I went to Third Grade, it still hurts, much more so for the staff and students who do find a home at Beechwood. The school is insured, and I hope the ~$400,000 in losses will be covered, but the time spent dealing with the damage and recovery, the losses from the school days without instruction, the lesson plans and other “sentimental” items won’t be covered. Beechwood could use you any support you can provide, financial or moral.