Located just a few blocks from The Record Pub above Oaks Bottom and the Willamette River, Llewellyn Elementary School has been serving the educational needs of Sellwood-Moreland and Southeast Portland for the better part of a century.

We’ve been so proud to partner with the school in the past, raising money for its foundation through a neighborhood pancake fundraiser as part of our one-year anniversary celebration in the summer of 2023. And when we developed our Community Trivia Nights to expand on those efforts to help raise funds for even more organizations in our neighborhood and beyond, we once again wanted to involve our local elementary school.

As part of Community Trivia Night at The Record Pub, every Wednesday in March we’ve been helping raise money for the Llewellyn Foundation, the school’s fundraising arm that helps fund a variety of needs in the school each year. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) and is part of The Fund for PPS, which fundraises for a wide range of activities within the Portland Public Schools district.

Each year the Llewellyn Foundation raises funds that help provide in-school staff support. With continuing educational cuts at the state level and increasing student-per-teacher ratios, the foundation focuses on funding the extra support needed to better balance those numbers while directly impacting the students with a better educational experience.

“Each year we fundraise to bring in more personnel to support our classrooms,” said Carleen Drago Starr, a board member for the Llewellyn Foundation. “We help support educational assistants in the classroom with extra funding.”

One-third of the money the Llewellyn Foundation raises goes to The Fund for PPS. According to Drago Starr, those funds are routed for initiatives at other schools that are less served by community support or that have a shortfall in fundraising.

While each school in the district has its own priorities as to what gets funded, Llewellyn focuses on supporting positions like teachers’ assistants that help serve students better, especially at a time when the student-to-teacher ratios can be over 30. Adding more resources through the foundation’s fundraising efforts helps promote a better connection and learning experience for the students.

“We’re really focused on trying to provide educational support across the entire school,” Drago Starr said.

The foundation funds are sometimes used to subsidize opt-in programs that are partially funded by the state, but not fully, such as music, art and library studies.

The Llewellyn Foundation has one large fundraiser each year, as it annually puts on Run Llewellyn, a fun run-a-thon. The foundation also works with community organizations on dine-outs, with a near-term goal of returning to even more in-person events that help raise money and awareness for the foundation. It also relies on individual donations, which can be made on the foundation’s website.

And, of course, you can come out to one of our remaining Community Trivia Nights in March if you want to help. We have general knowledge trivia coming up Wednesday, March 20, and music/pop culture trivia on Wednesday, March 27.

Or if you can’t make it to one of those, join us this July when we host our second-annual pancake feed to benefit the Llewellyn Foundation at The Record Pub!