As the working mother of three children, the proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child,” has always rung true for me. Coaches, Scout leaders, teachers, neighbors, family, friends — all of these people will shape and color my children, providing them with experiences, knowledge and role models that my husband and I alone could not offer. That’s why raising children in La Cañada has always seemed like such a very special privilege — because this truly is a village and we depend on each other.

As I begin my year as the president of the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation, I am inspired by the generosity of our “village.” Not only do we spend the time being there for others, but we spend our resources ensuring that our schools and our children can continue to be successful.

During the 2011-12 school year, this generosity resulted in contributions to the foundation that will allow a gift of $2.1 million to be made to our school district, preserving critical positions and programs in all five of our schools. What a wonderful silver lining to the ever-present dark cloud of public school funding that hangs over our heads. Our village came together, took matters into its own hands and did what needed to be done.

But the ominous dark cloud of underfunded public education remains, and will do so for the foreseeable future. And while we took a moment to celebrate our fundraising success, we must clear the decks and begin our work again — our work to keep this village a place where children thrive, a place where homes retain their value, a place where you can count on others to do the right thing for the greater good. They are our schools. It is our future. It’s up to us — all of us.

Paris Cohen
La Cañada Flintridge