The History of the Wellesley Education Foundation
1984 - 1994
The Wellesley Education Foundation (WEF), originally established as the Citizens of Wellesley Public Education (CWPE), began its mission in 1984 – at a time when public schools in the state of Massachusetts faced drastic budget cuts and the departure of many educators.
During its formative years, it awarded its initial grants and hosted the first Annual Spelling Bee – an event that has become a time-honored tradition each November.
WEF formally became known as the Wellesley Education Foundation in 1993.
1995 - 2005
During the mid 1990's, WEF began a focused effort to broaden its impact – resulting in a significant increase in its funding assets.
The Permanent Fund was established in 1996, endowed with $25,000. The Fund further grew in 1998, when ten donors each contributed $10,000 – forming the Bradford Society. By 2004, the Permanent Fund had reached $1 million in assets.
This era also marked the launch of the Red Apple Program in 2000, which has become a staple WEF fundraiser.
2006 - 2021
For the past 15 years, WEF has continued to grow as an organization and to increase its impact in the Wellesley Public Schools.
In 2013, the Permanent Fund reached $2 million in assets, and in 2018, WEF surpassed $2 million in historical funding.
In the 2020-21 school year, WEF launched a partnership with local scientists and school administrators to support the implementation of one of the first public-school viral testing programs in the nation. The COVID-19 Innovation Fund provided $600K in funding for this endeavor.