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 Ridgewood  Education  Foundation 
Enhancing Education

The Ridgewood Education Foundation is an independent 501c3 organization, whose mission is to collaborate with District Administration and Educators, and the Board of Education to enhance public education in Ridgewood, NJ. 



The mission of Ridgewood Education Foundation  (REF) is to collaborate with the District Administration and Educators, the Home and School Associations and the Board of Education to enhance public education in Ridgewood, NJ.

REF seeks opportunities to support projects with district wide reach, and events that bond our increasingly diverse community. REF also provides funding for innovative programs that enhance the educational experience of smaller groups within the district. Please see the Grants Application for additional information. 

The REF was established in 1989 to provide private funds to enhance the experiences of students in the Ridgewood Public Schools.  Initially most grants were small and localized to a single school or even classroom. In 2013 the REF boldy decided to broaden the scope of its investments and raise the impact of its initiatives. It also determined to raise awareness for the importance of private funding in securing and maintaining the tradition of excellence for which Ridgewood Public schools are known.

Recent grants from REF have supported a great range of initiative including  a leadership grant to fund the new Learning Commons at RHS, an extensive renovation of the old (and old style) high school library into a modern flexible learning space, and funding for the district’s first phases of foundational infrastructure to prepare for the new STEM curriculum. This multi- year initiative included funding for Chromebooks to establish a 1:1 ratio first at RHS and later the middle schools and elementary schools.  The significance of this forward thinking became evident during the Pandemic when all learning became remote. Every student in the district had their own Chromebook and was able to continue learning because they were already familiar with the technology. In addition to these major initiatives REF also continued to make small grants such as providing an innovative yoga program for our students on the autism spectrum, or archery equipment to the middle schools.  REF has deepened and redefined its role in the life of the community by supporting dynamic community-building events such as Super Science Saturday, The REEL Voices Documentary Series, and the Wellness Speaker Series; and also by offering celebrations such as Oktoberfest and Winterfest, that help bring the whole community together.

The REF raises funds through the generous support of individuals and local businesses in order to achieve these goals. 

The Ridgewood Education Foundation is an IRC § 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. All contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.






REF is committed to raising private funds to support innovative programs at both the classroom and district level . Through our Grants program we make it possible for educators an administrators to apply for funding they might not otherwise have access to through the district budget.

Grants applications should meet one or more of the following important criteria:

  • That fund broadly focused initiatives that support new technologies, STEAM and other new related curricula;

  • That advance the District’s curriculum through the purchase of infrastructure and other equipment needed for innovative learning;

  • That enhance educational excellence in Ridgewood through innovative programs.

  • That build community.




- Groundbreaking grant in support of Peer Village


Wellness Speaker Series

First WinterFest Virtual Event Series


-  STEAM- Lazer Cutters printers

-  Physics and Engineering Materials for RHS 9-12

-Provided Rutgers Science Bus to BFMS grade 6

First Phone-a-thon Fundraiser bringing together current students, parents, alumni and others to raise money and awareness for REF.


- Oktoberfest '22 raised $57,000


- Reel Voices Documentary Film         Festival


- $30,000 for Elementary School MakerSpace

- $23,000 for 9-12 Physics and Engineering Materials 

- Wellness Speaker Series

- Super Science Saturday

- Reel Voices Documentary Series

Awarded $20,000 from the Columbia Bank Foundation

3rd Oktoberfest


Passed $1M mark  in grants made to the District

- Recording Studio Grant to   RHS

- Continued 1:1 Chromebook     funding

-  Middle School Makerspace     Grant

-Wellbeing Speaker Series 

-Reel Voices Documentaries    

-Super Science Saturday 

-Awarded $1,000 from Wells Fargo


- $85,000 to modernize classrooms at BFMS and GWMS for the new STEM curriculum

-$50,000 to fund 1:1 Chromebook initiative

-$5000 Global Classrooms at RHS

-Reel Voices Documentary 


- $150,000 for Chromebooks at RHS

-3D Printer for RHS Makerspace Studio

-Teen Leads Program

-Super Science Saturday 

-1st Oktoberfest: community wide celebration



The support of our donors ensures that the tradition of innovation and excellence in public education in Ridgewood continues.  


Please help us show our appreciation by supporting their businesses!






 Columbia Bank Foundation 


Ernst & Young


Jennifer McGee Designs~The Wine Seller~ Reno's Appliances~ Onyx Equities

Nancy Ricca~Backwoods~Ridgewood Tree Corporation~ Hammer & Nail~ The DeVita Family

Federated HSA


Jennie Smith Wilson~ Home Supply~ Park West Tavern~ Doherty Inc.~ Sheila Brogan and Bill Reilly~ Thomas Flint Landscape Design and Development~ Precision Orthodontics~ Messineo & Messineo~

Health Barn USA~ Van Dyk Health Care~ Tarleton Landscaping Company~ Rhee Plastic Surgery~

Rise Fitness~ Share, Inc~ Wegman's Food Markets~ West Ridgewood Dental~Wostbrock Home~

West Side Nursery School


Campgaw Mountain~ Printology~ Artisan Builders~ State Farm/John Dominiani~

Clemente Orthodontics~ Huntington Learning Centers/Ridgewood~

Janis Furhman/Terrie O'Connor Realtors~ Paredes/Grube Architects~ Pomptonian~ Z+ Architects~

Spring Lake Day Camp~ Eileen Phelps~ Ridgewood Alumni Association~ Veenstra & Sons


REF_logo_HD aug19.png


OCTOBER 1-3, 2019


On the evenings of Oct 1, 2 and 3 members of the trustees, student and other community volunteers called district families asking for your support. Thanks to the many families who contributed, we raised more than $27,000! 


It's not too late to participate! The more money we raise, the more we are able to grant back to the district to fund important initiatives that impact all Ridgewood students. 

Mail a check to: The Ridgewood Education Foundation, 49 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ 07450 or use the DONATE button on this site to make an on-line donation.

THANK YOU again, on behalf of all the students, teachers and administrators who depend on your generosity.

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