The Waltham Family School (WFS) was originally funded by a federal Willwhat_we_doiam Gooding Even Start Family Literacy grant. In 2011, Congress unexpectedly defunded the Even Start program. As part of a comprehensive sustainability plan, WFS and the Superintendent of Waltham Public Schools collaborated with the Waltham School Committee and the Mayor to include a line item in the Waltham Public School budget to partially cover WFS’s expenses.

The Waltham community recognized that in order to maintain and expand the program, there would need to be an organization focused solely on outreach and fund development. The Friends of the Waltham Family School, Inc. was created to assist with the sustainability plan to fill the remaining finances needed to fully fund WFS’s operating budget. FWFS received official non-profit 501(c)(3) status in June, 2014.

Through their work, the Friends assist in raising 34% of the annual operating budget for WFS, overseeing the outreach program including:

  • Annual appeals
  • Fundraising Events
  • Online presence such as social media and website

View the Annual Report:

2016-2017 FWFS Annual Report.

2015-2016 FWFS Annual Report.

2014-2015 FWFS Annual Report.

Please join the FWFS in our work to level the playing field by narrowing the achievement gap for non-English speaking families in Waltham.

Donate today


Board of Directors

The FWFS Board of Directors consists of the officers, the Program Coordinator (ex officio), and 5 members at large.


  • Tom Maehl, President
  • David King, Treasurer
  • Tracy McMahon, Clerk


  • Marina Paige Bartley
  • Mary Beth Kirsch
  • Bonnie Newman
  • Amy Schaffer
  • Kate Tranquada
  • Elaine Wong
  • Dr. Drew Echelson, Waltham Public Schools *
  • Britta McNemar, Waltham Family School *

* Ex Officio

Advisory Council

  • Larry Bailis, Brandeis University
  • Elizabeth Brach, Educational Consultant
  • Debra Brush, Family Access of Newton
  • Gabriela Canepa, Breaking Barriers
  • Constance Counts, Community Advocate
  • Marci Diamond, Diamond Family Circus
  • Kaytie Dowcett, School Committee & Waltham Partnership for Youth
  • Rabbi David Finkelstein, Temple Beth Israel
  • John Frassica, School Committee
  • Keith Gilbert, Park Lodge Hotel Group
  • Francisca Guevara, Charles River Community Health
  • Teresa Guzman, WFS Alumna
  • Rachel Kramer Theodorou, Brandeis University
  • Kelly Linehan, Waltham Public Library
  • Kristen Lucken, Brandeis University
  • Jeannette MacInnes, Bentley University
  • Bob Marcou, Marcou Jewelers
  • Marie McKenzie, WPS, retired
  • Marci McPhee, Brandeis University
  • Mithra Merryman, Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Alla Ovechkis, Rockland Trust
  • Linda Rapciak, The Meadowbrook School
  • Mary Jo Rendon, Waltham High School
  • Nuria Sanchez, WFS Alumna
  • Delia Soza, WFS Alumna
  • Mary Sprogell, Whittemore Elementary School
  • Tom Stanley, Massachusetts State Representative
  • Nadene Stein, Waltham Public Schools
  • Pat Vasquezi, WPS, retired
  • Carlos Vidal, Waltham City Council
  • Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, City of Waltham *

* Ex Officio

Grants and Donors

FWFS works to connect the local community with parents and children learning English. Support comes from many individuals, corporations, faith communities and grants:


Foundation for MetroWest awarded FWFS a 2014 Family Support Grant to expand Waltham Family School’s Interactive Literacy Program.

Jones Partnership Fund First Parish in Waltham awarded a grant in support of the project, Immigrant Families Learning Together.