Education Lifestyle

Donations Needed for Franklin School Silent Auction

Franklin School Drama cast of Hearts Like Planets

By Natasha Anderson

The Franklin School of Innovation, a tuition-free charter public school in Asheville serving grades 5-12, is collecting donations for its bi-annual Gala and Silent Auction. All proceeds from the event, which takes place Saturday, March 2, directly benefit the school. Past donations have included a wide variety of items, including work by local artists, certificates for local restaurants, boutique hotel stays and other Asheville experiences.

With an EL (Expeditionary Learning) model, created collaboratively between Outward Bound and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Franklin School students learn through a service- and project-based curriculum that takes place on campus and in the community. Over the last decade, the school has grown from 280 students to 710, graduated six classes of seniors, opened the last phase of a larger, permanent building and state-of-the-art gym and expanded a number of services to allow all families access to the school. These include one of the largest bus transportation programs among charters across the state, a school nutrition program, and an afterschool program that provides scholarships based on income. The school does not receive public funding for these programs.

“All of this was accomplished through the support of teachers, families, community members and businesses,” says Franklin School executive director Michelle Vruwink, “with events including the Gala and Silent Auction helping to fill the gap between the cost of running the school and the public funding received.”

In addition to closing that gap (estimated at ten percent, or approximately $1,000 per student), the school is looking ahead to raising funds for an athletic field and space for a growing music program.

Franklin School is a 501(c)3 non-profit and donations are tax-deductible. To donate or sponsor the event, email

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