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    What is the Instructional Assistant (IA) Fund?

    The IA Fund is a community funded program for Instructional Assistants in K-2 classrooms at TOPS. This program has been a part of TOPS for more than 20 years and has provided critical classroom support to our school’s youngest students. Research shows that early academic intervention has a direct correlation to future student outcomes. At TOPS, we want to provide the highest level of support early in our programming to ensure all our students reach their full academic and social potential.

    How does it work?

    TOPS Kindergarten, First, and Second grade families make financial contributions to the IA Fund. Kindergarten, First, and Second grade parent representatives help manage the program, along with the TOPS Site Council (the governing body that helps guide TOPS), and school leadership. Every dollar donated to the IA Fund goes into the classroom.

    What does the IA Fund pay for?

    Instructional Assistants! Fully funded, the IA Fund pays for two-part time Instructional Assistants for each grade band (K-2), allowing for additional classroom support, lowering adult to student ratios and providing more individualized student engagement and enrichment. TOPS teachers and Instructional Assistants work collaboratively to improve learning for students.

    How much does it cost?

    Our goal is to raise $25,000 per grade to fund one part-time Instructional Assistant per classroom. We're asking Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade families to consider a gift of $1,000 per child to help us reach our goal. Because the money raised by each class is dedicated to that class, any money left over at the end of each year partially funds the next year. Tax deductible donations to the IA Fund can be paid in a lump sum or spread out in payments such as $250 per quarter or $83 a month for 12 months. If your employer matches charitable donations, let us know! Workplace giving programs are a great way to stretch every dollar you donate. Please contact Amy Astle-Raaen to set that up.

    What if our family can’t contribute $1,000?

    All gifts help us reach our goal! Donations of all sizes mean we get that much closer to raising what we need and help us reach 100% family participation. We know that families choose to give back by donating time and talents, which are equally valued and cherished at TOPS.

    Donating to the IA Fund is Simple

    1) Send a check to Friends of TOPS 2500 Franklin Ave E, Seattle WA 98102 and put IAFund and your child's name in the memo section.


    2) Donate online via credit card or PayPal to the fund for your grade below. Please add your child/children's name in the special instructions field.

    Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and the TOPS community.

    If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out directly to Ben Kelly (K-class of 2028), Nick Barnett (1st grade-class of 2027), or Heather Bauer (2nd grade-class of 2026) or email