We have a fresh new logo!
Thanks to CRLS parent and FOCRLS volunteer Carolyn Duffy for her time and talent!

Welcome to
Friends of CRLS (FOCRLS)

A Note from Our Executive Director

Dear Friends of CRLS,

Feeling down about the way disrespect and backward thinking make it a necessity to knock back a couple of ibuprofen before starting your day?

Allow me to suggest an antidote:  Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.  We’re not perfect, but we do a pretty darn good job of upholding our school’s the core values:  Opportunity, Diversity, Respect.  Here these words actually mean something.

At Friends of CRLS we try every day to harness the best impulses of our community on behalf of the people in whom we invest our hopes for a humane and just future:  our students. We are Cambridge.  And we are truly Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

As you can see in our brand new Annual Report (click here to read), many of our College Scholarship awardees have plans to solve some of the world’s woes.  Student Travel Fellowships and Faculty Innovation Grants open students’ eyes to ways their learning can be applied to solving problems on a local and global scale through the arts, humanities, technologies, and sciences and through direct contact with cultures, politics, languages, and environments.  Unsung Heroes Awards and Faculty Distinction Awards recognize inspiration, motivation, compassion, and communication. To paraphrase a timeless pop song, what the world needs now is more of all of the things we love about CRLS.  Your support plays a part in making it possible for bright, motivated, concerned CRLS grads to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to have a positive impact on the world.


Elaine Schear, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Friends of CRLS

Our Mission

The mission of the Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School is to develop, support, and enrich the academic and social development programs at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and to support the alumni of CRLS and its predecessor schools. In so doing, FOCRLS promotes achievement and a greater community investment in the future of CRLS, its current students, and its graduates. Friends of CRLS is a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) non-profit association founded by two CRLS parents in 2006.


Friends of CRLS Student Travel Fellows on an Expedition to Ecuador

(1/3/18)  Friends of CRLS is thrilled to be awarding a total of $13,000 to six students traveling to Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands over February school vacation.  Students will partake in service learning by helping schoolchildren in an Ecuadorian community and journey into the wildlife wonders of the Galapagos on this school-authorized group trip led by CRLS teachers Annan Lopata and Laura Chiricosta.

Faculty Innovation Grants 2018

Friends of CRLS is delighted to congratulate the 2017/18 school year awardees of our Faculty Innovation Grants!  Thanks to numerous generous donors, FOCRLS was able to award a total of $12,415 (a $4,195 increase over last year).  These grantees bring the grand total of teachers and staff members receiving Faculty Innovation Grantees to 191 since 2007.  Please visit focrls.org to support innovation at CRLS.

Our 10th Year Annual Report is Here!
Winner of “Best in Annual Reports @ FOCRLS”
Good Read – Great Photos

We’re delighted to share our Limited Edition 10th Year Annual Report!  CLICK HERE to view our Annual Report online.  Highlights include reportage of our 10th Year Birthday Bash, quotations from and photos of our scholarship awardees, and details about how we raised over $200,000 this past fiscal year to support opportunities at CRLS.

We’re Having a Bash!
Save the Date!:  March 29, 2018
Friends of CRLS’s 2nd Annual Bash
Host / Location:  Google, Kendall Square

Last year, our first Bash was a smash!  Hosted and catered by Google, the event – which sold out a week in advance – drew 250 guests, student entertainers, and luminaries and featured delicious food and great door prizes.  Best of all, the Bash raised over $50,000 to support CRLS student success!  Please help us make our second annual Bash our second annual smash by spreading the word, buying tickets early (at the beginning of February), and joining our planning team, where there are lots of roles for all.  The next planning team meeting is November 8. Want to join the team or have questions about the Bash?  Contact [email protected] or 857.235.9290.

For information about tickets, sponsorships, or donations, contact [email protected] or 857.235.9290.

5% Day and $17,840 for FoCRLS from Whole Foods

Student volunteers at 5% Day at Whole Foods, River Street

Student volunteers at 5% Day at Whole Foods, River Street.

April 6 was 5% Day for Friends of CRLS at Whole Foods Market stores, a four-location event that earned our organization a donation total of $17,840!  All proceeds benefit the students, grads, and faculty of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.  Student and adult volunteers attended FoCRLS tables at all four participating stores — Prospect StreetRiver Street, and Fresh Pond in Cambridge as well as Beacon Street in Somerville — representing CRLS and FoCRLS and reminding shoppers that 5% of their entire purchase helps bring opportunities to Cambridge’s only public high school.  On May 26, there was an official presentation at the Fresh Pond store with a giant check bearing the donation amount.  FoCRLS Executive Director Elaine Schear says that the Whole Foods contribution is “the kind of generous corporate investment in our whole student community that will have a broad impact on their learning and aspirations. Students and parents came out in force to be a presence in the stores throughout the day on April 6th.They understand the significance.”  Thank you to Cambridge and Somerville Whole Foods Marketing & Community Liaison Matthew Keller, the managers and team members of the four stores, our student and adult volunteers, and everyone who shopped that day!

Slideshow about FoCRLS
Friends of CRLS’s new slideshow, which features photos of many of our awardees, is a great overview of our programs, impact, outreach, and fundraising. We hope you will take a few moments to scroll through the .pdf of the Friends of CRLS slideshow here.

FOCRLS’ Newest Student Prize Announced!
We are excited to announce the newest student prize: The Calvin Hicks Memorial Award for the Study of Music. Please support this award generously in its inaugural year!

FOCRLS’ Newest Scholarship Announced!
We are excited to announce the newest student scholarship: The Rose and Victor Rifkin Family Scholarship. Please support this scholarship to help the next generation reach the American dream.

InvestCRLS Campaign Announced!
InvestCRLS is a new community-opportunity campaign to close in on the opportunity and achievement gaps at CRLS and unleash the diverse and extraordinary talents of our 1800+ students. It includes a new major donor ($1,000+) campaign and an exciting “100 x 100” business initiative. … Continue Reading

Donate to ​the FOCRLS General Fund Donate to 100 by 100


FoCRLS Scholarship Committee Chair Neil Rosenburg with a scholarship recipient at the Scholarship and Award Night ceremony

FoCRLS Scholarship Committee Chair Neil Rosenburg with a scholarship recipient at the Scholarship and Award Night ceremony.

A recipient and her family at the Scholarship Night collation.

A recipient and her family at the Scholarship Night collation.

Nell Beram listens to HSEP Principal Mawakana Onifade at the FoCRLS House Party on April 10.

Nell Beram listens to HSEP Principal Mawakana Onifade at the FoCRLS House Party on April 10.


CRLS Principal Damon Smith (far left, standing) with members of the Boards of the Harvard Square Business Association and FOCRLS. (Photo credit: Larry Aaronson)


CRLS Alumni enrolled at UMass Boston participate in a luncheon with UMass Boston Chancellor Dr. Keith Motley and others in UMass Boston’s college success activities: from left to right, Daniel Noel, FOCRLS’ It Takes a Village Project/Cambridge College Success Initiative On-site College Counselor; Fahim Sinha, CRLS 2011; Dr. Keith Motley, Chancellor; Evan Cooke, CRLS 2010; Liliana Mickle, Special Assistant to the Vice Provost, Academic Support Services & Undergraduate Studies, and member of FOCRLS It Takes a Village project Advisory Committee.

FOCRLS goes to Google Cambridge.

FOCRLS goes to Google Cambridge — CRLS student reads a poem.

FOCRLS House Party with special guest Principal Smith.

CRLS seniors take part in a college success program sponsored by Friends of CRLS, called “It Takes a Village.”

Help us provide inspiration and opportunities for Cambridge high school students.