The Dome School

Takilma community rallies to raise money to help the Dome School survive prolonged school closure

The Dome School

After launching GoFundMe campaign on Giving Tuesday, $3,415 of the $22,500 goal has been raised


Takilma, OR — For over 40 years The Dome School and Takilma Community Building have been at the heart of the Takilma community, educating generations of children and supporting the region.

In addition to being a school, it has served as a gathering space and local event center, nestled in the woods approximately 9 miles south of Cave Junction, Oregon.

Community-funded and operated, the Dome School is no stranger to tight budgets. But the prolonged school closure due to the pandemic has the organization and community center fighting to stay afloat.

On Giving Tuesday last week, supporters of the Dome School launched a GoFundMe campaign to help it survive this period and open back up when it’s able to.

Since the campaign went live 5 days ago, 31 people from across Josephine County, Oregon, and the country have contributed, raising $3,415 of the $22,500 goal.

“Not only is the Dome School a beloved and highly effective educational institution, it is the glue that holds together this 50-year-old, close-knit community,” said Kate Dwyer, Takilma resident and Board Member of the Three Rivers School District and the Takilma Community Association.

Due to physical distancing restrictions, the Dome School has not been able to run most of its annual fundraisers that would normally keep the school solvent. In the past, it’s survived through various fundraisers like the Dome of the Dead halloween fundraiser, Women’s Cafe in the spring, Winter Bizarre, and building rentals. None of these have been possible this year.

For many years the Dome School has worked hand-in-hand with families as a non-profit, parent co-operative PreSchool, and Elementary School to ignite a lifelong love of learning and a deep caring for the diversity of humanity and the natural world. By weaving together school, family, and community,the Dome School has created a sense of belonging that empowers children to be leaders in a changing world.

But 2020 has stopped the school right in its tracks.

The school and community gathering place, a host to a number of different needs and functions including the local food co-op, has been closed and hasn’t heard the pitter-patter of children’s feet since the pandemic led to closures in March.

While the school and buildings have been closed, the community of people it’s created over the years was still able to unite during the Slater Fire. Volunteers from around the area stepped up to cook, feed, and support the brave fire fighters and responders that worked tirelessly to keep Josephine County safe.

“The Dome School is a vital part of our community and history. It’s where we teach our kids and come together as a community. The school relies on tuition and community fundraisers to survive financially. Since March 2020 there has been no school or fundraisers,” said Jennifer Folkerts, whose 6-year-old daughter attends the school and is eager to return.

“We need to do everything we can to support the Dome School during this pandemic – so there’s still a school for our kids to return to.”