Opinion

PIE celebrates 25 years, hosts phonathon

This year we are celebrating a momentous occasion in our volunteer organization. As we mark our 25th anniversary, Partners in Education has funded just over $1 million in grants for our Vashon public schools.

This small volunteer board was started by concerned community members whose goal was to ask teachers to write grants they felt would most enhance curriculum and stimulate and motivate our children.  The board’s composition is in many ways the same, and the goal has not changed.

We know teachers understand their classroom needs best. Although any staff member can submit a proposal, most of our grant requests come directly from the teachers. Grants are funded based on creativity, innovation, educational value, need and broad impact on students. In 2011, PIE received $54,000 in donations and funded 43 grants.

Grants enabled children at Chautauqua Elementary School to scientifically explore Island forests and paid for playaway audio books. They supported  girls at McMurray Middle School attending a science and technology conference and covered expenses for a field trip to the state Capitol for all eighth graders. At Vashon High School, PIE grants paid for American Studies reference books and debate resources. PIE also funds a portion of the Artists in the Schools program. Visit www.VashonPie.org for a complete list of recent grants.

Community volunteers once again will help PIE make calls on Oct. 9, 10 and 11 to request donations. Please answer the call and contribute what you can.

As budget cuts continue to affect our public schools, PIE looks for ways to engage children and rekindle teachers’ enthusiasm. Many of our best grants are for lesser dollar amounts. No donation is too small. Your tax-deductible donation can be made online at www.VashonPIE.org or mailed to PIE at P.O. Box 1645.   For more information, email Ingrid Petersons at Ingrid.M.Petersons@comcast.net.

Thank you, Vashon residents, for attending last month’s Vashon Sheepdog Classic, which benefits PIE, and for your amazing and ongoing support of our public schools.

 

— Ingrid Petersons is the president of PIE.

 

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