COMMENTARY: A poetic plea to support the work of Partners in Education

Marie Koltchak invokes the rhymes of Dr. Seuss to remind islanders of the upcoming PIE phonathon.

In this commentary, to be read aloud to the beat of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham,” Partners In Education (PIE) board member Marie Koltchak whimsically reminds the community to support the upcoming PIE Phonathon, which will take place from Oct. 11 to 15.

I am Ask. Ask I am.

That Ask-I-am, that Ask-I-am, I do not like that Ask-I-am.

Would you like a funding task?

I do not want one Ask-I-am, these funding tasks are not my jam.

Would you like it here or there?

I would not like one here or there. I would not like one anywhere. I do not like these funding tasks, I do not like them, please don’t ask.

Would you, could you, on the phone? With your family or alone?

I do not like them on the phone, with my family or alone. I do not like them here or there, I do not like them anywhere. I would not like a funding task, now leave me be and let me bask.

Would you like a phonathon? In October on Vashon? Could you, would you take the call, give an amount big or small? Could you, would you with your pen, donate to PIE again? No middleman, no gloom and doom, your money goes to the classroom. Could you answer for the schools, for supplemental classroom tools? Would you, could you just agree, that direct funding is the key? You do not want to, so you say. Try it, try it, and you may. Try it and you may I say.

Ask! If you will only let me be, I will answer you will see. I will donate what I can and join this giving caravan. And in order to stay cool, I’ll donate for the good of schools. You say the money goes to teachers, for special extras, for materials. For field trips, books and extra wishes, for counting one fish, two fish, salmon fishes. For art and math and science too, Olympia, aquariums and the zoo. For helping teachers at this time, adapt to turning on a dime. Assisting kids stay academic, while teaching during a pandemic…

Say! I do so like the funding task! Thank you, thank you, for the ask.

PIE is an all-volunteer organization whose goal is to enhance the learning environment in island public schools. PIE’s mission is simple: we finance grants for activities and materials identified by those closest to the educational process — local teachers. Since 1987, supporters have donated more than $1.35 million and helped PIE fund more than 1,350 grants.

All Vashon public school district teachers, as well as staff and community members, are invited to submit grant proposals for specific needs and opportunities not addressed in the district budget. Requests are assessed on educational value, innovation, need and impact. Proposals are evaluated by PIE board members in late fall and grant money is distributed and used that school year. For more information, visit