Schools Foundation raises $418k

The Mercer Island Schools Foundation set a new record in Phone-a-Thon donations last week, earning $418,000 in its annual two-day fundraiser.

Gathering in the district administration building this year, nearly 90 staff members volunteers called Island residents on the first night, Oct. 28. More than 30 participated during the second night.

“I think parents may have picked up because they saw the school district was calling [on their caller ID] rather than Farmers Insurance,” said Lisa Strauch Eggers, who volunteered as a caller. “I didn’t have one person say they couldn’t give.”

“We had wonderful support this year and exceeded 2007,” agreed Superintendent Gary Plano, who volunteered during both nights of the Phone-a-Thon.

Since the Phone-a-Thon ended on Oct. 28, a number of residents have pledged funds on their own. The Foundation expects its total earnings to grow over the coming weeks.

Last year, the Schools Foundation earned $413,000 in Phone-a-Thon donations. Since its establishment in 1982, the Schools Foundation has raised annual money to supplement the MISD budget and provide education materials for all five Island schools. All funds are donated by Island citizens, corporations and businesses.

The Foundation hopes to raise a total of $732,644 this school year. These funds will go toward the district’s mission to “prepare students for the 21st century; the cognitive, global and digital world.” More specifically, the Foundation will support: “project-based” mathematics and “hands-on” science; new textbooks and curriculum; meeting 2008 state high school standards; encouraging “right-brain” thinking through the arts; before- and after-school learning programs, service learning, technology integration, Enrichment Grants for teachers as well as National Board Certification support and specialized AP training.

Donations can be made by phone at (206) 275-2550 or through the Schools Foundation Web site:

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