Education brief

Phone-a-thon benefits Schools Foundation

Islanders pledged more than $424,373 in the Mercer Island Schools Foundation annual Phone-a-Thon, October 24 and 25.

Roughly 200 volunteers made more than 2,000 calls on those two evenings, asking for donations, said Carolyn Holm of the foundation. ``Now the money is pouring in and keeping me really busy,'' she said.

Each year the foundation aims to generate more donations than the previous year, and it met its goal in 2005. The pledges were $14,000 more than last year. The money is used to support curriculum, instruction and fine arts at all schools and is spent using a list of education and enrichment priorities established by the foundation and the Mercer Island School District.

All items on the foundation's priority list aim to ensure students meet state, local and federal standards, Holm said, and this year's priorities are estimated at $704,000. They include adopting Houghton-Mifflin reading and writing curriculum for K-5 schools and the middle school, purchasing algebra text books for the high school and funding technology training for teachers.

Since the Foundation was formed 24 years ago, it's distributed almost $7 million to Mercer Island Schools. The foundation's office is in the district administration building.

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