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Answering the call, Schools Foundation Phone-a-Thon

Penny Yantis

On October 24 and 25 the phones across Mercer Island will be ringing. Two hundred volunteers are poised to participate at Phone-a-Thon, the Mercer Island Schools Foundation annual fundraising campaign. Friends will be calling friends and neighbors to solicit essential financial support for Mercer Island public schools. The Mercer Island Schools Foundation has its sight set high on an ambitious fundraising goal of $704,000 to support curriculum and instruction, enrichment and fine arts in every school. Every item on this year's Priority Fundraising List is considered essential to ensuring that all students meet district, state and federal standards for success.

After three years of research, study and piloting, the district's Literacy Adoption Committee recommended to the School Board that the Houghton-Mifflin reading materials be adopted. For the first time in 10 years, the district will have the same reading and writing materials in classrooms across the district. Selecting and purchasing new curriculum is expensive. Adequate funding of this priority will provide 50,000 books, materials and assessment tools for all students. This year the Mercer Island Schools Foundation is proud to partner with the school district and the Mercer Island community to make this Literacy Adoption a financial priority and a reality for our teachers and all students.

The Mercer Island Schools Foundation is uniquely positioned to engage the Mercer Island community in public education. The Foundation board works closely with administration, teachers, parents, community leaders and businesses to generate resources for education in our community. By mobilizing the community and by marshaling resources, we work to strengthen every Mercer Island school. Public engagement, community support and adequate resources are essential to the success of public education.

Schools cannot do it alone. They need their community to help provide children with great teachers and a great education. This Mercer Island community has already proven it cares tremendously about its public schools. Community donations benefit the entire school district beyond what is possible through local, state and federal appropriations. The future of public K-12 education depends on continued private funding, especially in Washington State where The National Center of Education Statistics ranks Washington 46th among 50 states in student teacher ratios and 46th in the amount of funding spent on K-12 education.

Gifts to the Mercer Island Schools Foundation are a powerful investment that benefits all the Mercer Island schools with an equitable distribution of resources. Your gift is critical because pooled dollars help our school district reach its educational goals and objectives. No matter the level of contribution, your financial commitment enriches young lives by helping provide learning environments where all students may reach their potential. With this in mind, when you are called during Phone-a-Thon, please give generously.

Penny Yantis, is the Executive Director of the Mercer Island Schools Foundation

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