The Slice – Spring 2015

The Slice

Thank You

Thank you. Two simple words that sum up our strong feeling of gratitude at this time of year. Thank you to all the amazing PiE donors—over 4,500 of us—who helped PiE reach our ambitious target and give $5.3 million to Palo Alto Unified School District. Thank you also to the hundreds of wonderful PiE volunteers who helped make our campaign so successful.

With your support, Palo Alto Unified can continue funding the people and programs that help make our schools not just effective, but also personal, warm, and special environments in which children can learn and grow.

We are so happy to thank our donors, but we think an even more effective way to thank you all is to let you hear from Palo Alto students about their experience with the people and programs that are made possible only with funding from PiE.

So please take a minute from your busy spring to connect with these student voices and join us in appreciating our wonderful community here in Palo Alto, which values our children and supports our thriving and dynamic schools.

The Yang FamilyIn addition, we would like to thank our most recent alumni parents and donors, Jenny Kuan and Larry Yang, for their commitment to PiE. For the Yang family, supporting PiE comes from their belief that Palo Alto students need help from counselors and other caring adults to make appropriate course choices, persevere through difficulties, and build community. You can read more about all our donors, including the Yang family, on our Donor Profiles page.

Gratitude to PiE from High School Students

We’ve highlighted just a few of the thousands of students at our eighteen school sites that have been directly impacted by donations to PiE from caring parents, grandparents, community members, businesses and others. As we head into summer, we wish you a wonderful restful break and an exciting start to your next school year. And please know that the programs and services, the enrichment and connections, the support and caring provided by staff funded by PiE donations will be here awaiting your children when you return. Have a wonderful summer, and thank you for being part of the PiE community this year!

Gunn: Thanks to PiE for engaging electives and counseling support

At Gunn, PiE funds PiE funds guidance counselors that help students make appropriate course choices, as well as college and career counselors that support students on the road to and through graduation. PiE also funds engaging electives and the language lab, which allows students to practice key language skills to reinforce and extend classroom lessons.

Carolyn“The Gunn language lab is a great resource for students like me who are learning a language for the first time. We visit the language lab once a week, where we can do the online activities to reinforce what we’re learning in class, and practice for quizzes and tests.”
— Carolyn, Gunn freshman
 

“My Gunn counselor can pick me out in a crowd. After meeting her just once, she knew my name and recognized me on campus. She genuinely cares about me and encourages me to lead a balanced life.”
— Brianna, Gunn

Paly: Thanks to PiE for STEM electives that help students build real world skills

At Paly, PiE funds elective classes that give students real world experiences and that carry over into college and beyond, as well as guidance counselors and career and college counselors.

Billian“Living in the hub of the tech world, I took functional programming to learn computer skills that might help me in the future for applying to jobs. Plus, programming is in everything, from apps like Instagram and Facebook, to solving problems and doing massive things with robots and spaceships. Mostly it’s just good to know the gist of programming because I live in Silicon Valley.”
— Gillian, Paly sophomore

Jacob“Writing, directing, and filming our own movies in film production elective was a great learning experience because it required me to go out of my comfort zone. I usually don’t like to write, but I found that being able to choose my own topic and style made the process more enjoyable.”
— Jacob, Paly freshman, on Video Production Elective

Gratitude to PiE from Middle School Students

JLS: Thanks for exciting electives, music and language

At JLS, PiE funds pay for exciting electives such as video production and broadcast media, which open new doors for students and ‘hook’ them into learning.

Charlie“PiE-funding has shaped my life. Last semester I took a Video Production class, where I learned everything I need to know to make movie. After I finished the class, my great and inspiring teacher encouraged me to move on to the Broadcast Media elective, which has been by far my personal favorite class ever. Without PiE funding, I would not have had the opportunity to be exposed to these new interests. Thank you, PiE.”
— Charlie, seventh grader, JLS

Jordan: Thanks for exciting electives, music and language

At Jordan, PiE funds allow the school to offer a broad range of electives such as world languages, music and video production and to reduce class size so that students get more attention from elective teachers.

Paige“Some of my favorite electives at Jordan are Spanish because we learn about foreign languages, customs and cultures and Video Production because we work with cameras and other hi-tech video equipment. Oh, and don’t forget art because we made some really cool pieces, now displayed in my home and around campus.”
— Paige, seventh grader, Jordan

Eve“The wheel was the best part of 6th grade. I loved being able to rotate through a new elective class every 6 weeks. I enjoyed art so much in 6th grade, I decided to take two art electives in 7th grade. It’s fun to be able to be in school and have choices in things I love to do!”
— Eve, sixth grader, Jordan

Gratitude to PiE from Palo Alto Elementary Students

Hoover: Thanks for hands on science, art and classroom aides

At Hoover, PiE pays for Spectra art teachers that help kids learn visual arts, as well as instructional assistants that plan and teach hands on science lessons to all students.

Rishi and Kenji“We got a Spectra Art new teacher and we got to make stuff out of clay. I like when we get to use clay, and I like drawing.”

“We do science four days a week. I liked when we got to dissect a sheep’s heart. And we get to make rock candy, too!”
— Rishi and Kenji, twins in 5th grade

Fairmeadow: Thanks for hands on science, art and classroom aides

At Fairmeadow, PiE pays for a full time science lab instructor to create engaging, hands on lessons on science.

Ava“I am grateful for PiE because I love science lab. We made a working circuit using a battery and it was my favorite thing so far this year!”
— Ava, 4th grade

Duveneck: Thanks for hands on science, art and classroom aides

At Duveneck, PiE pays for 80% of the aides who lower the adult-student ratio in the classroom and give students additional help where needed.

Thayer“I like PiE because it gives money for aides in the classrooms, and I like having more people available to help.”
— Thayer, 5th grade