(August 7, 2012) PALO ALTO, CA – Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE) education foundation today launched its 2012-2013 fundraising campaign to support Palo Alto public schools. Download a PDF version of this press release.In response to ongoing California state budget cuts, PiE aims to give PAUSD schools $4.75 million this school year. The foundation’s annual campaign channels the generosity of parents, community members, and local businesses to help fund staff and programs in the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD). It runs through January, 2013 with the foundation’s resulting gift announced in March.
Donations to Palo Alto schools through PiE help underwrite scores of teachers, specialists, counselors, and aides each year. This year’s PiE campaign will subsidize critical initiatives for kids in every grade including: classroom aides; specialists in reading, math, science and the arts; student guidance; college and career counseling; and a rich array of electives ranging from music to industrial tech. In case of severe budget cuts, gifts to PiE may also be used to restore key programs and staff that would otherwise be lost.
“Palo Altans have a unique opportunity to preserve the academic excellence of our public schools,” said Terry Godfrey, president of the PiE education foundation. “Working together, we can fund the kinds of programs we want for our children but that the district can no longer afford given difficult economic circumstances. We can increase the number of caring adults on our campuses, provide hands-on arts and science, and a rich array of electives for kids to explore, and ensure that more counselors are available to support all our kids.”
“In the face of ongoing state budget cuts, donations to our schools through PiE have become a bedrock of support for PAUSD,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Skelly. “Every student in the district benefits from PiE dollars, which are allocated on a per student basis to provide funding at each school.”
PiE Fundraising Target Areas Reflect Needs at Every School Level
Each year, PiE updates its fundraising target areas based on detailed input from parents, teachers and administrators via surveys, focus groups and meetings. These annual targets reflect the funding needs at every school level from elementary through high school.
For elementary schools, the 2012-13 PiE campaign aims to enhance classroom staffing levels as well as science and art enrichment. This includes classroom aides, instructional assistants, reading/math specialists, and staff who support and enrich all students’ learning. Science enrichment includes programs and specialists who help science “come alive” for students through hands-on units. Enhancement in arts instruction includes trained staff to teach Spectra Art, music, and other enriching creative arts curriculum to elementary students.
For middle schools, the campaign will support student guidance, electives and teacher coaches. PiE grants fund staff and programs for academic guidance, social and emotional development, student connectedness, and grade-level transitions. PiE support also expands the breadth of electives by underwriting teaching staff and classroom support in courses such as music, creative writing, arts, broadcast journalism, and industrial technology. In addition, PiE funds middle school teacher coaches to foster better writing and reading instruction, as well as mentors who assist teachers in applying technology to curriculum within classrooms.
In the high schools, donations through PiE will underwrite increased staff for counseling, student guidance and added electives. Specifically, college and career counselors provide advisory and resource programs that help all students plan wisely for the future. Student guidance counselors help kids throughout their high school careers, fostering strong teacher/student connections and building student resilience. Additional career- focused elective courses funded by PiE donors include engineering, career/technology, media and the arts.
Last year, more than 4,600 families and community members together gave a record $4.5 million to Palo Alto schools through the PiE foundation. PiE funds are donated by generous families in the district who receive a direct appeal letter in their back-to-school packet. Local philanthropists and businesses who understand the value strong schools contribute to the community also support schools through PiE.
ABOUT PALO ALTO PARTNERS IN EDUCATION (PiE)
Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education foundation dedicated to supporting all Palo Alto public schools. PiE partners with parents, the school district, community members and businesses to raise funds that give all students in PAUSD the best education possible. Since PiE’s inception in 2004-05, it has donated almost $20 million to Palo Alto schools. Parents and community members interested in supporting Palo Alto schools via PiE may visit its website at www.papie.staging.wpengine.com.
Andrea Fleming, Palo Alto Partners In Education