Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
Perry Township Schools is fortunate to have the support of our tight-knit community, which invests in our students through tutoring, volunteerism, mentoring, in-kind donations and financial contributions. One of the ways in which our students and teachers are supported is through the Perry Township Education Foundation – a grant making organization that raises funds to support innovative and creative programs to enhance learning.
Since its inception the foundation has funded more than $1.2 million in grants. Just last year it awarded 59 grants, which amounted to $62,000. Teachers are chosen after they apply and describe how the award will help them facilitate a specific project.
For example, first-grade teacher Shelley Dorris of Glenns Valley Elementary was awarded a grant to help her develop “Sci Fri,” an abbreviation for Science Friday. Through the program she invites a (secret) community guest (e.g. parent/guardian, administrator, civic leader) to lead a science demonstration while students assist, complete with lab coats and safety glasses. The goal of the exercise is to help students build interest in science-based curriculum that connects with other subject areas.
Mary Bryan Elementary teacher Erin Arashiro received a grant to bring “alternative seating” to students. Students can sit in a way that best fits their learning styles, including perched at a regular table, kneeling at a lowered table, standing at a high table, siting or laying on the floor or sitting on stability balls. By having the choice to study in a way that meets their unique learning styles, students are more likely to have improved achievement, according to many studies.
Grants originate from contributions. Some people choose to give directly to the foundation via online donations, planned giving or payroll contributions. Others help by sponsoring or registering for events like the Crafts and More Show, the golf outing or Running South. On April 22 the public can support the foundation by attending an entertaining basketball game between the Harlem Wizards and the Perry Township staff. Last year was the first time that we were treated to this hilarious matchup, and it was a real treat for the kids and kids at heart.
We also appreciate the foundation’s partnerships with organizations like Community Health Network, which provides a licensed nurse to work at every school clinic.
Not all support has to be monetary. The foundation is always looking for active, dedicated volunteers to assist with events, planning committees or daily administrative tasks. Foundation leaders are eager to match the talents and gifts of our community members with projects on its to-do list. It takes a village to be successful.
More information about the foundation and volunteer opportunities are available by visiting www.ptef.org.