Park City Education Foundation celebrates 20th Anniversary
In 1986 the Park City Education Foundation (PCEF), a newly formed group of parents concerned with improving education in the Park City School District, presented its first scholarship and teacher grants within the district. In December of the same year, PCEF officially became a 501(c)3 organization and has since dedicated itself to raising funds to support programs benefiting students and teachers in Park City.
This year PCEF is celebrating its 20th anniversary, but the organization will not be commemorating in traditional cake and balloons style. Rather, PCEF plans to launch a community outreach campaign in conjunction with PCEF’s board of directors and involved educators in the school district to connect with parents and community members and enlighten them on an in-depth level about PCEF programs and successes.
"We want to let everyone in the community know we have been around for 20 years and we’ve done some great things," said PCEF Executive Director, Lynne Heinlein.
Additionally, the outreach program will give PCEF an opportunity to show people where the money from donations goes and how it is spent, said Monika Guendner, spokesperson for PCEF. The organization has provided more than $3 million to the school district over the past 20 years, reports a PCEF press release.
The program, scheduled to kickoff in August, will feature "field trips" each month in which community members and parents will be invited to attend an event highlighting a specific program supported by PCEF, followed by a tour of a classroom in the district that represents that program in some respect.
Also, several PCEF board members will attend each field trip, which will give parents and community members a chance to meet with board members face to face and to ask questions and voice their concerns, said Cynthia Bainbridge, PCEF President as of June 1.
PCEF will also provide information on its Web site, http://www.pcef4kids.org, for people who are interested but unable to attend the field trips.
Over the years, PCEF has reached many milestones. In 1991, for instance, the PCEF Endowment Fund was established to invest in Park City schools. Ten years later, in 2001, PCEF dedicated its mission to helping PCSD become a top 10 school district in the United States. The organization continues to work on this mission today.
Last year, PCEF revealed its first ‘report card’ evaluating the entire school district. Dubbed the Top 10 School District Report Card, it assesses Park City’s elementary, middle and high schools and will be used to track the district’s progress toward the ultimate goal of becoming a top 10 district. A PCEF timeline reports that in 2005, PCSD scored a B+.
A PCEF press release reports the organization’s monetary commitment for programs for the 2006-2007 year totals more than $451,000. Continuing programs funded by PCEF for this year include: an elementary visual arts specialist, a full-day kindergarten, gifted and talented programs, grief counseling; international baccalaureate program, a math specialist and scholarship advisor. New programs for this year include an AP fees and testing center, a literary coach program for K-12 students and Spanish-speaking staff recruitment among others.
In the next few years, said Bainbridge, PCEF will continue to work with PCSD to develop and work on initiatives. PCEF’s goal is to work closely with the district and the school board and focus on funding, she said.
For more information about the Park City Education Foundation and its upcoming outreach campaign visit http://www.pcef4kids.org
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