Park City Education Foundation fetes Year of Math & Science
For the past 23 years, the Park City Education Foundation has worked to raise money to bridge funding gaps in the public school system. This year, state funding cuts are deep, local tax resources are dwindling, and that gap is bigger than ever before.
"There’s always been a need, but that need seems to be greater these days partly because of the economy and loss of tax revenue and also because of the threat of equalization that’s coming from the legislature," says PCEF executive director Abby McNulty.
But the Education Foundation hasn’t let financial hardships interfere with its mission. Instead, the organization is reinvigorating its approach. It has dubbed 2009-2019 the Year of Math & Science and pledged to raise funds to implement new programs in local schools.
Why the Year of Math & Science, you ask? PCEF continually evaluates indicators of school quality and compares Park City schools to top schools across the country. According to McNulty, a recent report showed that local students are not participating in math and science classes at the same rate as students in top performing districts.
PCEF wants to emphasize that it’s important for students to continue taking math and science courses regardless of which fields they choose to pursue. By raising money for more interactive lesson plans, the Foundation hopes to increase participation in such classes. "We need to raise awareness and start the conversations with parents and teachers about how we can encourage our kids to participate in those classes more readily," says McNulty.
The Foundation will formally kick off its new campaign to promote the Year of Math and Science on Saturday, Sept. 26, at Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge.
In the past, PCEF has hosted the "Happy As A Clambake" dinner, but this year the organizers decided to go with a different angle. "The clambake was always a fun event with good food, but it didn’t announce our mission the way we think this new look and direction does," says PCEF programs and outreach coordinator Monika Guendner. "We wanted the fundraiser to reflect more the theme and mission of helping the schools."
The evening will feature music by the award-winning Park City High School Jazz Band, live and silent auctions, and a gourmet "lunch box" dinner (think mini grilled-cheese sandwiches, tuna casserole canapés and southwest halibut fishsticks). Auction items include season ski passes, bikes, vacation packages, gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses, and an adorable yellow Lab puppy.
All of the proceeds will go directly to supporting existing programs as well as implementing new programs in math and science. PCEF currently provides funding for teacher grants, the McPolin After-School Enrichment Program, student recognition events and provides a stipend to ensure that the district superintendent lives in the community. "Dollars that are given to the Education Foundation stay in Park City and impact our students’ education," says McNulty.
Tickets for the fundraiser are $160 per person or $1500 for a table of 10. For more information or to RSVP, visit http://www.pcef4kids.org or call 615-0235.
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The Park City Planning Commission held a lengthy meeting about a development proposal at Park City Mountain Resort, centering the discussion on traffic and transportation.