As schools in the Issaquah and Lake Washington school districts struggle to deal with recent budget cuts which have reduced teacher numbers and funding for a number of core programs, the fundraising efforts of Parents Teacher Associations are now seen as being crucial to sustaining quality of education.
On Friday afternoon, May 15, the Issaquah Valley Elementary PTA harnessed one of its most reliable resources, the restless energy of young students, in its first major fundraiser of the year, an all day Walk-a-thon. Nicknamed Green Light Go!, the walk-a-thon saw hundreds of students from Kindergarten through to fifth grade walking, and sometimes jogging, laps around the school’s playground to earn money pledged to them by parents and friends of the school.
According to Green Light Go! organizers, PTA’s Kim Nardi and Leslie MacInnes, money raised by the walk-a-thon would help fund science and art programs, many of which are run by volunteer teachers, or docents.
“The aim is to raise $25,000, which will go directly to the school to help pay for grade level advancement programs, to help offset the cost of our Science to Go program, and to support our many art and science docents,” Nardi said.
MacInnes added that such volunteers were vital to the functioning of the school.
“We have about four science docents, and more than 20 docents in the art program,” MacInnes said. “They are all sorts of people, from retired educators, to professionals, parents, all kinds of people in our community.”
With the students working up a sweat beating a track around the grounds, the PTA made sure to keep them energized and entertained, with music and a real festival atmosphere. The highlight of the entertainment schedule was a spectacular guest appearance of the Blues Brother, Jake and Elwood, who managed to swing by Issaquah despite a few scraps with the local law enforcement, not to mention a few vindictive nuns and bikers.
Issaquah Valley Elementary is interested in hearing from residents who feel they may be able to contribute to the docent programs. For more information, go to www.ivepta.org.
Contact Issaquah Reporter Staff Writer Jake Lynch at email@example.com.