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Wed, Oct. 23

Quad-City Schools: Prescott Unified School District Foundation partners with community

The impact of the public schools on a community cannot be undervalued. Good schools affect property values, crime rates, employment rates, and attract younger families who will serve as our community’s doctors, nurses, and professionals.

The Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) Education Foundation’s mission is to involve the community in supporting our local schools.

The PUSD Education Foundation, a 501(c)3, was created solely to support PUSD and fill the gap in education funding where our state falls short. Prior to incorporating, the executive board researched successful public school foundations in California and Texas. The board was inspired to learn that these established foundations were raising over a million dollars a year thanks to their respective communities. The PUSD Education Foundation believes that it too can raise similar support from this community.

The mission of the foundation is to involve the community in recognizing and supporting innovative and excellent teaching as well as outstanding students. The foundation recognizes that public education is the concern of the entire community.

Twice a year, the foundation is blessed to give out grants for innovative teaching ideas. This is possible only by the support of the Prescott community – businesses, other non-profits, and private citizens. This semester, thanks to a grant by the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County and a matching gift by the James Family Foundation, PUSD Education Foundation awarded $19,868.05 in teaching grants.

Giving money to support teachers is not all the foundation does. In 2016, funds were raised for a full classroom of Chrome books – or individual laptops for each student – which will be placed at Prescott High School.

Additionally, the foundation has a Rising Stars Banquet in the spring at which outstanding high school seniors are recognized for their accomplishments. In turn, those seniors honor a PUSD staff member who has made the greatest impact in their educational career. This event is meaningful as the community is able to acknowledge students who have been dedicated in their school life and often overcome some significant obstacles. These student stars are truly rising to their potential. Honoring the teacher or staff member who helped this student the most is a rewarding “full circle” moment.

The vision of the foundation is grand. Its board desires to touch every PUSD school in a significant way. It should be clear to anyone who walks into a PUSD school that they are well loved in this community. The foundation is seeking partnerships with contractors or handymen who desire to help our schools shine because the budget can’t cover all the needs of the timeless buildings. The foundation also longs for the day when it can fund the very worthy teacher requests for grant money to implement the most innovative teaching in the state.

This semester $76,000 in requests were made but there was only $20,000 available.

PUSD was the first organized district in the then, Territory of Arizona. The first school board opened Prescott’s first public school in 1875 which was only possible because the community raised the necessary money to do so. Since Prescott was the first school district, the foundation believes it should be the best in the state.

Please join the foundation in making its vision a reality.

In order to reach the goal to award at least $20,000 in grants this spring, the foundation needs the community’s help. Donations are tax deductible and can be made through www.pusdeducationfoundation.com or mailed to 146 S. Granite Street, Prescott, AZ 86303.

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