Community

Schools Foundation hopes to raise $75K for NKSD

POULSBO — Terri Gleich has witnessed firsthand the budget cuts in the North Kitsap School District. The mother of two has seen class sizes increase and positions eliminated. She’s seen cuts ever since her oldest child was in kindergarten.

“I have been appalled at the budget cuts year after year,” she said.

Gleich is now president of the North Kitsap Schools Foundation and, with other board members, is working on reducing the impact of budget cuts.

In order to do that, the foundation has pledged to raise $75,000 for the North Kitsap School District. The foundation is not alone in its venture.

The Poulsbo Noon Lions Club has donated $500 to the foundation and scheduled an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner for Feb. 21, 5-7:30 p.m. at the North Kitsap High School Commons. The Lions Club’s goal is to raise $1,000 to $2,000 at the dinner, Lion Karl Ostheller  said.

The club has also committed to work with the foundation each year.

“We are thrilled the Lions Club is working with us,” Gleich said. “This is the first year that we are doing such a big fundraising effort.”

This is the first year the foundation has set a fundraising goal, according to Gleich, who took over as president in November. The Lions Club is the first organization the foundation has partnered with.

Gleich said one of the biggest challenges for the foundation this year is to become better known.

“Our long-term goal is to help make a serious dent in the money that’s missing,” she said.

In July, the North Kitsap School Board approved a $64 million budget for the 2011-12 school year, after making more than $2 million in cuts. The cuts were necessitated by a drop in state funding and student enrollment in 2010-11. Enrollment dipped again this year.

Gleich would like the foundation to raise more than $100,000 for NKSD.

The Foundation has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to North Kitsap and Kingston high school graduates in the past. It has also provided $25,000 in grants to classroom teachers for additional resources and other needs.

Because the Foundation is made up of a handful of people, it is starting at what it thinks is a reasonable goal — $75,000. In the near future, the Foundation will send out letter to every parent in the district asking for support. It also may ask other groups currently fundraising to make the Foundation a beneficiary, Gleich said.

And although $100,000 is a future goal, it is a possibility.

The Bainbridge Schools Foundation set its 11-12 goal at $1 million, which it hopes to make in the next few months. The Bainbridge Foundation — forming in 2006 — was pledging $500,000 to $600,000 between the 08-09 school years and 10-11. However, dollar-a-day campaigns quickly raised the potential revenue it could bring in. Island schools were hit with more than $5 million in cuts during the last session.

The challenge for Bainbridge, said executive director Vicky Marsin, is the Foundation has provided enough money to save teachers' jobs. Because cuts keep coming, that means each year the Foundation has to continue providing to save those same jobs as well as countering further cuts. Along with fundraisers, Bainbridge hosts a "click-a-thon" on its website, which allows one-time or monthly donations.

Along with the spaghetti feed, the NK Schools Foundation hosts its annual Alumni Scholarship Golf Tournament to raise money for graduates. The tournament is scheduled for Aug. 23 at White Horse Golf Club.

"A good, strong school system benefits everybody," Gleich said.


 

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