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Suquamish gives $100K to NKSD
SUQUAMISH — Thomas Mabe has seen a lot of changes occur in North Kitsap since he was a boy.
The Suquamish elder, military veteran and member of the tribe’s seafood board grew up during a time when he noticed a separation between the tribe and surrounding community. It was a time when, prior to being high school age, he had never seen the high school building.
Ultimately, he did not graduate from high school, instead becoming self-taught. He went on to work for such companies as Hewlett Packard. He became a “prolific reader,” as he continued through his career without a high school diploma, he said. But that’s not to say he isn’t in full support of education.
Mabe, now the last one from his generation in his family, has seen many younger generations go on to graduate from the North Kitsap School District. He attends Suquamish Council meetings, encouraging education support. And, looking back, he realizes how much easier life would have been if he took advantage of the education system.
“Support it, support it, support it,” Mabe said regarding education.
On Monday, the Suquamish Tribal Council did just that, donating a $100,000 grant to the school district.
In the past five years, including the most recent donation, the Tribe has given the district $967,781 in grants. The money is a combination of Appendix X grant funding and Tribe funds. Funding includes $350,000 to provide all-day kindergarten for five years and $100,000 for summer school for five years at Suquamish Elementary. A total of $417,781 has been given from various Appendix X grants.
The money comes as the North Kitsap School Board looks for ways to erase a $1.7 million budget shortfall for the 2012-13 school year.
Irene Carper, a council member and mother of two children who are attending school in the district, said she understands the needs of the district. She wants to make sure students are educated. The process, she said, was an “enjoyable endeavor.”
The $100,000 will be used for additional math curriculum materials and technology needs in the district.
According to district spokeswoman Robyn Chastain, $40,000 will be used for math materials, such as more student and teacher books. That money will also go to white boards, which students have had to share in the classroom before. The district also ordered “extension materials that will provide additional challenges for fifth-grade students.”
The district adopted a new math curriculum for the 2011-12 school year. The district is on a deferred payment plan. The total cost of the curriculum is $384,588.
“The Suquamish Tribe understands the value of education at every stage of learning, and that’s why we work hard to ensure that all members of the community — Tribal and non-Tribal alike — have access to the best school environments we can help provide,” Suquamish Chairman Leonard Forsman said in an announcement of the grant.
“This grant should help the district, especially in these tough budget times, to achieve some of its technology and efficiency goals, while increasing access to improved learning opportunities focused on math.”
Richard Jones, superintendent of the North Kitsap School District, said in the announcement, “The Suquamish Tribe has worked closely with the district to improve education and provide important learning tools for our students. The Tribe’s contribution means that we can spend more on teaching and less on technology, while also improving the math education that each of our students receives.”
North Kitsap School District covers an area of 110 square miles, including the communities of Poulsbo, Kingston, Hansville, Indianola and Suquamish. The district has about 6,500 students in 14 schools.