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Fundraiser supports all-day kindergarten | Enumclaw Schools Foundation

As parents whose children have benefited from the Enumclaw School District’s full-day kindergarten program, Aaron Brenner and his wife believe all kids should have the opportunity to attend full-day kindergarten and wanted to help make that happen. So Aaron, owner of Aaron Brenner’s Bakery in Enumclaw, is donating a baking class for the Enumclaw Schools Foundation’s fifth annual fundraiser.

The “All Children – All Day, Let’s Find A Way!” dinner and auction is planned for April 13.

“We wanted that for our kids, full-day kindergarten,” Brenner said. “The value of the program is great. I believe it’s a good program.”

Through state funding, the Enumclaw School District was able to provide full-day kindergarten free to all children between 2003 and 2009. Then, state funding cuts forced the district to return to half-day kindergarten with a paid full-day option, but many kindergartners who could most benefit from a full-day program where left out of the loop.

Staff and community members rallied by raising $75,000 at the first dinner/auction benefit, providing 30 full-day kindergarten scholarships and saving three teaching positions. Each year since, the dinner and auction has raised enough money to keep a full-day kindergarten classroom at each of the district’s five elementary schools and provide the educational continuity started in 2003.

The dinner and auction raises more than $60,000 a year, providing 25 to 30 scholarships, continuing to move the program forward, and each year, organizers pray the state will restore full-day kindergarten funding so scholarships will no longer be necessary.

However, 2013 is not that year, so “All Children – All Day, Let’s Find A Way!” is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. in the Expo Center fieldhouse. Tickets are $35 and available by visiting www.enumclawschoolsfoundation.org. Donations also may be made through the website.

Enumclaw’s Rotary organization has already stepped up, donating $10,000, which will provide four scholarships. Rotary has supported the program with a similar donation each year for the past decade.

Brenner’s donation, a class for six bakers, will be a one of several live auction items. Others include a Chandler Reach wine tasting, Mariners baseball tickets, a Sounders soccer package, a barbecue for 30, and a special evening out planned by Superintendent Mike Nelson.

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