Enumclaw school personnel hitting the streets

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By Brenda Sexton-The Courier-Herald

Between 10 a.m. and noon May 17, the Enumclaw School District intends to have a couple hundred volunteers pounding the pavement in Enumclaw and Black Diamond, knocking on doors, handing out brochures and spreading the news about the good things happening in its schools.

“Seventy-five percent of the people that live in Enumclaw and Black Diamond don't have kids in school,” Superintendent Mike Nelson said. He, and those organizing what is being called the Day of Outreach, are hoping to bridge that gap while also reaching those who have children in the school system but may have questions about programs or services.

Volunteers will be armed with a sheet of district contact numbers, additional brochures in Spanish, and ways for those who may not have children in the district to get involved, like volunteering.

Day of Outreach volunteers will be wearing T-shirts identifying them with the project. In addition, school buses will be set up around the two communities to draw attention to the movement. Downtown businesses have been recruited to post the Day of Outreach on reader boards.

At the Black Diamond Cenex, and at Starbucks, City Perk, Enumclaw Music and near the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce, PTAs and students will be providing music and popcorn.

“The whole idea is to be thinking about the school district,” District Community Relations Director Gerrie Garton said.

“We want to build a positive (feeling) about schools and create a great buzz,” Nelson said. “We want to share the good news of the district.”

Organizers, which include district staff and community members Lorianne Taff and Bob and Jody Horn, anticipate reaching 6,000 homes in the two cities.

Nelson said it's part of the district's continuing plan to stay in touch with the community. During his first year, Nelson has also created a monthly newsletter that appears in The Courier-Herald, appears in an monthly update on Enumclaw television and earlier this year, presented a state-of-the-district public address.

Nelson also noted with tight budget issues for school districts, funding for the Day of Outreach has come from outside sources, primarily Mutual of Enumclaw.

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