A cross-section of the Enumclaw community came together April 16 in support of public education and, more specifically, the role the Enumclaw Schools Foundation plays in the local system.
The event was the annual “Jazzing Up Education” luncheon, which serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit ESF.
Guests in the Enumclaw Expo Center Fieldhouse heard how Foundation contributions help educators adapt to rapid changes and challenges in the world of K-12 learning. A special presentation was offered by Darrell Miller, theater instructor at Enumclaw High, who brought student Kaden Bolton with him to the Fieldhouse stage.
Miller related how he had always wanted to take students to a production at Seattle Children’s Theatre, but costs were prohibitive. Instead, Miller set out to offer plays at EHS that would be attended by elementary students throughout the district. He noted how his EHS student-actors offer plays that also impart important messages.
The high school productions, Miller said, “teach something about life they (younger students) can take home with them.”
Contributions from the Foundation, he added, make everything possible, used primarily to transport elementary students to the high school auditorium.
Earlier in the program, Assistant Superintendent Chris Beals and Director of Teaching and Learning Jill Burnes addressed the changes impacting the world of public education. Among the key takeaways were that today’s students become less engaged with learning the longer they’re in school and, second, that desired skills have changed through the years.
Citing from a Fortune 500 list of necessary job skills, it was noted that the list has reversed itself during the past couple of decades.
Quoting from the King County Economic Council, Beals said, “creativity is the fuel of the 21st century.”
The good news, Beals shared, is “we know what makes a difference and we’re well on the way.”
The Enumclaw Schools Foundation, according to its website, “strives to bridge the gap between the funds the state provides for basic education and the funds needed to provide students with the education they need for a successful future.”
When pledge cards were collected and tallied following the Fieldhouse fundraiser, a bit more than $22,000 was headed the Foundation’s way.
The ESF is volunteer driven, operated by an all-volunteer board of directors, with no employees. It was founded in 2004.
In its early days, the ESF boosted the Magic Strings program for elementary musicians and a summertime Literacy Camp. The Foundation later rallied to help support a full-day kindergarten program. Currently, the Foundation helps support the district’s Birth To Five initiative, is a booster of the iSTEAM Expo and continues a program of providing “enrichment and innovation” grants to Enumclaw School District teachers.
FOUNDATION SETS TWO FUNDRAISERS
As part of its ongoing mission to benefit local students, the Enumclaw Schools Foundation will is sponsoring two fundraisers during the first part of May.
• All are welcome to attend “food truck wars” May 4 at the Enumclaw Expo Center. It’s the third year for the Star Wars-themed event (“May the Fourth Be With You”). Doors open at 5 p.m. and close at 10.
Gate admission will be $5 per person or $20 for a family (up to six people) and kids 5 and younger get in free. Gate receipts benefit both the Foundation and the Enumclaw Expo and Events Association.
Food trucks will selling throughout the grounds and a cantina will operate for the 21-and-older crowd.
Guests are encouraged to dress as their favorite Star Wars character and prizes will be awarded to the top entries.
• The Harlem Wizards will again bring their special brand of basketball to the Plateau, performing May 10 in Enumclaw High’s Chuck Smith Gymnasium. This is an encore performance, as the ESF brought the Wizards for a fundraising night a year ago.
Promotional materials tout the Wizards as delivering a “high-flying, slam-dunking, rim-rattling” show.” The Wizards have been around since 1962 and now have three units that crisscross the USA and travel the globe.
The Wizards will be challenged by Teachers in Sneakers, a team consisting of school district administrators, principals, teachers and paraeducators. The doors will open at 6 p.m. and game time is 7.
Tickets, with a variety of options, are on sale now. Visit the ESF website (www.enumclawschoolsfoundation.org/fundraising) and click on the “Tickets Online” button.
CORRECTION: The print version of this article incorrectly stated the price of admission for the “food truck wars” event includes food and drink. Food and drink is sold separately.