Wednesday, March 21, 2012

You don't have to be a graduate to care

It’s hard to get people to agree on anything.

But when it comes to the education of our community’s children?

That’s when we put down the boxing gloves and actually get along.

Maryville is one of those special places where people can still achieve the American Dream. Are we perfect? Heck no. The traffic on South Main Street shows us that.

But as a parent, I’m pretty darn glad I’m raising my child here. In a place with safe 
neighborhoods with great schools, parks and community programs.

Friendly people who volunteer their time and talents. Low unemployment and a strong economic center. Elected leadership who serve with integrity and manage our tax dollars wisely.

Seriously. There’s a reason we kinda want to keep our good fortune quiet.

We don’t want anyone coming in here and screwing things up.

More than anything, I treasure the time I volunteer with organizations in our community. One of those great groups is the Maryville R-II Educational Foundation, which helps plug the gaps left behind by state and federal funding shortfalls.

The board reflects the diversity of the many types of people who have a vested interested in education: parents, alumni, community members and former and current educators.

We raise money to help teachers purchase educational materials for their classrooms, so they won’t have to use their own money. We provide scholarships and are on the threshold of embarking on a fine arts facility for the district.

Not that people don’t enjoy the cafetorium combo, but we can help make the dream a reality.

Almost daily, you read about the triumphs and accomplishments of our students. Recently the Maryville R-II School District had three - THREE - of its schools named a winner of Missouri’s Professional Learning Communities Exemplary Schools for “outstanding performance in implementation of collaborative strategies to promote student learning.”

OK. So I’m not completely sure what all those fancy words mean, but I do know this: only 11 schools statewide earned this distinction.

Three of them are in the Maryville public schools district.

So that means they must be doing something right.

And I’d like to think we each play a part in that. As a taxpayer. As a community member. As a student. As a business owner. As a parent or grandparent. As an educator.

And it means we can do more to support our students. After all, excellence isn’t achieved by resting on one’s laurels.

You go out and do it again...and again...and again.

That’s where you come in. Join us on Friday, March 30, for the annual fundraising event hosted by the Maryville R-II Educational Foundation. 

The fun comes in the form of a $1,000 prize, a great dinner and fun games like an impromptu hula hoop contest.

Or watching guys over 40 trying to do the most push-ups in 30 seconds without calling for the crash cart.

It’s laid-back fun - all for the cost of dinner and a movie. Tickets cost $25 each and can be purchased at the Maryville R-II School District office on South Munn.

And don’t forget the silent auction! The entire community has offered up a variety of items that fit any budget, beginning at just $20.

Among the items offered are packages sponsored by the school district, including premium seating for Maryville High School graduation and spring and fall performances, reserved parking for Spoofhound football games, bat boy/girl opportunities with baseball and softball and Spoofy the Spoofhound party appearances. You can check out the complete list online here.

We’ll also have a new prize this year, a $500 Country Club Plaza Shopping Spree. This raffle will involve purchase of a $15 ticket, and only 35 chances will be sold. For your small investment, you could finally get that new iPad at the Apple Store on the Plaza.

I’m only a Spoofhound by marriage, thanks to my husband, Jon Baldwin ’83. Some day my son will be a Spoofhound too.

Just goes to show, a person doesn’t have to be a graduate to care. We each have a part to play in our community, regardless of where we started in life.

Help us reward our students and our schools for doing their best. They put forth their best effort each and every day.

The least we can do is give them a couple hours of our time - and a few dollars - in return.

No comments:

Post a Comment