Sounder joins school fundraising effort | Editorial

Many facets of the community have been part of the effort to raise money for the school district.

Now the Islands’ Sounder is doing its part. We are holding a subscription drive that benefits the Orcas Island Education Foundation.

For every new or renewal 12-month subscription you will save $3 off the regular subscription rate of $35 and we will donate $5 to the foundation.

Here is some of what OIEF has helped fund this year: lab tables for a science room, the Farm to Classroom program, the 6th grade class to the Olympic Park Institute, a knitting club, the school library, applied physics in the high school, the elementary secretary, K-8 Waldron school, high school winter sports, and the restoration of a full bus schedule so every child could get to school.

It’s been a rough year for the district. In March, it made around a $120,000 cut to its operating budget. And throughout this school year, the Booster Club has been fundraising to keep the sports program running after it was cut from the 2011-12 budget.

The club raised $11,000 to fund the winter basketball program. The money came from private donors plus a $5,000 matching grant from OIEF. Now the club is in the middle of raising $17,500 for spring sports, which are currently underway. Watch for an update on that story in next week’s edition.

Last month, Senator Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, secured $1 million dollars in capital funds to be used for improvements to the Orcas Island public schools.

Sustaining a strong school district is critical to the health of our community. This is a philosophy that is clearly shared by many on our island.