Opinion

Foundation helps Bellingham schools engage its students

I’ve just written my check to the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation’s 2015 Promise Campaign and I feel great!

As a small business owner, the sister of a small business owner and the daughter of a vice president of finance at a major corporation – capitalism is in my veins. It’s a great system – not without its faults, but so far, the best us humans have to offer.

My capitalistic inclinations fuel my support for the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation. I’m delighted to see how Superintendent Baker has led our schools in these past few years. Dr. Baker and his team are meeting students where they are. It would be wonderful if every student came to school well fed, well rested, well clothed and well prepared for the school day. As we know too well – that is not the case for many, many children in our community. There are 40 school children in Bellingham who are living in cars. I don’t know how they do that. Part of the Bellingham Promise is that students come to school and everything they need to succeed is in place. While we’re far from fulfilling that promise – we’re on our way. Bellingham Public Schools Foundation provides support to Dr. Baker and his team to deliver on that promise in every school across our district.

Our community is very generous in funding bond levies for capital improvements – for new schools and spaces that are effective learning centers – and more importantly, communicate to students that they are of value, they do matter, they are important. However, the Bellingham school district does not have sufficient resources to provide our children everything they need to succeed and discover their lifelong passions.

Bellingham Public Schools Foundation is a private, non-profit, nimble organization that steps in to address district needs and close opportunity gaps to better fulfill the vision of the promise for every child. Bellingham Public Schools Foundation can react quickly and immediately to provide funding for the needs of our children.

We all have experiences about what engaged us in school, kept us there and ultimately contributed to our graduation and our success in life. Were you one of those kids who spent all of your time in the art room? Were you one of those kids who waited all day for the chance to play the violin? Were you one of those kids who loved robotics? This is what Bellingham Public Schools Foundation does – it steps in to provide those things our children need to find engagement and success in their educational experience.

We live in a remarkable place in the world and at a remarkable time. Let’s communicate that to our children by making sure their school system is also remarkable.

This is not welfare – this is not a handout. This is a hand up. Public school is an invitation into meaningful participation in our community. And yes, it’s an invitation into our capitalistic system. I suggest we make that invitation real for our children. I suggest that we assist in every way we can to prepare them for a productive, robust and vibrant life. Please join me in supporting our community’s children by making a gift to the Promise Campaign today. Giving to Bellingham Public Schools Foundation funds concrete actions that improve the education of young people – one of the most effective actions we can take to leave the future in even better hands, hopefully, than our own.

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