The best way to describe what the Bainbridge Schools Foundation does is – bridge the gap. They bridge the gap between state funding and the amount of money really needed to run a school – and run it well.
Since 2006 BSF has been working hard to raise money to keep the educational standards high on Bainbridge Island. As a community, Bainbridge Island has not allowed the state budget cuts to compromise our school quality. This year alone, BSF has pledged 1 million dollars to the district. With that million dollars, the district was able to hire back nine teacher who were laid off, continue a high level of teacher training, implement the STEM program, fund classroom grants . . . and more.
All around our state and country school districts are being hit hard by dramatic budget cuts. It is a sad and sobering thought to think that my own children are attending school in some of the most economically challenging times in our century. And, I do not see things changing much in the next decade when my own children will be attending middle and high school. Things I used to take for granted when I taught back in the 90’s like copy paper or after school homework clubs are now a luxury.
We moved to Bainbridge Island because it was not ok for our kids to have a sub-par education because of bad economic timing. And a huge part of why Bainbridge Island’s schools continue to be strong comes from the support of BSF. Hiring back teachers keeps the class sizes small. Funding teacher grants keeps clubs like the Chess Club and Rocket Club alive – and basic supplies like paper and pencils in the classroom. Funding technology programs keeps teachers trained and crucial technology present and up to date.
We are very fortunate that island residents, even those without kids in the school district, support the BSF, year after year. We all see the value of a smart, well educated island community.
One of the major fundraisers for the foundation each year is the Gala Dinner. It was held about a week ago on January 21st. This year the auction dinner raised $360,000 for our schools – cheers to the foundation for another great event. Vignette Creative produced this inspiring video, which debuted at the dinner. It was truly moving to see my kid’s hard working teachers on the big screen. The video is very well done – take a peek inside our schools.