|AmeriCorps VISTA member Yanina Rivera working with |
Our purpose is to engage community members interested in serving our schools in a whole array of capacities. Yavapai County Sheriff’s office will be onsite for fingerprinting, and you’ll get the chance to get to know some of our school staff. We’ll distribute a PUSD volunteerism snapshot along with an application. We look forward to meeting our neighbors, and learning how and where you wish to give of your time and talent in the current academic year. You’ll also enjoy delicious Mexican cuisine and cool beverages as our guests.
A brief snapshot of our current situation: Since 2008, PUSD has lost more than $4.4 million in funding through state legislature mandates, and has cut 85 positions throughout the District. Furthermore, PUSD has received zero dollars for building renewal, resulting in school sites falling into disrepair, not receiving vital systems upgrades, and shortening the useful life of its structures and facilities.
The budget adopted in May of 2012 reflects a $930,000 cut due to a 188-student-enrollment decline, and another $51,000 tuition hit from students in Prescott's surrounding rural communities. Total budget reduction for the current academic year is nearly $2 million, with no new revenue sources, such as a school bond or an override, on the horizon.
To demonstrate the power of a successful schools and community partnership, let's consider Miller Valley Elementary School, a community mainstay and Prescott's most ethnically diverse campus. Situated in the low-income Dexter neighborhood, Miller Valley is designated a Title 1 school, one where 84% of its 336 students receive free or reduced lunches. In 2011, AmeriCorps VISTA member Yanina Rivera introduced an evening program for students and their families. The parents are English language learners and their children benefit from homework support and tutoring. This program is truly a grassroots partnership between the Dexter neighborhood, Granite Peaks Unitarian Universalist Congregation and Miller Valley School!
“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” Forest E. Witcraft