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February 15, 2017

Community members support Park Middle School students

Park Middle School has received about $5,000 in donations to a fund dedicated to help students basic items that can help them succeed in school.

Residents from Brookdale Canyon Lakes recently presented more than $1,400 to the school’s administrators, having raised the money through different fundraisers. Columbia Center Rotary members donated $3,000 to the school just before Christmas and followed up with a recent cash donation of $500 and other items.

The cash donations have been placed in the school’s InvestED account. InvestED is a nonprofit in Washington that helps middle and high schools cover student needs.

“It’s wonderful that we have a community that is so committed to helping our students get the things they need so they can focus on their education,” says Principal Shaun Espe.

Administrators can use InvestED funds to pay for needed items or services for students without a lot of red tape.

Espe says the harsh winter led the school to drain its InvestED funds quicker than previous years as they worked to provide students with proper winter clothing and other needs.

Those living at Brookdale Canyon Lakes regularly conduct fundraisers to support various causes but were eager to also lend their support to Park.

“The residents thought it would be really great to help students in our community be successful,” says Joseph Green, resident programs coordinator at the senior living community.

Columbia Center Rotary has assisted with various needs at the school in the past, says President Peter Kalunian.

Earlier in the school year, the organization secured a grant for the school’s Where Everyone Belongs (WEB) program, which trains eighth-graders to mentor younger students. Kalunian says a Rotary member may also join Park’s Action Team for Partnerships (ATP) group, which brings teachers and community members together to benefit students.

The district appreciates all the support community members provide for its schools.