Moving Forward and Giving Back
I realize this message comes sooner than our as-promised quarterly updates, but as is par for the course in 2020, our routines aren’t what they usually are, and we’re going with the flow. We just wrapped up one of our favorite Parkside events, and we have a few special days ahead as well, so I wanted to share this update before we all break for what we hope is a safe and peaceful holiday.
Last week, we celebrated the beloved tradition of Ghosts of the Past, with a bit of a twist for the times. Rather than have the Elementary children prepare community presentations of the person they chose to research and embody for the day, they were instead interviewed in character by a “roving reporter” for the Parkside News. The campus was dotted with incredible authors, scientists, public servants, and more, and each proudly shared their stories and contributions to society. It’s “the best day of the year,” according to many reliable sources (ahem), and the children never fail to educate, inspire, and entertain us. Behold: Wang Zhenyi; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Katherine Johnson; John Denver; Wangari Maathai; and Benjamin Franklin.
At Parkside, building and supporting community – here on campus and beyond our gates – is a primary focus. Even in this unique time, there are still ways for us to hold events and facilitate charitable actions, and these happenings are part of what make Parkside the living, loving community it is.
Our annual food drive for Central Texas Food Bank was another huge success! Together, we donated 310 pounds of food, which was three times our goal of filling the tables of our Central Texas neighbors with delicious food and Parkside love. Thank you, Emma and Eleanor, for your math skills and muscles in weighing and loading 25 bags of food!
Our blood drive continues as the increased need for blood and platelet transfusions continues across Central Texas. This is expected to last well into the new year, so making an appointment for a blood donation now will go a long way toward helping our greater community as life hopefully moves toward normal. In addition, We Are Blood is now conducting COVID-19 antibody testing on all donations, so you’ll get some valuable information for yourself, and your gift could be extended through convalescent plasma donation.
If you’re local, we’d love for you to participate here, and if you’re not, we hope you’ll consider supporting the blood supply in your area. We Are Blood has two locations in town, including right across the street at 3100 W. Slaughter Lane. Any time you donate, give them Parkside Group Code: D220, and we’ll be able to track the impact our community is making. We’d love a picture or message from you, too! Click here for eligibility requirements and online scheduling, and then roll up those sleeves, Parkside!
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is known as GivingTuesday, and Parkside will join thousands of non-profit organizations participating in this global day of giving. Following the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many folks focus on their holiday and year-end giving. This year, we will continue accepting donations for our Temporary Tuition Assistance Fund for the 2020-21 school year. We created this fund in the spring to offer one-time tuition assistance to qualifying families so that their children can enjoy the security and consistency of their classroom community as we all navigate continued uncertainties due to the pandemic. In addition, a healthy assistance fund will help protect Parkside’s limited reserves and operating budget and therefore buoy our sweet school throughout this school year.
If you would like to support this fund on GivingTuesday, or any time from now through the end of the 2020-21 school year, please visit our Amplify Austin fundraising page and include “TTFA” (Temporary Tuition Assistance Fund) in the notes for your gift. Unrestricted donations are always welcome, too, and can be made through the same page above. If you’re considering a large gift or have any questions about fundraising at Parkside, please feel free to contact me. We are fortunate to have such a generous and involved community and are grateful for the way we take care of each other!
As we approach the half-way point of this most incredible school year, we are also nearing our 30th anniversary date, and while we’ve been challenged in many ways the past eight months, we still have confidence in Parkside’s viability, sustainability, and special place in Montessori education. We have plans and dreams, immediate and down the road, for our campus, our programs, and our community. We want to funnel the outpouring of support and enthusiasm our community has shown through this time into purposeful momentum and action that will propel us into the bright future we know lies ahead. We need creative input, resources, and good ol’ sweat equity to tackle our list of to-dos, and we look forward to getting started in the new year – the first in the next 30 for this magical place. Thank you for your help in making it all possible, and we wish you good health and good fortune in 2021.