Wed, June 26

Village community makes Big Park true community school

Steve Gardner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Principal, Big Park Community School

Steve Gardner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Principal, Big Park Community School

December –I hope everyone had a restful and relaxing Thanksgiving. It is the best holiday of the year because it stresses family. It has been a time in the past when my family, aunts, uncles, and cousins got together to share a turkey with all the fixings – very relaxing day full of love.

I am always asking or looking for ways to that the community and the school can help each other out so I thought I would mention a few cases of this actually working out.

This past week the Elks brought every third grade student a dictionary for them to keep as their own, this is an annual initiative for the Elks so that means every student from the third grade up has a dictionary to help them in their writing.

Another organization that helps out the school is the Marine Corps League of Sedona. Every year they donate hundreds of books to our students and the school library.

There are a group of five or six grandmothers who work with our librarians to purchase books that are in high demand by the students, if you are interested in being part of this effort, please contact the school library.

Last week the PTSA hosted a spaghetti dinner with the food being donated by the staff at the Hilton. They also provided the manpower to serve the dinner to families and community members. The food was great and the school was the recipient of some needed funds.

Last week our junior high robotics club went to Kachina Point to show the residents there what they are learning about robotics. This is one way we were able to give back to some of the community members.

We are still working with responsible dog owners in the area to keep our fields available to them during after school hours in exchange for them keeping the fields clean.

Jake Weber allowed us to use his store as a dropping off location for our electronics recycling fundraiser, which was a huge help to this initiative. It was amazing how much electronics were recycled.

For the past two months I have been writing about Arizona’s Tax Credit program and I want to reinforce what I have written previously. Money from this program pays for our field trips which include trips to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Phoenix Zoo, Arizona Science Center in Phoenix, the Phoenix Art Museum, and our own Red Rock State Park. Our students would miss out on these educational enhancements if we didn’t have the money from the tax credit program. It also pays for all of our athletic programs and after school clubs. When I moved to the Village seven years ago I often wondered what was available for the youth that live in the Village and I realize there is not much for them to do when school is out. So our after school clubs like the robotics club, mountain bike club, speed stacks club, and games club, all funded by the tax credit program, help fill this void for the kids. In addition to the clubs, the program funds all athletic teams - volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, baseball, softball, cross country, and track. Students enjoy coming to school because of all of the above activities that are provided for them, they want to excel in the classroom because they are motivated to do well.

December 31st is the deadline for you to take advantage of the tax credit program for this year by directing some of your state income taxes to the school of your choice (hopefully Big Park Community School). It doesn’t cost you anything extra!! You can direct up to $400 of the monies you normally pay to the state to any school of your choice. We will be happy with any contribution from you, it doesn’t have to be the maximum of 400, it can be 50, 100, 200, …. If you have any questions about the Tax Credit program, please feel free to call or stop in and I’ll try to explain it more fully. Tax forms can be picked up in the school office, or if you wish, we can mail you a copy! Just call us.

As you know, I continue to want Big Park to be an integral member of the Village. I have mentioned several examples of this in this article and there are a lot more that have occurred over the years.