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Kiwanis ‘stimulus package’ supports The Sanibel School

By Staff | Aug 27, 2009

In a time of need, Kiwanis once again steps up to support the community.

This time, the San-Cap Kiwanis Club proudly made their annual donation to The Sanibel School. Barbara Von Harten attended our breakfast this week to accept the check and update us on the progress she is making at the school.

We learned that the economy is tough not only on individuals and families, but it shows no mercy on public education either. Mrs. Von Harten said she was forced to cut four staff positions which could have put the art and music programs in jeopardy. Fortunately, through combining some positions, she was able to keep a limited program in both areas for the kids.

As expected, classes at every grade level are full of island kids with limited space available for off islands kids attending the school on “waivers.” This may change next year when the class size amendment goes into effect and additional young families continue to move to our barrier island.

The Sanibel School is a nationally recognized school based on their perennial high reading and writing scores. In addition to the required reading time at school, additional remediation is available to those kids who may need special attention. Eighty-eight percent of these kids made one year gains or more in their reading level last year. Additionally, tutors are available for kids who need them.

Mrs. Von Harten is the first to admit that a lot of the success can be attributed to local organizations like Kiwanis and to local people like Kiwanians who volunteer their time at the school. This year, even more help is needed as the Lee County budget for school supplies decreased by 50 percent. If you are able to help, the school has a wish list of technological equipment as well as the regular school supplies which are in demand more than ever this year.

No breakfast meeting could be complete without a round or two of Happy Birthday. This week, Aaron Pruss, Dave Williams, Al Lane and Dave Bunch all showed their age. It truly is the best way to start off the day singing Happy Birthday to our fellow Kiwanians. It almost makes the cold scrambled eggs taste good!