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Archive for Sunday, March 16, 2003

School group wants community to connect

March 16, 2003

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A two-hour event thrown by a new Lawrence group will test the willingness of teachers, staff and parents to work together for improvements at public schools.

Holli Joyce and Wayne Kruse, organizers of the new Community Connections group, are convinced that increasingly complex financial and political challenges facing school districts require that people unite behind a campaign to support schools.

"We feel that teachers and parents share many interests," said Kruse, a teacher at Quail Run School and president of Lawrence Education Assn.

Joyce, a longtime volunteer at Pinckney School, said a void was created a few years ago with disbanding of the Lawrence Schools Area Council and the Curriculum Advisory Board. Both gave parents and teachers a voice in school affairs.

"Our main objective is to encourage networking among the schools," Joyce said.

Community Connections' first event will be a networking fair from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 25 at Cordley School, 1837 Vt. It's free and open to the public.

The event -- called "A Fair to Remember" -- brings together representatives of the school parent-teacher organizations and site councils. Businesses and organizations that do volunteer work in Lawrence schools also will be invited.

Kruse said convergence of budget problems and government mandates necessitated that people join forces to find solutions.

Community Connections' first event will be a networking fair from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 25 at Cordley School, 1837 Vt. It's free and open to the public.

"We need to work together," he said. "In order for us to be successful, we as a district have to stand strong. We have to make ourselves more effective."

For example, he said, the coalition could lobby politicians on behalf of public education.

Or people at the fair could share strategies for successful fund-raising projects.

"It could be something as basic as that," Kruse said.

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