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ROTARY CLUB NEWS: Rotary helps with funds for unbudgeted school needs
April 20, 2017

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The Rotary Club of Lake Placid will donate a substantial portion of the proceeds from its May 9 Trivia Night fundraiser to the Educational Opportunity Fund to support the very important work of this new organization.

The Educational Opportunity Fund for the Lake Placid Central School District is an independent organization that was created by a group of enthusiastic community members to support the LPCSD and all that encompasses it.

New York state funds the minimum requirements and standards for a public education. The Educational Opportunity Fund is independent from the school budget and benefits teachers, faculty and students regardless of the ups and downs of tax caps and administrative initiatives. The fund is designed to go above and beyond just meeting the requirement, and in doing so, teach the students that they can choose to do so as well.

They facilitate and support ingenuity, creativity and excellence in teachers, in students, in faculty and staff. Through this, the Educational Opportunity Fund aims to boost the life chances of the students, and foster greater excellence in education.

They are learning that supporting excellence can present itself in many ways. Perhaps a teacher needs some extra equipment for a classroom in order to offer the best possible learning environment.

A recent example came from Natalee Colby, a Lake Placid second grade teacher. As one might guess, second graders are in constant motion. Using a grant from the Educational Opportunity Fund, Colby purchased Hokki stools. These stools offer a subtle outlet for energy for her kinetically- gifted youngsters, which allow them to concentrate better.

Other examples of possible needs include, stocking a closet in the elementary school with proper outdoor wear that the children can borrow so that when weather changes on a dime, they still can go out for recess. Or, stocking the Elementary School Food pantry to assist the forty percent of the LPCS student population who qualify for free and reduced lunch. Or, making funds available for those students who strive for excellence and need assistance with AP Exam fees.

Excellence also means offering students the opportunity to take great field trips outside the Adirondack park to open their eyes, their minds and their hearts to new experiences.

With the supportive and encouraging leadership of LPCS Superintendent, Roger Catania, and the school board, together with the boundless creativity and energy of teachers and faculty, the Educational Opportunity Fund see an incredible opportunity in front of them.

"We have an opportunity to create an absolutely different educational experience for our students," said Educational Opportunity Fund board member Kari Lansing. "Excellence is what Lake Placid has always strived for. As a community, we have never settled for being typical. We want to instill that belief in our students. We believe we can influence their view of the world by giving every student extraordinary opportunities that a typical school budget model wouldn't normally allow for."

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