Palmyra teachers participating in a fundraiser
When my wife Helen and I moved to Palmyra 28 years ago, we had no idea of what a caring community we were joining. Palmyra is situated in South Central Pennsylvania near the center of the Pennsylvania Dutch heartland. South Central Pennsylvania has had a proud history of helping those in need around the world.
Palmyra's compassion for the less fortunate has been impressive. When this project was conceived several years ago, a history of support was started. The Palmyra Area Education Foundation (PAEF), a foundation that provides financial grants for unique educational projects in our district that go beyond the regular school district budget, is funded through the support of local businesses and the citizens of the Palmyra School District. PAEF awarded a grant to kick-start our project (A laptop and a Flip video camera) to be used at our school in Haiti, which helped start our collaborative. As our project grew and gained the attention of major players such as Intel, Microsoft, and Google, we sought and were awarded another PAEF grant to celebrate the project's successes at the Haitian Embassy in Washington, DC.
Soon after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Palmyra's caring was evident. Through clothing and food drives, we helped feed and clothe those affected by the quake. In addition, a high percentage of our project's top contributors and recurring contributors come from caring citizens within our Palmyra community. Many of these citizens have also contributed their time and talent to help us.
The Palmyra Area Education Association (PAEA) and, the staff and administration of the Palmyra Area School District have participated in a variety of fundraisers to help support this project. Among the fundraisers have been dress down days, backyard picnic game competitions, and photo scavenger hunts. Thousands of dollars have been raised from personal employee contributions to the project.
Academically, our district has track record of academic success, recently scoring a 94.2 for our high school and 90.7 for our middle school on the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile. We have even had visits by Pennsylvania Secretary of Education and the 2015 State Teacher of the Year to share in our successes. We have sought out and applied best practices in education for many years, which has contributed to our success. We have shared best practices with teaching peers in Haiti and are poised to do more.
Probably the most rewarding evidence of caring comes from our students who have been influenced by our project. Some of our students have pursued education and careers in international studies. One such student recently chose a Foreign Service position in Haiti to serve the needs of the Haitian citizens.
On Tuesday, April 14th, starting at 9:00 am EDT, Microsoft will match any donation by 50% up to $1,000 per individual contribution. A $10 donation will be turned into a $15 donation. A $100 donation would become $150! Please consider supporting this unique project with a contribution. Matching funds go quickly so please consider timing your donation as close to the 9am start time as possible. Please spread the word about this great matching opportunity as well.
Together we are making positive change in the lives of appreciative, eager Haitian students!
Thank you for your continued support!
Equipment purchased from our first PAEF grant
Loading a truck with earthquake humanitarian aid
Palmyra staff member conducting training in Haiti
A caring community