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Poway Gives Back: The Back-to-School Edition

Let's keep Poway schools at the top by continuing to give back. Here's how you can help our local schools.

Ask a Powegian why he or she lives here and you'll probably hear it's because of the great schools. It's the gift that gives back in so many ways. If you have school-aged children you're already "ON IT" and focused on a new school year, which begins in a mere couple of weeks.

While you were vacationing, school administrators were making heartrending decisions again this year in order to balance their ever-dwindling budgets while trying to keep students' best interests in mind. Poway Unified shares a school finance system with every other California school district. How much we get is decided solely by the state from things like income tax and property tax. We are in better shape than many California districts because of smart money-management. Still, the hard choices come down to teacher layoffs and increasing class sizes, funding cuts for instructional materials, cuts for building and grounds maintenance, and elimination of school nurses, music and art classes, sports programs and summer school.

OK, here's where you come in. You are why Poway schools rock! Volunteering your time to help in the classroom has been a tremendous help, especially in the lower grades where increased class size also means diversity in learning skills. They need you. The teacher can focus on things like reading instead of discipline, and the stress level is lowered. Your individual support for programs that are important to you is another reason Poway is special.

Another is contributing supplies so every student has what he or she needs. We looked at each Poway school to see what kinds of supplies they need to get off on the right foot. Following is a list with a link to the school's website. As you'll see, there are some very creative ways you can contribute.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

  • needs school supplies and has a wish list for each grade on its website.
  • (which is back in session on Aug. 2 and whose marquee fundraiser is the Cinco De Mayo Run) has a "Dime a Day" program encouraging people to donate 10 cents for each of 175 school days.
  • supporters can shop at Albertson's and part of the receipt will go to the school.
  • has five simple tips on how locals can support the school, from donating electronics to cash donations on its website.

Other Poway elementary schools, including and , were not specific on their websites about their needs.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

  • supporters can shop online at a number of stores with a portion of funds going back to the school. Information is detailed on its website.
  • Foundation has lots of digital items in mind, from cameras to LCD projectors; a list is available on its website.

HIGH SCHOOLS

  • has a list of programs "in need" with fundraising goals on its website.
  • (year round) is the only continuation school in Poway. Not much listed on the website but you can contact the school for ways to help. It typically has blood drives and fundraisers throughout the year.

You're also welcome to donate to the Poway Unified School District Foundation and to volunteer.

ROTARY GIVES BACKPACKS

Again this year the Rotary Club of Poway will be making backpacks available to our elementary schools with low-income students. The backpacks have typically included things such as pencils, paper and a gift card for clothes and additional supplies.

The club will also deliver a dictionary to each third-grade student again this year.

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