Highlands Rotary receives PIE Award

PIE: Partners In Education

By Denise Smith
Rotary Club of Highlands

The Rotary Club of Highlands and Highlands Elementary School are celebrating 16th years as partners in education. Highlands truly appreciates all that the Highlands Rotary Club does to support both students and staff throughout the school year. They are small in number but mighty in ability to support the Hawks!

In the Fall semester, the Highlands Rotary Club helped kick the year off by treating faculty and Staff to a wonderful back-to-school breakfast In August. They also supported the campus by donating $250.00 worth of school supplies to the campus supply closet. School supplies included composition books, pencils, and dry erase markers. This donation greatly benefits students and teachers on the campus, so when needs arise, they have the available supplies to assist students and teachers.

Each month throughout the school year, the Highlands Rotary Club hosts birthday celebrations. They provide each student with a blue sugar cookie and a pencil. The Rotarians helped celebrate almost 900 Hawks and approximately 100 faculty members for their birthdays. Members of the Highlands Rotary Club are in attendance to help set up, serve students, and sing “Happy Birthday” Students and faculty members really enjoy this special treat during their birthday month.

For Red Ribbon week in October, the Highlands Rotary Club donated bracelets, stickers and bookmarks for The entire school, in November, each homeroom class participated in decorating a turkey box to assist the highlands Chamber of Commerce in their food donations. The boxes are voted on and one winning class from each grade level 1st through 5th was awarded a pizza party, compliments of the Highlands Rotary Club.

The Highlands Rotary Club also provided perfect attendance Incentives to Hawks throughout the school year. Each nine weeks at the Hawk Rally celebrations, through a random draw, one boy and one girl in each grade level, first through fifth grade, were awarded a $10 Walmart gift card. A total of forty gift cards were awarded this school year.

At the end of the year, at the grade level celebrations, one boy and one girl in each grade level with perfect attendance for the entire school year, will have the opportunity to win a bicycle along with a safety helmet, provided by The Highlands Rotary Club. Members of the Rotary Club of Highlands will be on hand to assist in presenting the bicycles and helmets to deserving Hawks at the end of year celebration.

Each month a student from each homeroom is recognized for strong, outstanding character trait each month. There is a celebration for students and parents, where students are awarded a certificate. This year the Highlands Rotary Club purchased yard signs for students to display at their home during the month they are being recognized. This added another level of recognition for the awesome Hawks! The students and parents love them and are excited to display to the community their outstanding character!

In March The Highlands Elementary Hawk Council as well as the sponsors visited Rotary. What a great way for students to see leadership in action in their own community. It was a great experience for both the students and the adults.

Rotarians also provided the Physical Education Department with toe tokens and chains for the jogging/ walking club. Every student participates in the jogging/walking club. Students receive a toe token for every five miles they jog or walk. These incentives and celebrations of accomplishment would not be possible without the assistance of Highlands Rotary Club.

The most impressive donation to Highlands Elementary this year was an outdoor classroom. The Rotary Club worked with campus administration as well as district personnel to design and build the Hawks’ vision of this outdoor classroom. Rotarians spent many hours working on the design, securing permits, providing materials and providing labor to make this wonderful addition to the campus a reality. The Rotary Club also provided tables for the outdoor classroom The newly constructed outdoor classroom will be named to honor Mrs. Betty Brewer, former PIE Liaison and Highlands Rotary Club member. Mrs Brewer is well known in the Highlands community, and she loved volunteering at Highlands Elementary. What a fitting tribute to recognize a special lady. A dedication ceremony was held in April. The construction cost of the outdoor classroom Was $15,500. Highlands Elementary is so thankful for this donation and are so excited and are looking forward to the many adventures students and teachers will have in the outdoor classroom.

This year Highlands Rotary Club contributed 100 hours and $20,735 to the campus. The Highlands Hawk family would like to thank the Rotary Club of Highlands, for another successful year, and for going above and beyond this year in supporting Highlands Elementary, students, and staff! What an amazing sixteenth Year! They look forward to a continued partnership for many more years to come.

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