Community Groups Step Up To Help School District 51
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Shiny new markers, fresh baseball uniforms and life saving AED devices, none of which would be possible without the generosity of the Grand Valley community.
It hasn't been an easy last few years for School District 51 which has experienced cuts that creep up to $30 million.
"The district has gone through some cuts and reductions and is in the process of trying to adapt to those," said Steve Schultz, Superintendent for School District 51.
At the beginning of the school year, the district made $5.7 million in cuts. Some to administration, which received praise, and others like the increased walking distance has it's share of critics.
"I think it’s time we get past the finger pointing and blaming and say how do we work together as a community to come up with different ways to deal with the crisis as it strikes us," said Schultz
For years, in the district's times of need, parts of the community have been doing just that.
"There’s not a month that goes by that the school board doesn't approve and thank people for donations that range anywhere from $10 to $20 up to $100 sometimes more," said Schultz.
The Chamber of Commerce's 500 Plan, The Grand Junction Rockies donating more than $4,000 worth of new sports uniforms every year, Community Hospital investing thousands of dollars in AED devices, Jolley Smiles, The Lions Club, The District 51 Foundation, the list of organizations supporting District 51 goes on and on.
"When schools are kinda tight right now or families funds are kinda tight, we’re here to help everybody in our community," said Teresea Anson, president of the Grand Junction Rotary Club.
Anson and the rest of the Rotary Club are preparing to deliver hundreds of dictionaries to every third grade student in Mesa County, a tradition going strong for the last 10 years.
"It’s not just some kids showing up with a dictionary and others not and its really important that we continue to be even handed and make sure they have everything that they need," said Anson.
She knows just how crucial it is to help schools out where they may not have the money to do so themselves.
"I’m from the classroom so I know exactly what it’s like to be in a classroom when you have kids that don’t have the same level of tools," said Anson.
Even if there are more cuts in District 51's future, Schultz is confident the community will be there to assist them in giving students the best schooling experience they can have.
"People coming together and identifying a need and creatively saying what can we do together, we can figure out a way to address that and to me, that’s how we win the day," said Schultz.