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Rotary builds school-community connection

February 14, 2013
Vernon PK-8 School and the East Portland Rotary Club are celebrating eight years of partnership that has strengthened the school's connection with its community, supported programs and provided materials for students.
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The Rotary Club held its annual luncheon at the school Jan. 24 and presented the Vernon PTA with a check for $12,500 to help fund the school's music program. This is the second check in a three-year commitment to contribute $37,500 to the school. 

During its eight-year partnership with the school, the East Portland Rotary has provided:

  • U.S. and World Maps for every classroom.
  • Bulletin boards outside every classroom to display the children’s work.
  • T-shirts for all students and staff to promote school pride.
  • Support of PTA efforts that has taken the group from four people eight years ago to over 150 participating parents today.
  • Created and supports a food pantry for Vernon children and their families.
  • Rotary volunteers that support the Vernon Passport Club.
  • Developed a “student of the year” program that annually honors two students with $100 scholarships and has a permanent plaque on display at the school.
  • Committed $37,500 matching funds to the PTA to bring music back to Vernon School.
  • Developing a Rotary “Four-Way Test” contest for 7th and 8th grade students who will compete for a cash prizes and eventually compete against other students from around the state for potential scholarship money.
  • Free dictionaries for every 3rd grade student every year. 
  • Free dental kits twice a year for every child at Vernon School

"The East Portland Rotary club has developed a strong and vibrant relationship through hard work, determination and dedication," said Kevin Pasion, president of the East Portland Rotary Foundation. "East Portland Rotary club members have donated hundreds of hours and many thousands of dollars supporting efforts to enhance the connection between the community and this wonderful school."

"That commitment helped strengthen and energize the Vernon PTA, provided tools for staff to assist in student instruction and an example for students of how 'service above self' is the essence of a community," Pasion added. "We view our partnership as a model between non-profit organizations such as Rotary and their neighborhood communities in which they work, live and support."   


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