October 24, 2016
2015 was a year to dream, design and create. For Skyview Elementary in Lake Highlands it was the year of the garden: a year dedicated to planning and building the Skyview Harmony Garden, complete with native plants, vegetable gardens and outdoor musical instruments. The garden and volunteer team recently celebrated its groundbreaking.
On the heels of this immensely successful endeavor, Skyview PTA president Sarah Greenman paused long enough to take a deep breath (maybe two) and then set another goal for her neighborhood elementary school: its first-ever off-campus fundraising gala and auction.
"The goal was to raise funds for Skyview's communication program and translation services initiative."
- Sarah Greenman, Skyview PTA president
"The goal was to raise funds for Skyview's communication program and translation services initiative," said Greenman, who reports that among the school's 804 students there are approximately 12 different languages spoken in classrooms and on campus.
"Skyview makes use of the translation options available via Richardson ISD, but our unique situation requires more support for challenges associated with multiple language barriers," she added. "Funds raised at the auction and dinner will be put to work atop our school's traditional state funding."
Turnout on the evening of Thursday, October 6, was just what Sarah hoped for. "The community and our Town Creek neighbors came out in full force! They enjoyed meeting our teachers, expressing gratitude for the work they do, and they came ready to bid!"
The gala raised just over $12,000 – enough to fund a new electronic marquee that will scroll school updates and information in multiple languages including Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, Spanish and more.
"The gala's theme was 'Around the World' because we are school that celebrates the extensive diversity of our students and staff," said Greenman. "And we are working hard to create pathways to clear and open-hearted communication with our Skyview families, because when we do, everyone wins!"
Together with Skyview principal Ingrid Dodd, Sarah also has plans to pursue grants and partnerships with local businesses and organizations to continue raising funds for additional translation services and software. Watch for an update in future installments of the RISD newsletter School Times.
“The students wanted to make this day ‘so huge’ that it would have an impact and that the message would be remembered. They hope that this will start a movement on which others will build, and that this day will be talked about for years to come. They also speak about wanting our district to be one of ‘radical inclusiveness’ where everyone is kind to each other – every day.”
- Dr. Jeannie Stone, RISD Superintendent, on the district’s recent “Kindness Day”
“A trip like this, especially with the tours and places we get to visit, will, I believe, shed a different light and give us different perspective on our nation and its history. It is one thing to read about these places and events in a book, but getting to study them and experience them up close is a completely different story.”
- LHHS Wildcat Wrangler Erin Moudy, on performing for the Presidential Inauguration
“When you can put kids in an authentic work environment that is a skill that you can’t duplicate in a traditional brick and mortar school. You can have the same equipment, you can have the same teachers, you can have the same resources, but you can’t give them the vision of walking into a working hospital.”
- Sandra Hayes, the district’s assistant superintendent of district operations, to the Dallas Morning News during the Open House for RISD’s new Health Science Program at Methodist Richardson Medical Center