Photo submitted by Kristie Smith
The Partnership Plan is celebrating 30 years of providing educational opportunities for classrooms during its annual fundraising party at the JX Event Center April fifth. They hope to raise money and recognize years of hard work by making this year’s gala an 80’s theme.
The Partnership Plan is a nonprofit organization that began in 1989 to help raise money for classrooms and offer extra educational projects and enrichment to Stillwater schools that is not typically available from the fundings from the state. They award classroom grants in order for teachers to create new learning projects and methods that helps students learn more.
The Plan has recently given out its Partnership Awards, which honors staff who have given educational opportunities to students. The award encourages teachers and represents how the organization improves classrooms.
History teacher Mike Kaul said that the awards and grants allows for teachers to pay for special projects.
“The Partnership Plan is a phenomenal organization. They do so many different things. They support opportunities for teachers to do enrichment activities and provide support to do things that normally we couldn’t afford to do in our budgets,” Kaul said after receiving an award.
They work to give unique opportunities to students and their learning experiences. Every year, the Partnership Plan sends all the fourth graders to orchestra hall in order to help them choose an instrument for their fifth grade year. This event helps “support the excellent music programs that Stillwater is known for,” Executive Director of the Partnership Plan Bev Petrie said.
Petrie added that the main thing for the plan to accomplish is its grants and educational enrichment.
In order to be able to provide enrichment projects among the school district, the organization raises money at their annual event known as the Partnership Party. They plan to conduct a silent auction, a live auction, a wine pool and their fund-a-need, which involves asking people if they would like to support programs that the organization runs by donating money.
“The more we can raise, the more we can give back to teachers and students. We just hope for every year to increase a little bit. I think it’s more about sharing what we do with the community and that the money that we’re raising goes to support classrooms and teachers and students,” Event Coordinator of the Partnership Plan Kristie Smith said.
Petrie added how the party is always “just a lot of fun and a festive atmosphere.”
The Partnership Plan hopes to successfully celebrate 30 years by having an eighties theme. They want to go back to when the plan first started, 1989, and honor all the work they have done. They will also offer fun games from the 1980’s, including Pac-Man.
“People are encouraged to wear eighties costumes if they want to, and it’s just it’s really a laid back low key event this year. It’s not as formal so it’s just really focused on the fun and celebrating 30 years,” Smith said.
All of this planning and coordinating would not be possible if it were not for their committee full of volunteers from the community. They start working in fall, after the Da Vinci Fest, which they also plan, and continue planning up until the party. They organize the location, food, activities, fundraisers and more.
“Every part of it is kind of broken down and committee members take different parts,” Smith said.
The Partnership Plan hopes to have a lot of attendees at the party so the community and district members can get together, have a fun time and raise funds for the organization. They are looking forward to another year of celebration.
“It’s a really neat way for the community to come together and see teachers and staff as well because we’ve also got teachers and staff who come,” Smith said. “It’s also a neat way for community just to see each other again, because a lot of these people will come every year and this is their chance to socialize and spend time together.”