End-of-Year Reflections

Dear Birney families,

The outgoing presidents of Birney PTA and Friends of Alice Birney Elementary (FOABE) wanted to offer a big end-of-year thanks to all members of the Birney community: students, families, teachers, staff, administrators, and community partners.

IB learners reflect, so we wanted to reflect on how much our community has achieved over the last two school years. We have come very far indeed thanks to all of your efforts. Two years ago, we did not have this weekly Birney News Digest to keep the community apprised of everything happening at Birney. We did not have a PTA website. Our roster of Birney traditions like Passport to Adventure, Run for the Green, the Toyland Parade, the Kensington Memorial Day Parade, Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week, Bedtime Stories, Parents Night Out, and Family Dinner Nights has expanded to include exciting new events like the University Heights Urban Harvest Festival and Playground Play Dates.

Who would have thought two years ago a Birney-built trebuchet would smash pumpkins into compost to the delight and cheers of Birney families? Who knew that hanging out on the playground after school would be so much fun? New programs, like Mission 2 Save, the School Smarts Parent Academy, the Foster Grandparent Reading Tutors, the Reflections PTA Art Contest, and Girls on the Run, have all thrived.

This year, FOABE hit our fundraising goal of $85,000 a month early. These funds allow Birney to maintain its IB status and also provide our teaching teams valuable collaboration time to help all the students at Birney. Our families also give their precious time to Birney. This year, families have spent more than 4500 hours volunteering at Birney. The dollar value of this time spent is $101,475, but the value communicated to your children is priceless. We do nothing at Birney without our dedicated volunteers and we thank everyone who has pitched in, no matter how big or how small the contribution. Everything is appreciated.

Both of us are excited to see new leadership moving forward; we both have small children and will still be around for a while to support Birney. Incoming PTA President Sarah McLure has spent many years behind the scenes as a major contributor to Run for the Green, Girls on the Run, and pretty much every other program at Birney. Incoming FOABE President Beth Deig created this Birney News Digest, co-founded and co-led the University Heights Urban Harvest Festival, and has spent the last year laying the groundwork for amazing things at FOABE. If they get half the support and help we’ve gotten from the Birney community, they will do amazing things.

All the best,
Kim Schultz, outgoing PTA President
Jennifer Ayala, outgoing FOABE President