Construction project building a community at Basalt school
November 20, 2009
BASALT – A project under way at Basalt Middle School is all about bricks and mortar, on the surface, but it’s really about community building, according to Principal Jeremy Voss.
A parent group called Partners In Education, or PIE, decided to tackle a project that’s been on the wish list of middle school teachers for years. They wanted to turn a dirt area of a popular courtyard off the lunchroom into an inviting space that students could use without tracking mud into the school.
Gallegos Masonry contributed seven pallets of flagstone for the project. A mason, with no child in the school, donated time to help lead the effort to lay the flagstone and build a bench.
About 15 to 20 parents along with 10 kids have chipped in labor at one time or another, Voss said. They sacrifice time on Saturdays and Sundays and an occasional weekday afternoon. One of the more rewarding results of the project is that it has brought Latinos and Anglos together, Voss said.
“I like that it builds some bridges,” he said.
The PIE group is just getting started at the middle school this year. Some parents with students in Basalt Elementary School got it rolling a few years ago. As their kids advanced to middle school, the parents carried it over. P.D. Ash, a PIE member, said the intent is simply to give teachers and administrators a helping hand in whatever way possible to make the Basalt schools the best they can be.
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In addition to the bricks and mortar project, PIE helps with educational endeavors. It recruited 10 adults to help with a Buddy Reading Program in which younger students get special attention to help them learn to read better.
Voss said a group like PIE is a school administrator’s dream. “They are here to support us,” he said.