Dear Hearst Parents:                                                                                                                                                 August 2016

This year looks to be another great one for Hearst!  Our first full school year in the post-construction era is guaranteed to include a lot of memorable school-wide activities in our beautiful, modern space including sporting events, chorus performances and monthly meetings of all students and staff.

The Hearst Parent Teacher Association (PTA) encourages all Hearst families to get involved.  Joining the Hearst PTA is free; however we ask that all families contribute to the PTA’s Owl Fund to support numerous programs the PTA provides to all Hearst students. 

Here are examples of how the Owl Fund reached every student and staff member at Hearst last year:

  • Supplemental supplies for every classroom including the Communication and Education Support (C.E.S.) classes.  Specific examples include Handwriting Without Tears for Pre-K and Kindergarten, RAZ Kids, and Discovery Education Streaming
  • Subsidies for a broad range of after-school enrichment programs
  • Uniforms for the school’s sports teams including the 2016 DCIAA Boys’ Basketball Champions
  • Educational field trips for all seven grade levels, including transportation. Examples include:
    • Pre-K and Kindergarten enjoyed several trips to the Discovery Theater
    • First grade went to Green Meadows Farm and the College Park Aviation Museum
    • Second grade traveled to the Baltimore Museum of Industry and Tudor Place
    • Third graders went to several national monuments and traveled to Baltimore to the Maryland Science Center
    • Fourth graders took amazing trips to the White House, U.S. Capitol, the National Zoo and the Baltimore Aquarium
    • Fifth grade celebrated graduation with a climbing and zip line course at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring!
  • Professional development programs for teachers, the "Specials" such as PE, Music, Art and Language, and a principal’s fund for priority needs.

Simply put, the Owl Fund makes Hearst a better school.  DCPS funds alone are not enough to ensure we can live up to our motto of “The Best Little School in District.”  In fact, close to 100% of this year’s school budget is going towards personnel expenses.  The school’s ability to depend on the PTA to supplement essential classroom support is what gives Principal Thomas the flexibility to focus on people first, without having to worry about having enough supplies for the classroom.  We, the Hearst community, need to do more to support our school.  This year’s key priorities for Owl Fund proceeds include:

  • Field Trips and Classroom Support – We all know kids love field trips and Hearst teachers do a fantastic job integrating the experiences with classroom concepts and lessons.
  • Student Enrichment Programs – Exposing children to varied activities (e.g., art, sports, foreign language, science, music) opens up doors to learning that we cannot afford to miss and provides our children the opportunity to explore their interests and discover new ones. 
  • Professional Development (PD) for Teachers – PD programs help teachers improve classroom skills and also support job satisfaction and teacher retention.  Without Owl Fund support our teachers miss out on PD opportunities when DCPS funds are not available due to budget or process constraints.

We need help from every family at Hearst to meet the Owl Fund’s $75,000 goal this year.  We are asking 100% of Hearst families to give to the Owl Fund at whatever level is right for their family – from $1.00 on up it counts! 

To help reach our goal this year we will have a friendly competition across grade levels.  Absolutely no names or contribution amounts will be shared – simply participation rates, e.g., if there are 40 families in 3rd grade and 20 have contributed the participation rate would be 50% and so on.  Prizes will be awarded to all grade levels that hit 100% participation as well as a special prize for the grade level that is fastest to get to 100% participation.  We’ll share more details on this via the website or flyers in kids’ backpacks, etc. as the school year gets underway!  WE CAN DO THIS!

While any contribution large or small is very welcome and very much appreciated we recommend a giving level of $750 per child attending Hearst Elementary.  This amount breaks down to less than $4.00 per school day to ensure our children and teachers have access to learning opportunities and tools that are on par with any school, public or private, in the city.  For parents of incoming Pre-K and Kindergartners it can be helpful to compare this amount to what you were paying in monthly childcare or preschool just a short time ago.  Remember, your gift is tax-deductible so please consider giving beyond the recommended level if you can.  All of our kids benefit.

Please make your gift as soon as possible so kids and teachers benefit during the entire school year.    

Online:         https://hearstelementary.nationbuilder.com/donate   

                       NOTE: ability to schedule monthly recurring credit card payments will be available


By check:     payable to “Phoebe Hearst PTA” and mailed to:

Phoebe Hearst Elementary School
Attn: Donald Holmes, Treasurer
3950 37th St, NW
Washington DC 20008 

Please share this info with grandparents or others who would like to support Hearst too!  It’s worth noting that the more we can raise through the Owl Fund campaign the less fundraising the PTA needs to do throughout the rest of the year – i.e., fewer “asks” for your time and money!

Recognizing some families may not be able to give at the recommended level; we welcome donations at any level and ask everyone to also consider contributing in other ways, such as:

  • Enroll in the rebate programs with select retailers at http://www.hearstes.org/retail_loyalty;
  • Sell lottery tickets for a cash prize to be drawn during the Spring Auction;
  • Volunteer your time! Join the Auction Committee, be a Room Parent, lead an Enrichment Program.

To learn about volunteering, please contact PTA co-presidents, Keri Sikich (president1@hearstes.org or 202-213-6882) and Judy Goodstein at (president2@hearstes.org or 917-733-8292).

Being “The Best Little School in District” should be more than aspirational, it should reflect the attitude and dedication of our school community, and with the enhancements afforded to Hearst Elementary through the parent-sponsored Owl Fund, we can live up to our motto more fully than ever before!

Hoot! Hoot!

Your Hearst Elementary School PTA

(Please note, Hearst PTA is a 501c(3) organization and your contributions are tax-deductible)


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