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Sunday, August 19, 2018

“Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader” – W. Fusselman

Roosevelt School District Realtors Breakfast

Recently, the Roosevelt School District hosted a special breakfast for Realtors who work and live in the South Mountain and Laveen Village. More than 20 local business people attended the event to learn more about what is happening in the Roosevelt School District.

The first thing these Realtors discovered is that academics have improved significantly in the District: Over 95% of Roosevelt’s schools earned Arizona’s label of “performing or performing plus.” Reading scores increased over 8 times Arizona’s average from 2005-09, and math scores increased over 6 times the state’s average from 2005-09.

The bulk of the program was devoted to observing the “Success For All” reading program. Realtors visited John F. Kennedy Elementary School to see how Roosevelt has improved so much in reading. Dr. Anita White, the school principal, provided an overview of “Success For All” in the school library. Then the group observed several classrooms to see the reading program in action. It was very clear to me and the other Realtors that the teachers and students were completely engaged and full of joy.

Upon concluding the tour, the Realtors commented as follows:

“The teachers were so energetic and encouraging.”

“I could see students learning from the cheers and gestures.”

“The students were really engaged in sounding out the words.”

“The lessons were very interactive with fun reinforcement activities.”Next, breakfast was served back at the main District board room. Superintendent Mary K. Beyda described several new building projects (which are being financed interest free for over half of a $60 million bond). Roosevelt is constructing two new schools and adding new gyms, music rooms, classroom wings, and other facilities at many of its campuses.

Furthermore, Realtors were impressed to learn that Roosevelt has been awarded over $21 million in new grant money thanks to Ms. Beyda and her staff. Technology is one of the top investments for these resources. Smart white boards are being installed in every classroom and a new routing system will ensure wi-fi access at all district sites. In addition, all 7th & 8th grade students at 4 schools will get their own lap top computers to use.

I was once a student of the Roosevelt School District and attended the original Roosevelt School, John F. Kennedy, C. O. Greenfield and Maxine O. Bush. It is great to see kids in Kindergarten reading with excitement and learning with a passion. I believe reading is the most basic tool you can give a child to have a chance at a good quality of life. I am happy to see that the children of South Phoenix are getting that chance from a Superintendent and staff that truly care about their future.

Elizabeth Hardwick once said “The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.” That passion is truly alive at John F. Kennedy Elementary School and spreading to the entire Roosevelt District.

I challenge all of my colleagues and residents of the South Mountain Village to take an hour out of your day and go visit the “New Roosevelt School District.” I also have a challenge grant to incentivize other to give to the Roosevelt School District. RE/MAX New Heights Realty will match up to $2,500 in donations to the School District.

The extracurricular activities tax credit provides enrichment opportunities for students and lowers your state tax liability. All Arizona taxpayers are eligible to take advantage of this tax credit regardless of whether or not they have children in a Roosevelt school. Married couples filing jointly may contribute and receive a tax credit up to $400 and a single individual may contribute up to $200. If you are interested in participating in this challenge grant please email me atvvidales@remax.net or call for more information at 602-243-4800.

Governing Board Member Norma Munoz thanked all the Realtors for making the effort to learn about all the changes in the Roosevelt School District and noted that “there is no better partner than the local area Realtors who help families choose a home in the South Mountain Village.” The Roosevelt School District is reaching out to partners from every part of the community because they are committed to success for every child, in every classroom, on every day.

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future” – John F. Kennedy


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