Ideas to Impact: Dyslexia Initiative
Struggling Readers Receive a Life Changing Gift!

"I knew something was wrong," says Abby McNulty. "My spirited, bright daughter, who loved preschool, didn't want to be in kindergarten; getting her to school was a challenge."
 
"In December of that year, my daughter was identified as a struggling reader and as a child who might have dyslexia. That conversation kick-started a lot of intervention services, testing, and advocacy."
 
The Dyslexia Initiative began last year, thanks to a gift to PCEF from the Hall Family Fund. McPolin Elementary piloted Wilson Fundations, a multi-sensory reading curriculum, in grades K - 2.  According to PCSD Elementary Curriculum Specialist Julie Hastings, "Each teacher was tackling the problem of struggling readers, but there was no systemic approach. Fundations gave teachers an excellent tool to help all readers, and identify struggling and dyslexic ones."
 
The pilot did so well, that Wilson Fundations is being rolled out this year to all PCSD elementary schools in grades K-2, and K-3 in McPolin, thanks to an additional gift to PCEF from the Hall Family Fund.
 
Fundations is an expensive program. "This is a great example of a public-private partnership," says Superintendent Ember Conley, "This program would not exist without the support of PCEF, the Hall Family Fund, and the advocacy of PC READS."
 
McNulty echoes that agreement. "I credit this program for changing the course of my daughter's academic career and her life, frankly. Early detection and intervention is critical.  My daughter is doing great in first grade, and loves school!"

The Dyslexia Initiative is made possible through a ground breaking public-private partnership, thanks to a generous gift to the Park City Education Foundation from the Hall Family Fund, financial commitment from PCSD, and advocacy from PC READS.
Note - Abby McNulty is the Executive Director of PCEF
McPolin wins the Beat the Call
UPS Stores Park City $2,500 Challenge Grant!

Congratulations! McPolin Elementary has won the Beat the Call  UPS Stores Park City  $2,500 Challenge Grant. 

Your donations help fund nearly 100 programs in PCSD!

MPES = 63% WOW!  #winningstreak
PPES = 50% WOW, most improved! 
TSES = 49% Fantastic, thank you!
JRES = 48% Awesome, thank you!
     EHMS = 41% Best yet, thank you!
TMJH = 28% Thank you TMJH!
PCHS = 26% Thank you PCHS!

Want to Know More About PCEF?

Be sure to check out the PCEF Website for all kinds of information on the $1.5 million in programs we fund in our district. Keep up with the latest PCEF news on Facebook, and Twitter, too!
Donor Spotlight: Ty and Karen Hall, the Hall Family Fund

The Hall's inspiration to give to PCEF comes from personal tragedy and triumph. "Our son, Alex, and his best friend both had dyslexia," says Karen Hall. Both families lived through the struggles and challenges of raising children in a world that did not officially recognize dyslexia.
 
"We were lucky, because Alex was diagnosed early. It made all the difference in his self-esteem and academic success. When his best friend died in a tragic car accident, we felt compelled to make a difference to honor him.  
 
"We started meeting with PC READS and PCSD to have conversations, asking, how do we really make a difference? We came to the conclusion that early detection of dyslexia would make the biggest difference for the most students. Statistics show nearly 20% of the population has some form of dyslexia. That's 900 students in PCSD. We decided to fund the McPolin pilot of the Wilson Fundations reading curriculum. It has been proven to be incredibly successful. 

"As confident as we felt, we were aware that the pilot had a possibility to not accomplish what we had hoped. As the year progressed it became obvious that it was going to be successful, not only for struggling readers, but for all students. The children were thriving and the McPolin teachers were pleased with their students' progress. When we received word that it would be rolled out to all PCSD elementary schools, I cried. This is a project of passion for us, so the sense of fulfillment and pride is immense.
 
"I don't think any parent should have to relive our struggle given the knowledge that is available to all of us about dyslexia now. We feel as if we have come full circle in our journey of raising a dyslexic child
 
"Nothing happens overnight when you have an ambitious agenda, but with patience and commitment and collaboration, you can make a difference.  There aren't any metrics when it comes to saving a child's self esteem and love of learning. I can certainly say there are no metrics to expres s the depth of true joy we have experienced by being part of such a great cause."

The Hall Family Fund's core purpose is early detection and treatment of children with the gift of dyslexia and to help Park City School District become nationally recognized as a leader in this cause.
Donor-Directed Gifts: 
Like the Hall's, you, too, can experience the joy of giving and make a difference for Park City students!

Ty and Karen Hall's gift is an example of a donor-directed gift; one that is given for a specific purpose and meets a critical need in our schools or classrooms.

If you are interested in learning more about donor-directed gifts, please contact Abby McNulty at amcnulty@pcschools.us 
Red Apple Gala Raises Over $380,000 for Students, Teachers, and Schools!

Thank you Park City! The Red Apple Gala, generously hosted by Montage Deer Valley and presented by Zions Bank , was another spectacular success, raising over $380,000 for PCEF programs going beyond what public education provides in the Park City School District.

Thank you to our sponsors, gala guests, and auction donors, whose generous support helps provide nearly 100 programs in PCSD!

Check out all the fun on the Gala Facebook Album!
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Teacher Spotlight: Julie Hastings

  • PCSD Elementary Curriculum Specialist
  • Elementary teacher since 2000, in PCSD since 2004
  • Taught 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, Media Specialist, Instructional Coach
  • BS in Sociology with an Elementary Education Certificate from CU Boulder, Master's in Educational Leadership, Endorsed in ESL, Technology, and Media, Administrative Degree
  • Loves playing golf, skiing, travel, going to NFL games and cheering on daughters Piper and Riley (both at McPolin) with husband Eric.
"My mom was a teacher, and she inspired me. It just seemed like a natural fit," says Julie Hastings.  
 
Julie has been a long-time elementary teacher and is turning her teaching skills to helping other teachers, first as an Instructional Coach at McPolin, and now as the new PCSD Elementary Curriculum Specialist.
 
One of her duties is overseeing the implementation of the new Wilson Fundations reading curriculum, as well as the Orton-Gillingham professional development for the teachers.
 
"Fundations has plenty of evidence to prove its' effectiveness, not only for dyslexic students, but for ALL students. That leads people to think that implementing this type of program would be easy. It's not. It takes additional training and intense focus on every teacher's part." A big piece of Julie's new job is to ensure each teacher gets the help and training they need to ensure a smooth and effective implementation of Fundations, as well as all elementary curriculum.
 
"With the pilot at McPolin last year, we found the time and expense of this program was worth it. PCSD is fortunate to have the PCEF, which allows us to join forces with the community, and continue doing what is best to ensure learning for all students."
 
And when it comes down to it, that is what is most important to Julie - the success of her students. "A tall, young man stopped me at the grocery store recently and went out of his way to say hello. He spent several minutes sharing with me that he is attending college and that "life is good." I was his first grade teacher. It doesn't get much better than learning that a prior student, who struggled through rough times when they were young, has persevered and is living life to their fullest potential."

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