Ideas to Impact: Elementary Coding Project

Abi and Trailside Coding Specialist Mike Burton
Abi is an active, bright third grader at Trailside. "I like Extra Math first thing in the morning," she says, "it wakes up your brain. And I like Mileage Club 'cause I like running. And my other favorite thing is Coding Class."
Abi has been part of the cutting edge elementary Coding Program, since she was in first grade. "It was her favorite class by far that year," says her mom. "I feel so lucky she was in that pilot as a first grader." 
The pilot was launched by BoardDocs, and continues with a public-private partnership between PCSD and P CEF. " We need to provide, not just content knowledge, but the four C's of 21st century learning : Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity," says Superintendent Ember Conley, "and Coding does that for our students."

  Some may wonder, why start in elementary school? After all, in most school districts , coding and  programming classes are taught in high school, if at all. "Students are learning skills beyond coding," says Trailside Coding Specialist Mike Burton, "They are learning persistence  and problem-solving, and then using those skills in their other classes."
PCEF's Abby McNulty adds, "By 2020, there will be 1,000,000 open programming jobs in the U.S. By starting in elementary school, we are creating a path to excellent jobs. We hope to give kids the confidence, especially girls and minorities, to not 'self-select' out of programming classes in high school, as has happened in the past. This is another example of a program that will change lives, that would not exist without the generosity of donors to PCEF in our community."
As for Abi, all she knows is, "In coding, you create what you want to create! I love creating what my mind wants!"
The Coding Project is made possible through a groundbreaking public-private partnership, thanks to donor directed gifts to the Park City Education Foundation.  Learn more or to give to the Coding Project
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: Moynihan/Ploof Family

Abi, Mark, Kate, and Bo
Like so many, Kate Moynihan and her husband, Mark Ploof, came to Utah intending to stay a short while, then never left! "I came to Utah in 1991 to attend grad school. I chose the U because they were building venues in hopes of winning the 2002 bid for the Olympics and it seemed an exciting time to be here. I met Mark, and we chose to stay and raise our family here."
Their children are in first and third grade at Trailside.  "We feel very lucky with the schools here. We have private school programs in a public school. We were inspired to give to the Coding Project because our daughter took to it immediately in first grade. It was by far her favorite class, which got us very excited. When the opportunity came about to donate to PCEF for the coding effort, it felt very organic for us.
"In addition, you see the statistics about STEM and the deceleration rate for girls after 6th grade, and we want her to have every opportunity. Many of the women I know who can continue working after having children, do so because they are in some type of tech job where they can work from home.
"We understand these amazing programs come with some private cost, especially since Utah has the lowest funding for education in the country.  And truly, for many in this community, the cost of entry to PCEF is low. If those who can donate do so, then everyone is lifted up, including the children of those who can't afford to. It's a big deal that in a ski town, we can send our kids to public school and know they are getting a great education."
Park City Raises Over $2,000,000 for Nonprofits During Live PC Give PC!

Thank you to everyone who donated to school projects and PCEF! Over $114,000 was raised for 21 different school projects, ranging from sensory playground equipment at Trailside to PCHS Debate to Bright Futures PC.

Thanks to YOUR donations, PCEF won second place on the Overall Leaderboard and will receive an additional $1,250 from Park City Mountain's Epic Promise.

Check out the School Projects Results

Read the  Park Record Article

Vinto Helps Schools with Live PC Give PC!

Thank you to Vinto Pizzeria for their support of school projects during Live PC Give PC. Vinto donated 20% of sales during each school's Vinto Days.

Congratulations to McPolin, Parley's Park, and Trailside Elementary schools for winning the additional bonus dollars for participation!

McPolin = $1,000 Bonus
Parley's Park = $750 Bonus
Trailside = $500 Bonus

Vinto added nearly $7,000 to school Live PC Give PC projects!

PCEF Executive Director Abby McNulty is Selected for the National Schools Foundation Association's Leadership Council!
We are happy to announce that Abby McNulty, our Executive Director, has been selected for the National School Foundations Association's Industry Leadership Council.  

Individuals selected for the Industry Leadership Council are considered thought leaders in the industry and understand the value of collective national efforts in raising the knowledge base, profile and impact of education foundations.  

"It's an incredible opportunity for us and for me to learn best practices and what other ed foundations are doing that is exciting and making a difference." - Abby McNulty

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Meet PCEF's New Programs Director

We are happy to welcome Kara Cody as our new Programs Director!

Kara will be working with our Programs Manager, Sara Hutchinson, to ensure 
the best possible outcome for every dollar donated.

Originally from Yankton, SD, Kara came to Park City via Washington D.C.   For the past five years, Kara has worked for Sundance Institute managing community and student outreach programs and overseeing government relations. 

Be sure to introduce yourself when you see her in the school halls, checking in on the nearly 100 program PCEF funds!
Teacher Spotlight: Mike Burton

  • Trailside Elementary Coding Specialist
  • Nine years teaching K - 8, including  Coding, Physical Education, Adapted Physical Education, and Exploring Technology
  • University of Utah: BS (Exercise Sports Science) and MS (Special Physical Education;) Endorsed in ESL, Education Technology and working on Exploring Computer Science Endorsement
  • Loves playing biking, skiing, food,  playing in the mountains with wife Patti and son Jack
When asked about his inspiration to be a teacher, Mike replies there are many. "I have been fortunate enough to have some incredible teachers as role models.  The teachers that inspire me are the teachers that make learning fun, engaging, purposeful and meaningful. It's my goal to do the same for the students I work with.   
"I think and hope I am doing that with my coding students. For instance we started using Scratch, a block based programing language that teaches the basic concepts of programing. Our class is set up to allow students to create, collaborate, critically think, and communicate all while having fun working on individual projects. To see this in action is beyond any expectations that I had for teaching this material.   
"One of my favorite things about coding is that every child really has a chance to succeed. One of my students receives special education services. In the "regular" classroom setting this student has not had very many opportunities to standout from the rest of his class academically. His first day working on a coding program that scenario changed. Not only did the student excel at learning and understanding the program, he surpassed expectations for students moving through the stages. By the second class other students were looking to this student who was excelling for help.  
"PCEF and its donors have created an incredible opportunity for students in the PCSD. PCEF allows teachers dreams to become a reality,  which in turn allows teachers to meet the needs of students in innovative, current, and creative ways!"
November EVA Lesson

Students learned about the artist, John Nieto, and his style of artwork that incorporates images of Native American culture. Students created a teepee in the style of Nieto, using chalk pastels, and explore blending and mixing.

EVA is a collaboration between the Kimball Art Center and PCEF. PCEF donors provide $90,000 to fund EVA.

Golden Apple Sponsors:


  Park City Education Foundation | 435-615-0235 |