PVSchools program wins ASBA Golden Bell Promise Award

Pictured is Julie Bacon, 2017 ASBA president, and current PVSchools Governing Board member, Laurie Smith, VIP coordinator. (submitted photo)

PVSchools Volunteer in Paradise program received the Arizona School Boards Association Golden Bell Promise Programs Award – Excellence in Collaboration during a recent luncheon event.

The volunteer program was honored at the Golden Bell Promise Programs Luncheon at the ASBA-ASA Annual Conference on Dec. 14.

The Golden Bell Promise Award recognizes school programs throughout Arizona that have shown outstanding successes in student growth, according to a press release. As winner of the Golden Bell Promise Programs Award – Excellence in Collaboration, Laurie Smith, VIP coordinator, presented the VIP program during one of the breakout sessions.

Established in 2013, volunteers, called VIPs, tutor students who need extra academic support, and in turn, help increase student academic achievement. The VIP program matches community volunteers with one of the participating VIP schools — Arrowhead Elementary, Campo Bello Elementary, Desert Shadows Elementary, Echo Mountain Primary, Hidden Hills Elementary, Mercury Mine Elementary and North Ranch Elementary.

“I love the VIP acronym for our volunteers, because they are so very important to so many of our students,” said reading specialist Mary Beth Thomas in a prepared statement. “The attention, caring, kindness, and support of our VIPs has made a huge difference for our students and enables our teachers to meet the needs of each child.”

Knowing that there was a need for college education students to gain firsthand classroom experience, the VIP College Corps program was established in 2014.

Through the VIPCC program, 50-70 Paradise Valley Community College students are placed in classrooms every semester. College students provide instructional support and mentor the younger students while benefiting from the robust teacher preparation program.

In 2015, the VIP program was a first place winner of the National School Boards Association Magna Award, the press release stated. The Magna Awards recognize school districts and their leaders taking bold and innovative steps to improve the lives of their students and their communities.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.