ST. GEORGE – The Dixie Escalante Electric Kite Festival, held on April 15, was a blow out success – kites flew, people of all ages attended and the weather shined.
Most importantly, the Kite Festival succeeded in its purpose – to raise funds and support literacy opportunities and achievement for children in Washington County. Kite Festival Director Joe McKeehan says that the committee gave its commitment yesterday, April 28, to donate $30,000 to the Washington County School District Foundation.
Director Pam Graf of the Foundation anticipates the donation will be officially tendered at either an upcoming school board meeting or a principals’ meeting sometime in May.
“The reason the Foundation receives it is that we are the 501(c) non-profit organization through which all charitable donations for the Washington County School District flow.”
Graf says that the money is allocated in various amounts to all the schools, depending upon their levels of participation in the Kite Festival and its incentive program.
The recipient schools decide on how funds they receive are best utilized, explains Graf; some use the money to replace level library books, to repair library books, purchase new books, or in new reading programs the District is beginning.
“We, the Foundation, make sure that all the money is spent on literacy.”
In addition to the $30,000 donation to the Foundation, the Kite Festival contributes to literacy and education in other ways as well.
McKeehan is quite excited about the Festival’s Prize Patrol, which will be awarding the $1,000 prize to the winning teacher for use in his or her classroom.
“We did draw a name yesterday! When and who is a secret! I don’t want to give any inkling on the matter, they will know when we show up at their school.”
Graf adds that this year the Foundation had a large double booth at the Festival, at which they offered $1 scholastic and other books for sale. These are books that are all quality books, many being those that teachers use in their classrooms, grades K-7.
“The Foundation purchased books throughout the year at cost of $1 each, and sold them for the same, at cost. I can’t even tell you how many we went through, we probably went through 2,500 books! We wanted to make sure families get books into their homes.”
Kite flying incentives certainly do give lift to literacy growth and opportunities.