Partners in Education show set for Thursday

Keara Flanagan and Finley Reichel join their classmates in Joice Forster’s fourth-grade class rehearsing “You’re a Grand Old Flag” for the PIE variety show set for Thursday.

FAIRMONT – Fairmont public school students will pool their talents to present the annual Partners in Education variety show at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Performing Arts Center at Fairmont High School.

“This is our 24th year,” said Helen Gould, PIE board member and longtime school advocate who has been involved with the program since it started.

In the beginning, the event was billed as a talent show, which some people misconstrued as a competition.

“We changed it to be a variety show,” Gould said. “We just wanted to feature different age groups and different activities.”

The fundraising event has enabled PIE to donate more than $150,000 over the years to fulfill teachers’ requests for activities and equipment. This school year, PIE grants were awarded for STEM problem solving kits, books and activities; iPad accessories, special education reading books, a camera for the yearbook staff, educational games, youth activity scholarships, books to distribute during the Interlaken Heritage Days parade and other materials.

“Half of the money goes into a permanent trust fund,” Gould said. “We only spend the earnings from that fund plus the other half of the money. Last year, we had $20,000 that we gave out. I think that’s the most we’ve ever had.”

“Our grants go from preschool to senior high. They go to every level so it’s benefiting students from all age groups.”

The PIE variety show will be hosted by Michelle Traetow and Kurt Isenberg. The program, usually featuring about 12 acts, will showcase vocal and instrumental performances, speech team participants, dance groups and classroom talent.

A minimum donation of $10 will admit one family to the event. Admission is $5 for an adult and $3 for a student.