Two million dollars in funded projects after its 1983 founding, the private-sector Association for Excellence in Education gained approval Monday from the Tupelo Public School Board for $86,903 in special projects proposed by the district's teachers for the 2005-2006 academic year.
AEE, as the organization is generally known, enables a striving for instructional excellence in Tupelo's public schools through special initiatives that otherwise wouldn't be possible.
The projects – fully funded by AEE's corps of donors, not tax sources – range from kindergarten music to elementary school Shakespeare to middle school publishing. All are student-centered, offering a step beyond the ordinary and expected in special challenges and opportunities.
An independent committee screened and evaluated the project applications. Awards range from $225 to $10,000. Each carries higher expectations and responsibilities for both teachers and students. None could go forward without the trustees' approval.
AEE opens its membership to everyone; the minimum membership is $25. Singles, couples, parents, school community supporters, businesses and corporations support the cause.
This year's annual luncheon April 21 at Joyner Elementary School is both a celebration and an affirmation of AEE's mission and accomplishments.
This school year's projects will be featured in colorful displays for viewing, beginning at 11:15 a.m., followed by the program and lunch at 12:15 p.m.
The deadline for reservations is April 14 at 840-1847.
AEE and the school district's work together represents the best in public-private sector partnerships and wide involvement in support of public education.
At its beginning AEE was unique in Mississippi, and only a handful of other public school districts nationwide equal its record of support from private sources.
AEE doesn't seek a high profile for itself because the important achievements happen in individual schools and classrooms. It is a conduit for private investment in the most important enterprise any community can undertake: preparing students to succeed.
We encourage support for AEE at the personal and business levels because we believe in what can be achieved in public education.
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