RFPEF annual benefit at Aspen Glen | PostIndependent.com

RFPEF annual benefit at Aspen Glen

The Roaring Fork Public Education Foundation held its annual benefit Saturday night at the Aspen Glen Clubhouse.

The foundation raises money to give to public school teachers who use it for innovative teaching and professional development.

One of the biggest challenges that faces the district’s 400 teachers is a large, diverse student population. At GSES, the school is now more than fifty percent Latino.

Lynne Cassidy, who teaches at the school received a $700 grant to go to Guatemala so she could supplement her studies in Spanish.

“It’s important to be able to communicate with the students and their families,” She said.

Elementary teacher Rae Christian said teachers who use innovative methods leave lasting impressions on their students.

“It’s the best way to educate a child whose language you don’t speak.” she said. But doing that takes money beyond the district’s general fund, which makes the foundation a necessity for area schools.

“This is the best way to put dollars into the classroom,” Cheryl Westphal said.

Last year the foundation raised $50,000 for teachers in Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood, and this year it will raise the bar once again.

“We try to find more ways to raise money so we can give it away,” said RFPEF Executive Director Irene Friedman.

“Kids are the future,” Said co-chair Tracy Bennett. “You want to invest in the future.”

And perhaps no one knows that better than Adriana Ayala, who was the first person in her family to go to college.

“For me,” Said Ayala, “Education was the advantage.”

“And that’s what drives us here.”

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