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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2011:02:10 06:50:17

From left: Old Forge Elementary School Principal Nicole VanLuvender, Lisa Wormuth and school board president Deb DeSando. PHOTO SHANNON C. KEITH

Each year, the operating costs of the Old Forge School District continue to rise, while board members struggle with what they have to, by law, offer students educationally, versus what they want to offer students ethically.

“The situation is this,” said board president Deborah DeSando. “Our pot, our income is only so big. What we have financially available to invest in our children is limited. By law there are things we must do. But there is always a laundry list of things we want to be able to do for our children that we just can’t do.”

DeSando is hoping to change that by forming an Educational Improvement Organization, or EIO, a non-profit that functions to improve educational opportunities for children.

A similar program exists in the Abington Heights School District and funds 19 programs, including, but not limited to, the following: Odyssey of the Mind, Abington Heights Arts Alliance, Classroom for the Future, Drama Society, Earth Camp and Summer Arts Alive. A complete listing and details of each program made possible via the foundation is available online at

Individuals and businesses can make tax deductible donations to the EIO that enable programs, like those available to Abington Heights students, available in the Old Forge District.

The EIO operates independently from the district and the board.

Elementary principal Nicole VanLuvender is excited about the idea and thinks it would be a great way to bring the latest technology into the hands of students in the district.

“What I love about the school is it’s small class size and personal attention,” said Lisa Wormuth. “It’s like a private school. But it’s lacking those little extras. This is a way to get our kids those little extras.”

Wormuth is hopeful people will consider attending an informational meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 10, at the school to learn more about the possibility of forming an EIO for the district.

DeSando offered this further explanation, “The foundation would be like a booster club but for education — to bring together ideas, resources, residents and provide our children with educational programs, the things we aren’t able to provide them currently.”

For more information, call the superintendent’s office at 457-6721.