Mount Shasta music teachers Fred Wichmann and Carol Taforo were completely taken by surprise last Friday morning when members of PIE offered them each a check for $500 to support their programs.

“This couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Wichmann, explaining he’s busy preparing for Guys and Dolls Jr., which will open at the end of April.

“We have a cast of 45... I dthink we’ll use part of this donation to purchase materials to create the set and for costumes.”

Though PIE had already donated funds to the performance, they wanted to support the music programs even more. The $500 can be spent by each teacher as they see fit, said Renae Hanson, PIE board member and treasurer.

PIE, short for Partners in Education, is a group of parents working together to raise money to help Mount Shasta Elementary and Sisson schools, Hanson said.

“In these tough economic times our schools are asked to do more with less. Our help is needed more than ever to fill the gaps. Our goal is to get more parents connected to the schools. It has been shown that building parent involvement in education is the number one thing we can do to create a great school and improve student performance,” Hanson said.

So far this year, PIE has coordinated several fundraising events, including the Believe Catalog, the annual Walk-a-thon, a Fall Festival, and a Fall Scholastic book fair.  

PIE is also scheduled to hold its Spring book fair at MSE from April 11-15 and at Sisson from May 23-27.

This school year alone, PIE?has funded nearly $8,600  toward Mount Shasta schools and school programs and has also provided book vouchers to the school libraries, teachers, and students in the excess of $8,000.

 In the past four months, PIE has funded many school programs and trips, Hanson said.  Some of these include a third grade trip to Shasta Caverns, a fifth grade trip/hike to Horse Camp, the sixth grade field trip to French Creek, the seventh grade trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival performance of  “The Imaginary Invalid” the eight grade trip to Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and money to purchase amendments and seeds for the MSE school garden.

Fifty percent of this year’s Walk-a-thon money was given directly to the class that raised the money and the other fifty percent was given to the MSE general fund, Hanson said.

PIE is always looking for new parents and community members who may be interested in helping. The group meets each month on the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Sisson library. Next month’s meeting will be held on Feb. 8.

If you're interested in learning more about PIE or would like to donate, email
PIE also has a Facebook group. Find it by searching “PIE Partners in Education" and then "like" the group, Hanson said.