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Grout Elementary fundraises with Holiday events

by: Rita A. Leonard Grout PTA Treasurer Melanie Syms welcomes customers to the Grout Pancake Breakfast and Bazaar.

A festive air pervaded Daniel A. Grout School on December 3rd for the first combined 'Pancake Breakfast and Holiday Bazaar'. Event Chair Sara Price observed, 'Although we had a fund-raising breakfast last year too, this year we combined it for convenience with our bazaar.

'The breakfast is sponsored by the Holgate Center/Odd Fellows, and the line of customers has been steady all morning. All proceeds from the breakfast go to support our school, wherever it's needed.'

Well over a hundred hungry visitors of all ages enjoyed the hearty breakfast. Singles and family groups chowed down on pancakes, sausage, syrup, juice, and coffee served on Holiday-decked tables with Christmas music. Coffee was donated by Starbucks at S.E. 39th (Chavez) and Holgate Boulevard. A face-painting table, set up with a small Christmas tree, drew happy youngsters.

Johanna Colgrove headed the bazaar, and told THE BEE 'This is a fund-raiser to help finance fifth grade overnight trips to Camp Kiwanalong at the coast. We have kids here at Grout who have never seen the ocean, and it's a real treat for them. This is kind of a preparation for them to attend Outdoor School later on.'

The bazaar included 21 sales booths, and an on-site photographer. Eager shoppers chose among jewelry, cutting boards, hair flowers, mittens, candles, stained glass art, cut paper decor, baby clothes, Holiday ornaments and more. Coleen McIntyre (www.coleenmcintyre.com) sold a 'Baking With Friends' cookbook she'd illustrated, along with 'faerie cards' she had designed. Another booth sold natural Holiday wreaths adjacent to the PTA Bake Sale table.

Colgrove took a few minutes away from the event to point out the school garden set up near the outdoor play structure on the North play field. 'We're hoping to break ground there in spring for our Rain Garden, to manage stormwater under a grant from the City Watershed Stewardship Program,' she explained. 'The garden was started two years ago, and kids have enjoyed the sunflowers, birds, and bugs it attracted. They love to see growing things.

'We do a lot of cooperative projects with Reed College and Portland State University students in Oaks Bottom,' she continued. 'But the Rain Garden will afford similar opportunities on-site for our younger students. We're already making plans for a spring carnival that will help fund the project. The mud pit there will become a bioswale, to provide ecological diversity and other educational opportunities for natural science study.'

The PTA and community are actively coming together to enhance learning opportunities for the students at Grout. With such supportive and visionary plans afoot, school children will benefit from a wider range of experiences to study and explore their world.