SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 26, 2013

Column: Have you tipped your hat to education lately?

Janine Matho
The Salem News

---- — In a year when educators and students are working diligently to raise student achievement to new levels, the Salem Education Foundation invites all Salemites to support and celebrate their efforts at the first Hats Off to Education! weekend.

The fun begins at the Hawthorne Hotel at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3, at the new gala and auction and continues at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, starting at the Salem Five community room at Education Day, a free community day for children and adults co-sponsored with the city of Salem. Join us as we support and celebrate public education in Salem. All proceeds will benefit the Salem Education Foundation and all public schools in Salem, funding valuable academic and extracurricular programs that are not funded by public dollars. This is the only annual fundraiser to benefit public schools in Salem; its success depends on everyone’s participation.

This “hat-themed” ticketed Gala Friday night features a live auction, $5,000 reverse raffle, great food and live music performed by Henley Douglas Rhythm and Blues and the new Wall of Wine, where a $20 donation wins you a bottle of wine and a chance to win one of five free cases of wine. Erik Rodenheiser of the Griffin Theatre will lead the live auction with more than 15 unique experiences to pique your interest! And this year, Salem’s students will benefit directly through Fund-A-Need, where gala-goers have the opportunity to financially support current student needs in the arts, music, sports and other areas. There are many ways to bid, win and fund-a-need to help students in Salem today. Bring your best hat, and join us for a night that will be remembered by all! Get your tickets today: salemeducationfoundation.org. Tickets are $50 per person, $85 per couple, and $30 per person for all Salem teachers and administrators.

The auction has already started online. The SEF Online Auction features more than 200 auction items — get yours today! Items include rare books, Red Sox tickets, special weekend getaways, gift certificates to local restaurants and shops. Check it out today at biddingforgood.com/sefspringauction.

On Education Day, all of Salem goes to school — right in downtown. Experience Salem’s downtown as a virtual classroom, where businesses and partners from across the city collaborate and offer learning opportunities galore! Workshops, presentations, live performances, demonstrations, hands-on activities and entertainment for students of all ages and adults will be available.

Ever wanted to learn how to make raviolis? Children ages 10-12 can meet Jean Louis of Jean Louis Pasta and join in a 45-minute ravioli-making workshop and tasting. Need help brushing up your résumé and preparing for a job search? High school students and adults can attend a free workshop sponsored by the North Shore Workforce Development Center to gain these valuable skills. Love poetry and art? Families can stop by the PEM for poetry activities throughout the day for all ages in collaboration with the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Wondering how to dress for your body type? Ladies can join Modern Millie staff in a class on leveraging fashion from throughout the ages to fit your figure. Want to learn how to salsa dance? Folks of all ages can join Greg Coles Dance & Drum to learn how. These are just a few of the many learning opportunities happening throughout the day.

Registration for Education Day opens at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, at the Salem Five community room on the Essex Street pedestrian walkway in Salem. All registered participants will receive the workshop schedule, as events are taking place throughout the city.

Education Day is free and open to all Salem residents. Participants must register for the event on that day in order to participate.

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Janine Matho is president of the Salem Education Foundation. This is one in a series of columns from the Community Advisory Board for the Salem schools.