OTISFIELD – Concern about SAD 17 budget cuts leaving students and teachers without needed items has spurred staff and volunteers at Otisfield Community School to hold a fund-raiser on Sept. 17. More than 170 items will be included in this auction, including tickets to Oxford Plains Speedway.

“We’re not sure whether there will be field trips this year,” School Principal Linda Park said. School PTA money is often used to fund field trips, she added, but noted the PTA already has activities to fund.

“Some of the funds raised may be used to supplement field trips,” she said.

The sixth-grade class attends Camp Kieve’s Leadership Decisions Institute to learn to make healthy decisions about risky behavior, relationships and peer pressure. Park said plans are to set up a scholarship fund to assist families with the cost of that camp.

Funds may also be used to set up scholarships for the downhill skiing program. Park applied for a grant to assist with the Rudy the Reading Dog Program at the school. Rudy, also the school mascot, has been instrumental in assisting students achieve higher reading levels at the school.

She hoped to fund a laptop for that program, but the grant wasn’t received, she said. If enough money is raised, she’d like to use some of the funds for the laptop, which would help students as well as teachers. Under that grant, Park hoped to purchase bookmarks and pins to recognize students’ reading achievements in the program.

“The funds raised will be used for whatever students, as well as teachers, need to give students the best education they can get at Otisfield School,” Park said.

Students in the Otisfield Community School Oasis Summer camp assisted the auction effort by sorting items into boxes, making a list of items for the auction and labeling bags for the auction. The students earned 20 tickets each for the auction as well as learned about assisting in a community event.

Auction organizer Barbara Maguire said funds will be used to purchase items the budget doesn’t cover like semester awards, books and teacher supplies.

“All funds will benefit the students and staff at Otisfield School,” she continued.

The Otisfield Community School Chinese Auction is Saturday, Sept. 17, at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris.

Doors open at 10 a.m. and the auction starts at 1 p.m. Items in the auction include horseback riding lessons, a wooden wagon, a hammock, stuffed animals, a pair of tickets to the 2006 Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway, tools, a basket filled with scrap-booking supplies, furniture, kitchen accessories, candles, DVDs, six appliances and gift certificates from many area businesses.

The Chinese auction will have more than 170 items as well as a 50/50 raffle, $1 grab bags and bake sale items. Lunch will be available.

“What the kids and teachers need for learning at this school will always come first,” Park said about the funds raised through the auction.

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