School's Credit For Kids Drive In Full Swing

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Even though it seems as if we just celebrated Independence Day, Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

In the frenzy of planning, cleaning, cooking, traveling, football and all other things associated with the holiday, we sometimes forget what the day is really about.

True, there are those who say we should harbor thoughts of Thanksgiving year round, but life can be tough and sometimes it seems like there really isn't anything to be thankful for.

I encourage our readers o do as I will -- stop, walk outside, take a deep breath of clean pure Rim Country air and think of one thing, no matter how small it seems, to be thankful for. We'll feel better for it.

I wish all of you, bountiful dinners, joyful reunions with family and friends, safe travels, and remember, Go Devils, beat USC.

Set Credit for Kids priority

The Arizona Credit for Kids tax program gives taxpayers a credit against their state income tax liability for donations to public or charter schools in Arizona. For tax year 2007, the maximum credit is $200 for single filers and $400 for joint filers. Schools must use the donated funds to support extracurricular activities or character education programs and taxpayers may specify which department will receive the funds.

Credit for Kids forms list many school programs o choose from, including field projects, field trips, library club, fine arts, playground equipment, student leadership, athletic/P.E. programs, club/academic enrichments and the general fund.

All taxpayers may donate, you do not have to have children in school, or live in the school district. You need only to be an Arizona state taxpayer. The donation is taken as a tax credit when filing your state tax, and even if you owe no taxes, and paid at least $400 ($200 for individual taxpayers) you will receive a refund for the amount of your credit.

Last year Pine-Strawberry tax payers donated a tidy $57,500 to our school, more money per student than most districts in Arizona.

The yearly donations help districts around the state, including ours, purchase much needed items and services that may not be available in strapped tight M&O budgets.

Thanks to your generous support, Pine Strawberry School has an all-weather artificial turf sports field. Last year. funds from "Credit for Kids" financed the installation of artificial turf on the softball field and the goal this year is to obtain donations to complete the remainder of the field.

Credit for Kids dollars also have paid for band instruments, portable staging platforms and risers, sound equipment, art equipment and supplies. The sports teams have benefited with new uniforms and equipment. New science equipment has been purchased. Field trips for all classrooms and various camps were funded.

Also, all classrooms now have Internet access, thanks to Credit for Kids.

Credit for Kids is a "win, win" scenario for all of us. It costs axpayers nothing --t's a decision you make on your taxes, who you want to receive your dollars, the schools or the Arizona Dept of Revenue.

For most of us, that's not a tough call.

Donations must be made by Dec. 31, 2007. For more information, call Pine-Strawberry School, (928) 476-3283.

Jammin'

All are welcome to come to Pine November 21 and enjoy the Fiddler's Jam. The music begins at 1:00 pm. and will be followed by a community social to be held at the Senior Center. Admission is free but donations will be accepted for the hot cider, coffee, cocoa and holiday treats that will be served.

Christmas tree auction
The Pine Strawberry School Christmas tree auction set for Nov. 30 in the school gym.

Those familiar with this annual event have something extra to look forward to this year. Prior to the auction, a barbecue pork dinner will be served from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The meal, to be expertly prepared by the popular Susie Q BBQ caterers, will be accompanied by cowboy beans, chips and a beverage for $5.The auction will begin at 6:15 p.m. The living Christmas trees three- to four-feet in height, will be lighted and decorated. Trees, which are decorated by the students, and will feature creations from the K-8 classrooms, special education, band, library, girls and boys basketball teams and the administrative office.

In addition to Christmas trees, holiday cards designed by students will be on sale. To add to the festivities, the Pine Strawberry School Band will be playing holiday music. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

This is a great fund-raiser for the school. Plan to bring the family; you will have a delicious dinner and have the chance of taking home a festive Christmas tree.

Pine library youth activities

Pre-school story time is held each Wednesday at the library. Children, ages 2 to 5 years of age, may enjoy stories from 10:15 to 11 a.m.

Also, at 3:30 p.m. each Thursday, children, ages 6 to 10 years, are invited to join an after-school enrichment program.

For more information, call the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library (928) 476-3678.

-- Kay Foster is the Pine Strawberry happenings columnist. Items of interest for Pine Strawberry residents may be e-mailed to her at fosterkay

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