The Pacific School (P.S. 38), an elementary school for the arts, located at 450 Pacific Street, serving Pre-K through 5th grade, is holding an Applebee's Dining to Donate night on November 1.
The school is in dire need of funding following this year's budget cuts that have eliminated a handful of the school's arts programs, leaving the the specialized art school struggling for the very thing that makes it special.
This year, the school lost several of its longtime enrichment programs, including its free violin classes with Noel Pointer Foundation, its art teacher and its free after-school program, which provides, cooking and nutrition courses, music classes and additional tutoring to prepare the kids for the state tests.
The library also is in dire need of an upgrade: The library has no staffed librarian; the books are old; and there's some question about asbestos under the rug," said Danielle Montgomery, a PTA member at P.S. 38.
So for now, the teachers are taking turns spending an hour and half after school to try to keep some of the enrichment programs alive.
"We're happy the teachers are willing to do this, but it's not nearly enough times for the kids or the parents," said Montgomery, whose son attends P.S. 38 in the 3rd grade.
She said she decided to organize the Dining to Donate at Applebee's after one of her friends, whose son attends a nearby charter school, did something similar.
"I remember her telling me about it, and I remember seeing the flyers, so I thought, why can't we do something like this also," said Montgomery, whose son is learning to play the guitar and loves to paint.
But, also because of the budget cuts, all of the parents now have to pay for the after-school guitar lessons, and they are still in need of an assistant art teacher.
With the Dining to Donate promotion, anyone who comes into one of the three Applebee's locations and shows the flyer [attached to the gallery] will have 10 percent of their meal donated to the school. Customers can also apply it to takeout orders.
But it's for one night only. And neither Montgomery nor the school's staff are allowed to solicit participation inside of the restaurant. So diners must show the flyer to apply the discount.
"So we're basically doing a test run with this fundraiser to see how this goes. And if it goes well, then we'll definitely do it again," said Montgomery. "This is my part of giving back and trying to make sure that my son gets the best experience out of being in that school."
To help out the Pacific School, download the attached flyer, mark November 1 on your calendar, and enjoy one evening of dining while you donate.