Dear Editor:

On Saturday, February 18th, my parents and I attended the annual Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation gathering. This special night at the Tamaqua Railroad Station was a celebration of the innovative programs that the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation makes possible within the Tamaqua Area School District. I want to recognize the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation for the outstanding educational initiatives that they have funded in the Tamaqua Area School District over the past two years.

The individuals and the businesses that have demonstrated their support of education in the Tamaqua Area School District deserve our thanks and recognition. Over the past two years, a plethora of valuable educational experiences have been afforded to students in kindergarten through 12th grade because of the work of the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation. The entire school district has benefitted from grants that have funded special projects in core subject areas, technology, and art, as well as enhancements that have been made to enrich our school libraries.

As an educator who is committed to furthering my knowledge and skills, I have taken graduate education courses at Wilkes University, Lehigh University, and Penn State University and have attended numerous education conventions and workshops, most recently in Nashville, Orlando, and San Francisco. Through these classes and professional development opportunities, I have had the chance to meet other educators from across the country who teach in rural and urban school districts of varying sizes. When teachers gather, we commonly "talk shop" and share our challenges and successes with fellow educators.

I am proud to tell about the school district in which I teach. I am not familiar with any other community that has a group such as the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation, working hand-in-hand with school administrators, helping teachers to lead students to reach their maximum potential.

There are multiple ongoing projects that the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation is supporting, and the foundation continues to look ahead and grow, assisting our schools to attain excellence in education at all levels. In these tough economic times, the work of the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation is especially important. Their initiatives and projects, that are outside the scope of the school district's budget, are educational opportunities that empower our students and enable them to excel. I encourage the community to learn about the work of the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation by visiting its Web site http://tamaquablueraiderfdn.org [1] and supporting its projects throughout the

year. I am honored to be a part of this community that values education and am excited to be a teacher in this school district that is dedicated to offering the very best education to its students. I thank the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation for your support of our students.

Susan A. Featro

Tamaqua