Partners Of Dorris, POD, was established in the fall of 2011 by a team of reliable and diligent parents, administrators, teachers, and community members with a vision. In under 7 months, POD created and executed a sales campaign that resulted in the unprecedented sale of over 34,000 candy bars to make possible the first instrumental (violin, cello, recorder) music program to be ushered into Dorris Place Elementary, set up individual Amazon.com wish lists to support each teacher’s classrooms, produced the school’s first community wide Fall Festival complete with haunted house, multi-ethnic food court, jumpers, carnival games and petting zoo (now a DPE tradition), hosted, decorated & catered the holiday luncheon for the entire staff, performed a complete makeover on the school library, reopened and staffed it with volunteers for which we were interviewed by the Eastsider L.A. blog and National Public Radio (article & audio can be found on the PODsite), conducted a week long celebration of teacher appreciation to honor the heroic efforts of our teachers with meals, goodies, and gifts, instituted our first Fitness Fair (also now a DPE tradition) to inspire the students to get moving by introducing them to things like Yoga, Zumba, Relays, and Soccer, Jump Rope, and Basketball drills to raise money for a PE fund and Fitness, Nutrition, Garden Program so as to one day create group lesson planning time for the teachers, and orchestrated Dorris Place Elementary’s first Fine Arts Festival (also now a DPE tradition) to raise awareness for the desperate need for more arts in our schools, complete with an artwalk of exhibits, and stations of local artists that came to exhibit their professional work while teaching our children to sculpt, paint portraits, draw still lives and sketch and paint watercolor landscapes.
POD parents also planted veggies, herbs, watered every week and breathed new life into our Tiger Garden which flourished and yielded harvests of beets, radishes, fava beans, cilantro, basil, sage, oregano, carrots, lettuces and more! POD sought out sponsors along the way such as our Elysian Valley Neighborhood Council, Home Depot, Office Depot, Crate & Barrel, fitness gyms, and local small businesses who all lent a hand so that our children would have newer and greater opportunities to experience and strive toward.
We seek to aid in the implementation of supplemental literacy programs, writing programs and anything else that will give our kids a boost on their path to college preparedness. In our second year, we not only repeated each of the 3 key fundraising events on even larger scales, but also partnered with Home Depot to do a complete demolition and rebuild of the Tiger Garden featured on the EastsiderLA blog, brought in the Children’s Nature Institute for a 3-fold nature study of animals/inhabitants of Southern California, a schoolyard scavenger hunt that educated on pollution, storm drains, carbon footprints and culminated with a field trip hike through Griffith Park for 6 classes—all free of charge, then added more professional artists and classes to our Fine Arts Fest and the addition of our historic first musical concert that featured our audition choir and performances by the first students at Dorris Place Elementary to study violin, cello, and recorder with the first official year of musical instrument instruction now successfully completed and last year’s dream now a reality.