PAWS - Partners Advancing West Islip Students Inc.

PAWS Membership Drive Now Underway! Click here to download a Membership Form



The Partners Advancing West Islip Students Foundation (PAWS) is seeking nominations for its 2010 Community Service and Educational Service Awards, to be presented at its Fifth Annual Gala on Friday, March 12, 2010 at the Venetian Yacht Club. 

If there is someone you feel is deserving of either honor, please download the nomination form here and return it by mail, fax or email to Dr. Beth Virginia Blau (  Please use a separate coupon for each nominee.  Forms may be duplicated. All submissions must be made no later than September 30, 2009.

For more information about the PAWS organization, visit their website at .

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In conjunction with the districtís plans for the installation of the new high school turf field, PAWS is running a brick purchasing campaign to help landscape a portion of the surrounding area. Bricks will be inscribed with the names of the purchaser. Bricks can be purchased by individuals, families, sports teams and businesses. All profits from this project will be used by PAWS to fund items/ideas/initiatives of the students and teachers. Click here for a Brick Order Form.



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PAWS (Partners Advancing West Islip Students)  celebrated its Fourth Annual Dinner Gala on March 13, 2009 at the Venetian Yacht Club located in Babylon Village. The honorees for the evening included West Islip Principal Ken Hartill, honored for his forty years of commitment and service to education, and Cindy Galasso, honored posthumously, for her outstanding contributions to the West Islip community.

In addition to the Gala dinner and dance, business-donated offerings were raffled to raise additional funds.  Raffle donations were graciously received from POSH, Plesserís, The Fitness Incentive, Drew Patrick Spa, IE Personal Training, and Suffolk Transportation Services.  

PAWS is an independent, not-for profit organization dedicated to enriching the educational experience of West Islip students. The organization generates resources through community support to promote, sponsor and enhance learning opportunities for the children of West Islip.

For more information visit the PAWS website at: .

Pictured (clockwise from lower left) PAWS Secretary Katherine Fix, Gala Chairperson and PAWS Vice President Jamie Winkler, PAWS President Tom McAteer, Gala Honoree West Islip High School Principal Kenneth Hartill, PAWS Journal Chairperson Rachel Camillery, Dan Galasso (representing his late wife Honoree Cindy Galasso), PAWS Treasurer Mary Beth Jacaruso, Board of Education member Annmarie LaRosa and West Islip Superintendent Dr. Beth Virginia Blau.

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PAWS recently approved funds for a rock climbing wall at Udall Road Middle School, an I-pod cart for Beach Street Middle School, and Listening Centers for elementary classrooms in grades K-3. These items, along with a grand piano, laser cutting machine, bleachers, laptop computers, and SMART Boards have all been funded by the Foundation, which raises money through community fundraising and grant awards.


PAWS (Partners Advancing West Islip Students) is an independent, not-for profit organization dedicated to enriching the educational experience.

PAWS generates resources through community support to promote, sponsor and enhance learning opportunities for our children.

What is an Education Foundation?

Foundations for public schools have been around since the 1970s and the numbers are climbing.  Many private schools, colleges and universities use foundations, often relying on their fund-raising prowess to generate a substantial percentage of their institutional budgets.  Although there is no central registry of public school foundations in the United States, they are located in every state, and best estimates put the number at over 3,000.

Community volunteers who serve on this non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation will be thinking outside-the-box for ways to assist the district with needed money, for instance, that school districts might not otherwise receive.

In a number of districts, private funds keep various programs alive when declining tax revenues at state and/or local levels threaten to eliminate the least "essential" ones.