AIE needs your votes for playground

    The Academy for International Education Charter School (AIE) in Miami Springs had its first Fall Festival last weekend and it was a big success. This school opened in August 2011 with just over 100 students in kindergarten, first, second and third grade.

    The school was built in the 1950s as Glenn Curtiss Elementary School, honoring aviation pioneer Glenn H. Curtiss. It closed as a school 35 years ago. Over the years, the building housed administrative offices and was a teacher training facility for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The playground from the 1970s had long ago disappeared.

    The first big effort of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), after the Fall Festival, is to fund a playground. The PTO is having a series of fundraisers but they also are really trying to build a unified team of volunteers.

    The Clorox Company has a grant available for schools that don’t have a playground and AIE has been nominated in hopes of securing up to $50,000 in funding to build a playground for their children.

    “I am a member of the school’s PTO and at one of our recent meetings we were told about the Clorox Power a Bright Future grant. A grant proposal needed to be written and I was asked to write the nomination,” said Bethany Rundell, who works in marketing and PR at South Miami Hospital.

    Vera Hirsh, the principal at the school, supported the efforts of the PTO and approved the nomination draft, which was submitted with a photo of the area at the school on which the playground would be built.

    “The Clorox Web site makes it easy for people to share the voting site through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. I set up a Twitter page for the school to join the already established Facebook page. I also drafted a letter to parents, which was sent home to all parents, alerting them to the campaign and asking everyone to vote daily and share with their social networks,” continued Rundell.

    According to Rundell, this is an opportunity for our entire community to get behind this cause. While many parents in Miami Springs have children in our two other elementary schools, every parent can relate to the importance of fundraising for school programs. And parents also understand the importance of physical fitness to a child’s well-being.

    “It could help so much if everybody voted since we’re a smaller school in the running. It’s about how much power we have. It’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean. We have to create motion and have people vote,” said PTO President Adriana Fajet.

    “We have a lot of activities planned for the year to make the school year thoroughly educational and fun, including the Fall Festival that just concluded,” said PTO Vice President Darlene Gill. 

    For information on the AIE (Glenn Curtiss) Charter School, go to or call 305-883-3900.

Here’s how to vote for AIE Charter’s quest for the Clorox Power a Bright Future grant:

    On your cellular phone, TEXT 44144

On the actual text message, write Clorox 8973. Send.

    Voting started Oct. 24 and ends Dec. 9. You must be 13 years old to vote. Every vote counts. You can help AIE with its dream by telling your friends and family to vote.