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Remarks at the kick-off of 'Buy In. PUSD.'

Robert Niles
Published: January 21, 2011 at 5:20 PM (MST)
Here are the comments I delivered at the kick-off event for 'Buy In. PUSD', a marketing program here in the Pasadena area, design to build financial support from local businesses for the public schools.

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Good morning, I'm Robert Niles, and I'm the parent of two children who are thriving in the Pasadena Unified School District. My wife and I have been PUSD parents for nine years, and we've seen wonderful development and improvement in this school district during that time. Test scores are rising, faster than the state average this year, and PUSD students are winning regional and national honors for their academic work.

But great schools can't survive without a strong local community supporting them. So we're here today to say thank you to the local businesses that have chosen to support the students and families of the Pasadena Unified School District, and to encourage all businesses and community organizations in Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre to join them in doing the same.

With the help of parent and community volunteers from Invest in PUSD Kids and the Pasadena Educational Foundation, we're here today to launch "BUY IN. PUSD." "BUY IN. PUSD." is a marketing program to connect local businesses with our local public schools.

Every business that gives at least $150 to the local schools during the current school year, through the PEF or local school PTAs, will receive one of these stickers to place in its window. These businesses also will be listed in our local online business directory at And we'll e-mail the list of participating businesses to thousands of local families each month, through "BUY IN. PUSD." and local school and PTA mailing lists.

"BUY IN. PUSD." allows local businesses to reach these thousands of local families with children, while spending their marketing dollars on a most worthy cause - our kids. The money given by these local businesses is staying in the community, helping to support classroom and extracurricular activities in PUSD, including science and the arts.

"BUY IN. PUSD." also encourages local families to spend their money here in the Pasadena area. By buying in the PUSD district, we're supporting local businesses, growing local jobs and protecting local incomes.

Child poverty is the number one factor holding down school test scores around the nation, and here in Pasadena. By encouraging local consumers to support local businesses, "BUY IN. PUSD." can help us strengthen the local economy, encouraging the growth we need to lift the incomes of more local families.

So I hope that you will look for the "BUY IN. PUSD." sticker when you are out shopping or dining in the Pasadena area. And if you don't see a sticker in your favorite store or restaurant's window - ask them to join. Just go to to learn how.

Strong schools need a strong community. Working together, local parents and local businesses can help each other build the great PUSD schools - and the great Pasadena - we all want to see.

Robert Niles also can be found at

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