by Gail Shay
As our AAUW year nears an end, paradoxically, activity seems to be increasing. Our past two meetings inspired a flurry of activity.
Our past two meetings inspired a flurry of activity. First, the neighborhood meetings in March provided us with a wealth of feedback from you, our Prescott members. We rely on that feedback to give us valuable information on the pulse of our organization and where you would like us to take you over the next year(s). This year alone, we were able to come up with a whole bunch of proposed new interest groups, from art and music to fiscal fitness (yes, not physical!), an evening book group (with wine), to aging with grace and more. Look for signup sheets at our next meeting or contact Deb Dillon for more information.
Our April program, Dark Money and Its Implication in the Political Process, presented by former State Attorney General and Phoenix Mayor, Terry Goddard, was a big success. Not only did we have excellent attendance at that meeting, but Mr. Goddard also helped to shed light on the issues surrounding dark money in politics. It inspired a spirited discussion.
The word about AAUW Prescott is obviously getting around. A record total of 7 women became members at our April general meeting alone. We have again surpassed our membership numbers over the 200 mark, and are now over 212 members.
Then there are our upcoming events. We’re about to begin the first of two wine tours on April 21. Both that one and the May 21 tour are now sold out and have waiting lists. Look for a possible tour again in the fall. The Tech Savvy team has worked hard to launch the Tech Savvy Conference on April 23 at Yavapai College. We have now extended registration to include 6th and 9th grade girls and their parents in addition to the core 7th and 8th grade girls and parents.
Our Summer Social is also coming up, where we celebrate new members, prospective members, and each other. This year it will take place at Yavapai College on Tuesday, June 14, from 5 to 7 pm in the Community Room.
Kudos to all AAUW Prescott members who work so hard and who volunteer to support all our programs and events. It’s such a pleasure to work with you and I have immensely enjoyed my term as president of such a fine group of women!
General Meeting: May 14
WASPS: Women in the Military
Submitted by Annette Gauthier
Although women have played a role in the military since the Revolutionary War they were not an official part of the US armed services until the 1940s. Please join us on Saturday, May 14, when Embry-Riddle professor Natalie Stewart Smith will talk about the history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII. Professor Smith served five and a half years in the army as a WASP and logistics officer in the States and Republic of Korea.
We will begin our morning with refreshments and social time at 9:00 followed by our general meeting and Installation of Officers for 2016-2017. Our meeting will be held in the Community Room of Yavapai College.
Submitted by Gayle Rumble
Membership renewal time is here. Good news – the dues have not
changed. They remain at $85 ($49 to National, of which $46 is tax
eductible; $9 to State; and $27 to our branch). The deadline for renewal is June 30.
You should have received an e-mail invoice for your renewal that identifies two ways to pay: either on-line, by credit card, or by check.
To pay by credit card, click on the word “here” in the e-mail instructions. It will take you directly to the website and to your specific membership information. Then you only need to complete and confirm the credit card information and submit it. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to you.
To pay by check, please make the check payable to AAUW Prescott Branch and send it directly to the Treasurer (Gayle Rumble) or to our local AAUW mailbox: AAUW Prescott, PO Box 10881, Prescott, AZ 86304
Change for Change
Submitted by Lynne Murphy
Do you remember at the September 2015 meeting, after the tour of the Family Enrichment Center, Anne Barton, co-chair of the Scholarship Committee, challenged members to give up a cup of Starbucks each week and put that amount in one of the decorative containers available at the meeting? Anne described how our “Starbucks Savings” would benefit Family Enrichment parents who were in need of financial help: our change would help provide scholarships to the Center.
Well, it’s time to bring that Change to the May 14 meeting! Count what you’ve saved, then write a check for that amount, made out to the Yavapai College Foundation, with “AAUW” on the memo line. Bring your check to the meeting and we’ll add it all up!
Public Policy Report
Submitted by Deb White
The focus of Public Policy Committee Meetings for April and May has been on school finance.
At the April meeting, Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter gave an informative presentation on Arizona school finance laws. He presented information regarding the school budgeting formulas that are currently in place. He talked about the different categories of school budgets, how they are divided, and what expenditures fit into each category. Mr. Carter also addressed the concerns and difficulties being created by the state’s change to current-year budgeting rather than basing a budget on the previous year’s enrollment. Additionally, Terri Farneti, president of The League of Women Voters, Prescott, was on hand to provide information about Proposition 123. Since her presentation, the League of Women Voters at the state level has taken a stance against this proposition.
At the next meeting, which will take place on May 3, at 1:00 pm in the Elsea Room at Prescott Public Library, Christian Palmer of YesProp123 will discuss and answer questions about Prop123. All branch members are welcome to attend. May will be the last meeting of Public Policy until September.
New Interest Groups Considered!
The March neighborhood meetings generated suggestions for a variety of new interest groups. If there is enough interest in a group (minimum of 5 members and someone willing to lead the group), that group will go to the board for approval.
Sign-up sheets were offered at the April general meeting and will be available again at the May general meeting. Also, anyone wishing to sign up for one of the groups may contact Deb Dillon.
The suggested groups are:
Genealogy interest group: Who do you think YOU are?
Submitted by Elaine Lawson
Have you ever wanted to find out about your heritage and ancestors? If so, you should check out our Genealogy interest group. The group is open to all members who desire to build a family tree or investigate their family history. Our members range from total beginners to seasoned genealogists. The group meets monthly to share our experiences, research tools, and recent discoveries, and to help each other break through “brick walls” in our research. We meet on the second Monday of the month at 1 p.m. at the library. Contact Elaine Lawson for more information.
Report on March Neighborhood Meetings
Submitted by Deb Dillon
More than 60 AAUW members attended our annual Neighborhood Meetings on March 12 in the homes of eight of our members. We extend a huge thank you to those members who hosted these gatherings! Thanks, too, to the members who attended the meetings. Your input is invaluable!
Discussion at the meetings centered on a variety of questions relating to AAUW and to our branch in particular. Members offered a wide assortment of insights and ideas. Among them were:
- Our branch agrees with and supports the AAUW mission, especially through our many outreach programs.
- Our branch has many strengths:
- Personal relationships among our members
- Strengths and experiences of our members
- Many, varied opportunities for participation
- Outreach through Community Action programs
- Valuable general meeting programs
- Excellent communication through our website and newsletter
- Welcoming of new members
- Some areas for improvement are:
- Connections with state and national AAUW, other AAUW branches, the community, and like-minded groups (e.g., League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood, NOW)
- Lack of diversity
- Large membership makes personal connections more difficult
- Some suggestions:
- Create a better understanding of and connection with state and national AAUW
- Focus on education in Arizona
- Develop greater community awareness of AAUW
- Provide support to non-university-bound girls and to women returning to school
- Evaluate the results of our Community Action and Tech Savvy programs
- Add Start Smart to our Community Action programs
- Many ideas/topics were suggested for general meeting programs, interest groups or short-term study, especially relating to issues of aging and opportunities for socializing.
Tech Savvy Wins The Day!
On Saturday, April 23, 2016, AAUW Prescott and Yavapai College hosted its first annual Tech Savvy Conference from 8:30AM to 4:30PM at Yavapai College. Over 50 sixth through ninth grade girls, their parents, and teachers registered for the event. You can view pictures taken by the photography interest group here.
With dynamic presenters, who were all women, representing each of the STEM fields, every attendee was inspired and enthused. This conference marks a step in the right direction for girls in our community.
VOLUNTEERS MADE THE DAY!
The Tech Savvy Committee had lots of help from many AAUW Prescott members, YC students, and community members. A hearty ‘Thank you’ to everyone who helped make this day possible.
TECH SAVVY ACROSS THE COUNTRY!
In the meantime, find more about this exciting event and how it can inspire and invigorate STEM curriculum in our community by going to the AAUW National Tech Savvy Page
Wine Tour A Big Success!
The bus tour to the Yavapai College-Verde Valley Wine Center was a big hit in April and the May tour is sold out. See photos from the April tour.
Still interested? Contact Anne Barton who is collecting names of those who would like sign up for a possible tour in the Fall!