PTI fundraiser shines light on autism
Examiner-Enterprise - 11/4/2018
Nov. 04--Jean Jensen and Clair Bartley are the co-founders of Paths To Independence, a private school for students on the autism spectrum. It started in 2011 with one student. This year enrollment has reached 53 students.
Paths to Independence moved to its current location -- the former site of Will Rogers Elementary School, 4620 E. Frank Phillips Blvd., in 2017. It is an accredited pre-K through 12th grade private school structured to meet the needs of students with autism and their families. It provides instruction in all academic areas, communication, social skills, recreation and independent living. Students at PTI are eligible to receive the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship through the state of Oklahoma.
Jensen was the guest Friday on Conversation Corner, the Examiner-Enterprise's community affairs program that airs live at noon on the EE's Facebook page. Jensen discussed PTI's history and the annual "Dancing with the Bartlesville Stars" event designed to raise money for the school and shine a light on autism. Tickets are $75. The event will be held from 6:30-9:30 p.m.Nov. 17 at the Hilton Garden Inn. For more information about Paths to Independence and Dancing with the Bartlesville Stars, visit www.pathstoindependence.org.
Here are some excerpts from Jensen's interview. The entire program is archived on the Examiner-Enterprise's Facebook page. EE reporter Roseanne McKee conducted the interview.
ROSEANNE MCKEE: Tell me who the school serves?
JEAN JENSEN: The school serves all levels of kids that are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders from age 3 to 22. We are an accredited school through the state of Oklahoma, and ... we do graduate our students.
MCKEE: How is the school funded and organized?
JENSEN: We have lots of fundraising ... Because we are an accredited school, there is something called the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship that allows parents to ask for the funding from the state for a portion of the tuition. Tuition is $16,000 (annually), and parents can draw from this scholarship fund about $10,000. We do have about five families that have two children at the school. That's why we want to do a lot of fundraising to help with these tuition costs.
MCKEE: You have a neat fundraiser coming up. Tell us about that?
JENSEN: Most people have heard of "Dancing With The Stars," and three years ago we decided to get our local dancer stars. We have some that are local people that are our dancers and they are the professionals. We have local Bartlesville stars in the community that we have asked to participate. They choreograph their own dance. It's about a three-minute dance. They will be getting up on stage and performing for our audience. You can vote for each team. ... Tickets, tables and sponsorships are available. I actually checked this (Friday) morning and we have about 90 seats left. It does sellout every year, and you wouldn't want to miss it.
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