Parent & Community Support


The Ithaca Public Education Initiative grew out of a challenge set forth in the Ithaca City School District Strategic Plan of 1996 calling for increased connections between the community and the schools. IPEI believes the education of every student in the Ithaca City School District is enhanced through community connections and support. Its mission is to facilitate community connections and support for students and teachers through engagement, collaboration, gifts, and grants.

IPEI offers Grants (Teacher Grants, Red & Gold Grants, and Community Collaboration Grants), Collaborations (such as the Kids Discover the Trail! program), Community Engagement (including the annual Adult Spelling Bee), Initiatives, Affiliates (Fine Arts Booster Group and and IthacaSTEM Advocates), and Giving Opportunities (Senior Class Awards are one example). You can become involved with IPEI in a variety of ways. Check out your options at:, or call 256-IPEI.

Fine Arts Booster Group

The Ithaca Community Fine Arts Booster Group strives to foster appreciation for the arts, advocate for the arts, improve learning opportunities for all, and increase equitable access for all children. The group engages in fundraising, communication, partnerships, grant-giving, and recycling instruments. FABG is an affiliate of IPEI. Look for FABG at district arts events and consider joining us by becoming a member. Join the listserv by sending an email to: to receive school related arts notices and updates about booster activities and issues. For more information, see the FABG website by going to: Questions? Email: or call 277-4631 Fine Arts Booster Group, 101 East State St. Box 182, Ithaca NY 14850

IthacaSTEM Advocates

IthacaSTEM Advocates, an affiliate of IPEI, is devoted to fostering the appreciation, knowledge, and application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by encouraging involvement in STEM-related activities, clubs, teams, events, and classes in the Ithaca City School District. IthacaSTEM Advocates also raises funds to improve learning opportunities in STEM disciplines for all ICSD students, facilitates collaboration among STEM-related groups in the Ithaca area, and conducts outreach to build community awareness and support.

Teachers, student clubs, and ICSD-sponsored organizations in STEM fields can apply to become Associates of IthacaSTEM Advocates. Associates benefit from IthacaSTEM’s coordination of volunteers and mentors, equipment donations, and connection with related groups. Membership as an IthacaSTEM Associate also means eligibility to receive tax-deductible donations via IPEI. Current IHS Associate members of IthacaSTEM Advocates include Code Red Robotics, the IHS Technology Student Association, the IHS Science Olympiad, Project Lead the Way, the IHS Dev Team, and the IHS Biology Department.

We welcome volunteers and supporters.  To get involved, contact us at  To receive news and updates from IthacaSTEM Advocates, send an email message to


The Ithaca Sports Booster Club encourages involvement and is looking for more members and volunteers. Please contact Booster President Steve Thayer for more information at 277-7359 or by email: Check out the Ithaca Sports Booster Club’s yahoo listserv and join for more information on upcoming activities:

MLK Community Build

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Build is a collaboration of several non-profit, educational, and volunteer organizations in Tompkins County, NY.  We are comprised of members from the Africana Library at Cornell University; The Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity at Ithaca College; teachers and staff developers from the ICSD; The Family Reading Partnership; the Multicultural Resource Center; the Village at Ithaca; the Tompkins County Public Library, and community members.

The mission of The MLK Community Build is to engage all sectors of the community in realizing, as King said, that “we are tied in a single garment of destiny.”  We aim to have people from all walks of life come together through shared readings, discussions, and events based on the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  For more information, go to

The Village at Ithaca

The mission of the Village at Ithaca is to advocate for excellence and equity in Ithaca’s public schools, by developing strategic community relationships, programs, and services to ensure that students, particularly Black, Latino, and low-income students, consistently meet or exceed local and New York state standards of achievement.

Family Advocacy Services are Available

I am the Family Advocacy Program Coordinator and would like your help in letting families know about the great services that this program provides.  We would like to recruit families that may need the services of the program.    If you have any questions or want to know more about the program you can reach me at the numbers listed below.

Leanora Erica Mims
Family Advocacy Program Coordinator, Village At Ithaca
office (607) 256-0780

Tompkins County Public Library

The Library offers something for everyone – CDs and DVDs, classic works and contemporary titles, a diverse offering of programs and exhibits, digital resources, free Internet and wi-fi. If you’re looking for it, you’ll find it at the Tompkins County Public Library!  See:

Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council

The Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council (EILC) is an autonomous liaison between the Ithaca City School District and community groups. Our mission is to assist the district in achieving equity through excellence. The EILC will accomplish this by monitoring, assessing, and guiding district equity efforts, and by initiating proposals that reflect the needs, perspectives, insights, and resources of the community. See:

Discovery Trail Partnership

Discovery Trail Partnership is a group of educational organizations based in Ithaca, NY. The only organization of its kind, the Discovery Trail promotes awareness and understanding of the connections among art, history, literature, science, and the natural world.

Community School of Music & Arts

The mission of the Community School of Music & Arts (CSMA)  is to provide quality instruction to any community member who desires to learn music and arts, to develop and offer cultural and artistic programs and events, and to serve as a resource for professional artists and musicians.

Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau

The Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau promotes positive, engaging opportunities for youth by raising community awareness of and building financial support for the  services and programs of the Ithaca Youth Bureau.

Community Coalition for Healthy Youth

Our coalition represents agencies, schools, government, businesses, families, and concerned citizens in Tompkins County, all working to reduce substance abuse among middle and high school youth through the use of effective, evidence-based programs and practices. Raising teenagers today is full of challenges and rewards. Our website offers information about local resources, advice for families, information for teens, NY laws on underage drinking, excellent web links, and more.

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month 

We at the Community Coalition for Healthy Youth want to wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season. We suggest that an excellent beginning to the holiday season would be an open discussion with your children. This discussion should include a review of your family’s rules and expectations regarding the use of alcohol and other mind-altering substances. It should also include ways your children can avoid high-risk situations and an agreement that they will call you if they need your help for any reason. The discussion may also include the ways that alcohol and drugs are dealt with in the movies, media and music.

Be sure to include time to plan special activities to do with your children during the holiday season.

We hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday season!

For More information, email <>

Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County

Healthy Living Newsletter Articles for Parents.  Parents of school-age children are often interested in accurate, age-appropriate health information. But they are usually too busy balancing work and home demands and are not able to research topics.  The articles listed below can be downloaded and customized for your school, faith group, or youth organization newsletter.  Other resources for parents, including sample letters, posters, and flyers, have also been collected.

Ithaca SEPTA

A SEPTA is a Special Education Parent-Teacher-Student Association. It’s a group of parents, caregivers, and professionals with a tie to students with special needs, and others who want to learn more about students with special needs. SEPTA members are encouraged to join the local PTA of their children’s schools.  There are three primary purposes for the SEPTA:

(1) To educate ourselves about special needs issues, including such topics as Hypotonia, Speech Language Disorders, Apraxia, Dyspraxia, Developmental Delays, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, APD, Autistic Tendencies, PDD (Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder), ADHD, ADD, Tourette Syndrome (TS), etc.;
(2) To create a support system for caregivers of children with special needs;
(3) To advocate for special needs issues.