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'Taxes and Tall Drinks': A Night For Parents To Learn (And Sip!)


Big Spring Spirits, 198 Match Factory Place Bellefonte , Pennsylvania 16823



Kristina Tice knows a thing or two about the ups and downs of running a small school. After all, she's the principal of St. John The Evangelist in Bellefonte...and St John's is still thriving after 128 years of serving Bellefonte and surrounding school districts.
Go ahead: pause for contemplation. Catch your breath, wrap your head around that. 128 YEARS of educating Centre County children? Yep. The little Catholic school on E. Bishop has educated generations of families. If you are at the helm of a school that has been afloat for well over a century, chances are very good that you have some serious insight about how to lead a place where young children are receiving that most vital gift: an education.
Tice's job- and the jobs of many more school administrators across the United States, in both private and public schools—isn’t easy. A school must be proactive in order to simply survive, let alone thrive by  being both innovative and excellent at the basics. St John has obviously done that, and worked through tough times. For public and private schools alike, the need for funding never stops. I mean, money rarely marches up to the front porch and bangs on the screen door, now does it?
St. John has come up with a creative way to inform the community about a program that can help grow funding. 'Taxes and Tall Drinks'  sounds way more enchanting than your average, run-of-the-mill meeting under the bright halogens of the cafeteria. On Tuesday, June 12th, from 6-7:30pm, parents, parishioners and community members who care about education are invited to come down to Bellefonte's mega-popular Big Spring Spirits, 198 Match Factory Place, to learn all about the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program (EITC), a trending way that parents can use their own state tax dollars to help local students, like those who attend St. John.
The EITC program allows individuals and businesses to contribute their state tax liability to qualified organizations that provide need-based scholarships to families who want their children to attend a faith-based schools like St. John. There’s even a similar program that helps public schools fund innovative programming.
"St. John has been a thriving Catholic School for 128 years, and those years have been filled with changes and challenges. The challenge that remains consistent is financial," Tice reflects. "It was the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that opened our doors so many years ago. The IHM Sisters didn’t open the school for money, profit or accolades, they the did so to provide a quality Catholic alternative for educating our children. We continue their mission today, and do so while keeping tuition affordable for our families."
What that means is that St John's is a school that works tirelessly to be able to include any family who wishes to enroll a child in their school. No matter what.
"EITC funds are critical to St. John as they provide much-needed financial aid dollars," explains Ellen Konkle, who works with schools across the Commonwealth to help them educate potential donors about EITC. "The ability to offer financial aid means never having to turn away a family based on their ability to pay tuition, ensuring that all students that want a St. John education have access.”
Konkle, a Catholic school student herself, was the beneficiary of financial aid.

“I understand how life changing these opportunities are for students,” she says. Luckily, she’ll be on hand at the ‘Taxes and Tall Drinks’ event to answer any and all questions. By the way, your first signature Big Spring Cocktail is on the house. And there will be treats from Bellefonte’s own Pizza Mia, too.
Come learn about helping local schools while you have a drink and a snack with parents and educators from right here in your very own neighborhood.

'Tall Drinks and Taxes', Tuesday, June 12 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM. Big Spring Spirits, 198 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte.  
Light refreshments and your first drink will be provided.
RSVP to Ellen Konkle at 814-571-0576 or email

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