Calling all Selkirk School alumni and our community

By Darrell Van Dyken 
Reader Contributor

We all remember being in pre-K or kindergarten, even if that was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. As we know, the early years of life are some of the most important foundational years of our lives. For many of us in the community we are lucky enough to have had the privilege to either have attended Selkirk School as a child, or like myself, be a proud parent of a Selkirk student. 

Selkirk School students smile for the camera. Courtesy photo.

My wife and I stumbled across Selkirk School after having driven past it many times when we lived in that neck of the woods. We inquired about its culture with our growing brood of three girls, ages 3 months, 22 months and 4-years old. 

We were drawn to the school because on any given day when we drove past, we couldn’t help but smile as we watched kids scattered about the four-acre playground. Be it racing around on Big Wheels, kids on some sort of play mission in the far corner of the property under the trees, on the tire swing, going up the climbing wall or excavating in the sandbox. Witnessing this kind of innocent play and joy, made it an obvious wish for us to have our kids attend and to get that kind of educational experience. 

The Selkirk School has been serving the Sandpoint community since 1978. Dedicated to fostering the love of learning to preschool and kindergarten children, Selkirk School operates as 

an independent, nonprofit school. As a nonprofit, this incredible school and the families who are part of it depend on the participation and contributions of our valued community members. 

I have seen firsthand how the school has struggled through the pandemic. In 2020, the shutdown prevented the school from carrying out its biggest fundraising event, an in-person auction. This, coupled with other canceled fundraising activities, crippled the school’s ability to raise money, leaving them with half the amount a normal year would have generated. This funding helps sustain the level of teaching that Selkirk is known for, and each day I see the positive impact it has on my child’s life.

Dante and Tara Rumore shared their experience saying:

“Once we were part of the school, we experienced the value and joy of being a member of a community school. Not only did our child experience significant growth from his time at Selkirk, but we learned to be better members of our community.” 

Fundraising is a huge part of the sustainability of any school, be it raising money for new structures, purchasing supplies and furnishings for the classrooms, and scheduling class field trips. This will continue to be the case with the rising price of goods, the expansion of the current curriculum and offerings, and the continued growth of the four-acre school property for the kids to play, roam and explore. 

With 43 years of alumni and a strongly connected Sandpoint community, I deeply believe in investing in our children. When we work together, we knit together our social fabric and support fundamental opportunities for education, like the Selkirk School offers our children. If you are an alumnus, alumna or a community member who cares about investing in our schools, please consider this a worthy investment for the future of Sandpoint.  

Please donate now and use this link,, or scan the QR code to join us at our fundraising page where we are looking to sustain the health of the Selkirk School and build our future generation of kids. 

Hovering over this code with your smartphone camera will take you directly to the school’s fundraising website.


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