SYSK: Turkey Valley "Friends of Education" - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Turkey Valley "Friends of Education"

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WAUCOMA (KWWL) -

Mary Burns graduated from Turkey Valley School in 1977. Mary and her husband, Dale Christensen, now live in the Minneapolis area, but both believe strongly in giving back to the communities in which they were raised.

The couple was given a special honor, the Iowa State Education Association Friend of Education Award.

"The Friend of Education is such a meaningful award and it's given to people who support education and they want to give back to the children and make sure their future is bright, and both Dale and Mary enjoy, love and embody education in every single way," said librarian Evie Milbrandt.

Evie Milbrandt is one of the people who nominated Dale and Mary for the award because of their help renovating and refurbishing this library.

"The whole community helped, but Dale and Mary were instrumental."

The project was originally going to be done in phases, but thanks to Dale and Mary, it was all completed at once. They believe reading is fundamental to a child's success.

"I think the importance of a library in a school really meant a lot to us as a terrific opportunity to give back to something we believe so much in. The library and the education aspect," said Dale Christensen.

The couple said education is so important, and they want to do their part to help improve the quality of education for Turkey Valley students.

While Dale and Mary's financial donation is significant to the project, they said others play bigger roles everyday in the education of students at Turkey Valley.

"We're a small part of it. It takes a whole team and we are just one small piece," said Mary Burns.

The couple said their honored to receive the Friend of Education Award, but they're not the only ones deserving of the award.

Dale Christensen and Mary Burns are also helping to fund a new fitness facility. It will be attached to the school and mainly for students, but also open to community members.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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