PTOs pitch in for elementary schools

Published 10:11 pm Monday, August 3, 2009

By By Adam Robinson
and Kerry Whipple Bean
The Brewton Standard

With teachers and school struggling to pay for school supplies amid proration, local Parent Teacher Organizations have stepped up to help.
Brewton Elementary School teachers received a $250 gift earlier this week to help pay for school supplies, while W.S. Neal Elementary’s PTO has pledged to use funds from its fundraisers to pay for classroom needs.
Brewton Elementary School’s PTO provided a VISA gift card to each teacher to help make up for a lack of state funding for classroom supplies. That stipend was cut this year because of proration and other budget cuts.
W.S. Neal Elementary Principial John Knott said the school’s PTO plans to help use its fundraisers to pay for items in the classroom.
The school goes through 150 cases of copy paper per year, he said.
PTO fundraisers will help pay for classroom necessities.
Often, teachers use their own money to pay for classroom needs — even with the state stipend. McKenzie said every teacher she has ever met has admitted to spending money out of their own pocket for their classroom, herself included.
Michael Rowell, president of the Brewton Elementary School PTO, said all the teachers were “thrilled” when they got their money and found out they were getting the extra money.
Rowell said the idea came of the cards last school year.
Rowell said they gave out 32 cards to the teachers and special areas with the cards having $250 on them.
While this may be the first year of giving out the large amount on the cards, it was not the first time the PTO has helped out their teachers.
McKenzie said it was somewhat surprising to lose instructional money, but it could have been so much worse. “We have excellent resources within this community, and when hard times come around we stick together and find a solution,” she said. “In this particular situation, the PTO came through in a big way when they provided these funds. I feel so grateful to work for such a wonderful school system.”

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