We are near the end of of our Direct Give campaign and are far from our goal of $50,000. Our teachers have a big year planned, and our PTA wants to sponsor as many resources and community events as possible, but we need your help to make it happen.
This school has been a community effort since day one, and if you are reading this, you are part of our community. Our goals for our students and our school are lofty: we want to provide each child with an engaging, rich and rigorous education that prepares them for a lifelong love of learning. We want to build a caring community where each child is able to participate to her or his fullest. The dollars the PTA spends on Community go toward enrichment scholarships, assemblies and guest speakers, safety equipment and disaster planning, playground resources and special events such as Pi Day and our Back to School Bashes.
How much does it cost to give our school a boost? Take a look at some of the items on our wish list this year to get a sense of just some of the costs hope to cover this year.
Guided Reading Libraries $1500 per classroom (over $20k for whole school)
Each classroom needs to have a substantial collection of fiction and non-fiction books for students at every level. We need sets of books for students to use in small groups.
Reading Assessments $300 (we need at least two)
In order for each student to be introduced to reading material at his or her level, teachers need to do regular reading assessments. The Fountas Pinnell system used by our teachers allows them to find just the right book level for each student, but we don’t have enough of the assessment kits to provide each teacher with regular access to them.
Community Speakers and Demonstrations $500-1000 each
We want to make learning come alive to our students, and we believe that seeing and hearing from specialists and professionals. We want to bring excellent presentations from individuals and groups into our school for assemblies or community events.
Emergency Kits $250
In the event of an emergency, it is important that every classroom has a grab-and-go kit that contains basic supplies to care for a group of students out of the building. These packs have first aid supplies, snacks, rain protection and more.
In addition to these kits, we also have potable water in each classroom in the event of a short-term situation, and we are working toward building a comprehensive disaster kit that would contain food rations and sanitation supplies for our whole school for 24-72 hours.
Microscopes $150 each (we need 15 more)
Last year we were able to purchase 15 microscopes for our lab with Direct Give funds. It is wonderful to be able to provide our students access to high-quality tools, but our teachers have told us they could do much more if we had a microscope available for each student, rather than requiring students to share as they do now.
Professional Development in Project Based Learning (PBL) $1500 per teacher (over $20k for all-staff training)
Creating a STEM-focused PBL curriculum requires a lot of hard work from our teachers, and in order for their projects to come together as a whole school year after year, they need to have a common set of skills and practices. Sending a teacher to a PBL training will have a tremendous benefit to each child at STEM. More teacher confidence in PBL means more hands-on learning, more art, and more field experience, meeting the needs of each child at her or his level.
Playground Equipment $350 twice a year
Our kids love to kick balls, jump ropes, and draw with chalk. They play as hard as they work, and just as pencils are worn to stubs, ropes are jumped to shreds.
Safety Patrol Vests and Flags $300
STEM staff member Hayward Coleman has done an excellent job training our 4th and 5th graders in the fine art of safety patrol. These students give up their recesses and take time before and after school to assist staff in making sure that all of our students move safely through and around our campus.