Tuesday, October 14, 2008

School leaders worry donations will dwindle

One of the local news stations featured a story tonight about "Richmond County school leaders worry donations will dwindle" while stating that the superintendent was invited to speak at the Augusta Legislative Conference.
Like our county is special than the rest of the global economics?

A commercial featuring the superintendent, encouraging people to come out to the grand opening of the Barnes & Noble opening in the mall tonight aired over the weekend. A portion of the proceeds will help the Richmond County School System. The stand alone Barnes & Noble not in the mall closed today at 4 PM (1600 for my military comrades).

Because our taxes have been raised 3 x in one year, a $13.4 million deficit was discovered in the RCSS budget what better way to share the ideas then through the blogs? Educators, ed techies, instructional techies, parents, students, and many others are sharing ideas through the net. Blogs are blocked in our school district :-{

So we collected the ideas shared from parents willing to share and the former PTSA Officers because everyone took a vow not to sell "stuff". We firmly believe everyone has a donatable resource, whether it is time, money, sharing a skillset, donating items on the Teachers' Wish List page. What are you doing in your schools to help out? We would love to hear your ideas.

16 + things people can do to help their local schools (in no particular order):

1. If you have a Target card, designate your school as your school of choice. This can also be done by friends and family members who are interested in supporting our students and who do not live in your school districts. Target cards help schools Check to see how much has been sent to your school so far.

2. Shop at Office Depot for school supplies -No card needed. When you check out, tell the clerk you want to designate your favorite school to receive 5% of your next school supply purchase. Visit your local Office Depot store to find a listing of "5% Back to Schools" ID numbers or designate the school of your choice at order confirmation. This can also be done by people outside of your school district. Office Depot also sponsors additional programs for students and teachers.

3. Sign up for a UPromise account - Parents do you have or do you know someone with an Upromise account? Besides saving for your own child's college you can designate your favorite school to receive a portion of your rewards. UPromise School Fundraising This can be done by people outside of of your school district.

4. Donate old cell phones, laser, and inkjet cartridges to the school's Media Centers – Many schools' Media Centers have set up recycling accounts for print cartridges and cell phones. The funds are sent to the school, not the school board.

5. Use your Kroger Plus Card after scanning the barcode for your school. Visit the Kroger Earning and Learning website. Notes: Schools must apply for the program each year, Schools participating in our Gift Card Fund-Raising Program cannot participate in the Earning Plus Learning Fund-Raising Program and Parents must re-link their cards to your school each year.

6. My Coke Rewards for Schools – Since July 2008 Coca Cola now allows people to donate points to their school. All schools are in the database but someone from the schools must register the school.

7. Campbell's Labels for Education - Collect labels from Campbell products. Download the information sheet which lists specific product labels, lids, and UPC codes to save. Available in English and Spanish. If your school does not have a program, this is a great time to recruite a volunteer and sign up the school. Products range from books, musical instruments, to a van to support the schools.

8. Join the school PTA/PTSA or give the gift of membership. – Local PTAs/PTSAs fund much needed programs and products for students and teachers. PTAs/PTSAs have grant opportunities as nonprofit organizations supporting their school and accountable to the IRS. Remember, a PTSA is a PTA with Students who can run for office and lead committees and teams.

9. Student groups can sign up for Do Something ! No adults required. Sign up your school club or as an individual and your cause. Do something! Grants awarded for students and/or student groups that can apply online.

10. Schools can set up Internet store fronts and spirit stores and sell products online.

11. Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grants for schools and/or their nonprofit support groups.

12. Donor's Choose – Built by teachers for teachers. Teachers ask, you choose, students learn. School districts are now collaborating and collecting funds for entire districts. http://www.donorschoose.org

13. Check eSchool News funding links for a variety of grants and funding opportunities.

14. Grant and Funding Sources from Top Teaching Resources.

15. Technology grants for schools and educational organizations.

16. Check the community web site/page of the businesses like Best Buy, Publix, Walmart/Sams, Google, Target, Goodys, Coca Cola, Barnes & Noble, Staples just to name a few. Many businesses have a community link that provides information about opportunities for schools and students to apply for grants, internships, and scholarships.

Teaching our students that everyone has a donatable resource whether it is time, money, skillset, knowledge, and/or donating items on Teachers' Wish Lists builds the community connections and demonstrates alternatives to raising our taxes.

Your local school or school district doesn't have a website? Stop by the local school, your observations will tell you more about what a school needs. Talk to the students...eventually they will make the decisions about who rocks your rocking chair regardless of your age. You do not even need to be a parent...just have the concern that the students today are your future community leaders, from the local to the global, incarcerated or educated.

Education quotes of the day:

There is a brilliant child locked inside every student.-- Marva Collins

Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner; put yourself in his or her place so that you may understand… what he or she learns and the way he or she understands it.-- Soren Kierkegaard
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