Making a Difference at WME
It’s been awhile since our last PTO Spotlight, so we wanted to share with you some of the ways the money PTO has raised this year have been invested into our school and how it’s making a difference in our classrooms! Every dollar we raise makes an impact and we always want parents to see where our funds and their donations are spent!
PTO loves supporting our specials since they are such a great part of our kid’s school day! This year, Mr. Widhalm purchased materials to create some yard games like corn hole and ladder ball. Mrs. Loomis, our fabulous new music teacher, purchased 30 new ukuleles with cases for the students to explore new music! Ms. Kopatich has added Hot Wheels sets and tracks along with K’Nex to her I.MAGINE Lab that the kids love to create obstacles and tracks with for Spheros force and motion projects. And Ms. Hubbell, our awesome new art teacher, has purchased many art supplies for her room including air dry clay, lots of paper and paints, stained glass materials, fun gems, and shrinky-dink supplies.
At the beginning of this school year, WME had to recycle all of our original iPad 2’s because they weren’t supported anymore by the district and couldn’t be updated. Therefore, PTO was able to purchase 20 new iPads for use in our classrooms. Having 1:1 technology at WME is a large commitment and wouldn’t be possible without the support of our wonderful community!
SPARK Fridays are a way for kids to explore new activities and passions of theirs. They have had some amazing learning adventures and new experiences on SPARK Fridays and PTO helped to fund some of these sessions! We have helped to buy supplies for Think 360 yarn art, outdoor yard games, monster pillows, holiday decorations, yoga, ukuleles, no-bake cooking, and various other art and STEM Spark sessions! Thanks for your help in funding Spark Fridays, the kids absolutely love them!
If you are interested in sharing a talent or skill for a SPARK session, please contact the school office. They are always looking for more parents to help with SPARK sessions.
A portion of the funds raised throughout the year go toward fulfilling teacher reimbursements. We gave each teacher/classroom $200 initially to reimburse for classroom supplies they purchase throughout the year, and increased this to $300 per teacher/classroom after our successful Fun Run! Teachers were able to buy software subscriptions, science materials, books, organizational materials, seating, games, etc. This reimbursement helps with some of the costs of classroom supplies they take on themselves each year.
PTO made a large investment this year in the iReady software that enables our teachers to target each of their student’s learning on an individual basis. iReady is a comprehensive research-based educational program which supports teachers through student assessment, online instruction, and teaching resources in both reading and math. The program combines high student engagement with academic rigor to provide teachers with the data and resources needed to tailor personalized learning pathways for all students.
Our wonderful librarian, Mrs. Stickel, always keeps a running list of the books the students are requesting and she was able to purchase many of those titles this year with her $4500 budget. She purchased series sets, books, and authors that the children love including The Nine Worlds, the newest Dog Man books, Lord of the Fleas, Brawl of the Wild, The Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel series, The 2019 Guinness Book of World Records, Captain Underpants, Bad Kitty, Mo Willems books, the newest Last Kids on Earth, Hamster Princess, Fly Guy, Race the Wild, My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish, Pig the Pug, Max Crumbly, Where’s Waldo?, Spy School, Wings of Fire, and the newest Land of Stories. She was also able to purchase many nonfiction books including books about trains, biomes and animals.
This year, before school began, PTO paid for our teachers and staff to attend a day at Stone Canyon Edventures to kickoff the school year! They spent the day collaborating and doing many team building activities, including ropes courses and an escape room! We have an amazing Wildcat Mountain Team!
After our BOGO Book Fair in May, we were awarded Scholastic Points based on the amount of sales we made that week. With those points, this year we were able to buy Scholastic News subscriptions for 1st, 2nd and 4th grades for the entire school year. We were also able to buy our 1st graders some new leveled readers they use weekly!
Around $3000 of our PTO budget each year goes directly towards our teacher and staff hospitality. Our wonderful hospitality chairs, Amy Stein and Jaime Clay, organize many things throughout the year to let our staff know just how much we appreciate them. This includes welcome back-to-school gifts, meals during conferences, a holiday breakfast including a coffee cart that makes custom coffee drinks for them, holiday gifts, organizing Treat Yourself Tuesdays, birthday bundt cakes each month, snacks during PLC days, and meals and gifts during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week! We want our teachers and staff to know how much we appreciate all they do throughout the year for our kids!
As you can see, we have been able to make a huge impact this year at WME already and can’t wait to do more to benefit the school, students and teachers. None of this would be possible without the amazing support we receive from you–the parents and community! Look for another PTO Spotlight email in August detailing how the remainder of the budget was spent this year. Thank you for your generosity and your continual willingness to donate to PTO and WME!
If you feel inspired and want to help us do all this next year, we are looking for individuals to join our amazing PTO team! Please let Jackie Benitez know if you’re interested.