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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 2 months ago

Local schools raise funds for new year

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It’s the beginning of the academic year, but schools such as Brookshire Elementary and Maitland Middle schools are planning fundraisers to help fund both big and small projects.
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

Whether it’s for tech upgrades, remodeling or speciality training, there is always work that needs to be done in and around schools.

That’s why entities such as the Brookshire Fund and Maitland Middle School Fund exist in the first place — to raise money for a variety of projects.

Although the new year just started in the last two weeks, it’s never too early to start planning fundraisers to help fill the needs of a school — especially when it comes to the bigger projects, said Teresa Donaldson, who helps lead the Brookshire Fund.

“We were set up several years ago by a group of parents who wanted to fund for larger ticket projects — some of the projects that the school may need, that the school’s individual budget may not allow for,” Donaldson said. “Or maybe some enhancements the principal or leadership at the school may not think are a priority, but the parents really want to provide those kind of opportunities for the school.”

At Brookshire, one of the big projects left over from last year is a large covered awning that will cover the outdoor area of the cafeteria. Donaldson said the umbrellas that shade the tables have been replaced numerous times because of weather.

Although the project was supposed to be done over summer, a delay pushed plans back. Right now, the awning is planned to be finished by sometime in September.

But as far as projects looking to be funded this year, Donaldson said there are a few items of want that teachers have let the fund know by means of a survey.

“A lot of teachers are looking for additional reading resources — like new books or different reading resources, and that’s an area where teachers feel like we need more tools,” Donaldson said. “I think that is going to be a big focus — whether it’s a new reading room or literally new sets of grade level books.”

To help fund for these new reading resources, as well as possible new tech for classrooms — which came in a close second on the survey — the fund is planning a couple of fundraising events between now and the end of the year.

Parents were invited to a fall kickoff Aug. 25 to discuss the upcoming projects in a simple meet-and-greet with Donaldson and the fund.

Then on Oct. 20, the fund will host its annual bash — a signature event held at East End Market. 

 

New computers for teachers at Maitland

At Maitland Middle School, the need for new computers is the project the Maitland Fund has adopted this year.

After talking with school administrators and teachers, there is currently a tremendous need for new devices, said Whitney Langholz, president of the Maitland Fund.

“My question is always, ‘What is your dream?’… and so he (Principal Andrew Leftakis) just kind of sat down and talked about some of the things he would like to see happen at the school if he had money to spend,” Langholz said. “Maitland is a great school — we are lucky to be going to school there — but we can also enhance things that happen in the classroom and the instructional opportunities that are at the school.”

Replacing teacher’s computers will be a big task for the fund — currently, there are around 51 computers utilized by the staff. Each costs about $1,000.

The highest of goals was to reach the $50,000 mark in donations,” Langholm said. Currently, the fund has raised $11,000, and that was before school started.”

To help fund the new computers — and other, smaller projects — the fund organized a back-to-school event Aug. 22 at The Copper Rocket for teachers and parents. A casino night fundraiser will take place Oct. 11.

“That should be a decent moneymaker for us, as well as acting as a ‘friendraiser,’” Langholz said. “We just need people to know that we are there, and we just need people to come out and have fun.”

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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