McKenzie PTA aids students, teachers during financial crunch

Published 3:23 pm Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The McKenzie PTA is stepping into the breach during a continued time of financial crunch for its school and students.

Thirty parents, faculty and community volunteers at the group’s first meeting of the new school year heard details of the effect of the loss of instructional material monies allocated by the state for each teacher. In the past, $525 has been allocated for each teacher for common purchases, McKenzie School principal Randy Williams explained.

“This money was pooled together to pay for the rental of the copying machine and a certain percentage of copies for each teacher. We spend about $1,000 every three months for our little school. Losing that money really hits us hard,” Williams said.

“The only place to pay it out of our general fund, and we don’t want to deplete that paying for copies. This is also the first year I am aware of the state department providing zero dollars for new textbooks. And we’ve had to order new workbooks at a cost of $1,670. So I am asking for some help from the PTA with this.”

Williams said he had originally asked the PTA for $1,500 to help pay for the needed books, but amended that request to $2,000, with $ 1,600 going toward the workbook purchase and $400 for copying machine expenses.

The group voted to approve the request.

Darlene Odom, JV cheerleader sponsor, shared the good news her squad had qualified to participate in the pre-game show for the 2011 Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

“This is a great group of girls and they did really well at the Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA) camp. Their performance qualified them for this opportunity,” Odom said.

“We are going, but it is going to be expensive.”

Each girl will need to provide $800, which goes to pay for the official UCA uniform, hotel for five days and four nights, daily breakfasts, one lunch and passes to Walt Disney World and the game.

Odom said the squad already had fundraisers underway and more planned.

“We are going to go above and beyond to send these girls for a trip of a lifetime. This isn’t something every squad is offered, and for little bitty McKenzie to be selected-well, I am super, super proud,” she said.

Odom requested assistance from the PTA in paying the $150-per-student deposit, which is due August 25. All monies are due in November. The trip will take place December 29 through January 2.

“This is such an awesome JV team, and it is such a great opportunity for them to travel and see things they have never seen before,” Odom said.

The PTA approved covering the costs of the deposits, totaling $1,950.

“If you know of any other organization, business or individual who wants to support something like this, please let me know,” Odom said. “And thank you so very much.”

Providing assistance to classroom teachers and student athletics means it is more important than ever to keep raising fundraisers, said PTA president Sherry Odom.

“We lost a home game from our schedule this year, so this cuts into our concession proceeds. We need to think of other ways to raise monies to make up the difference,” Odom said.

The Girls’ Athletics Teams at McKenzie are currently raffling off a 42-inch flat screen TV for $5 a ticket, with $2 of each ticket going to the JV cheerleaders and their Capital One Bowl fund.

August will have two PTA meetings, with a second meeting set for August 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the media center. Election of officers for 2010-2011 is planned.