Wilmington — As Wilmington City Schools Superintendent Ron Sexton reflects upon the many positive experiences made available to the students of the Wilmington City Schools district, he pauses to mention the tremendous impact made by the Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) and Academic Booster Club (ABC).
At the core of each organization is a handful of parents who work to coordinate and organize events that present opportunities for parents, staff and community members to work together to supplement and enrich the education of Wilmington students.
“The large number of parents active in these groups show the great support our schools have,” said Sexton. “The time they volunteer and money they raise are essential to our work.”
Working behind the scenes to make a difference in the lives of students, Denver Place, East End and Holmes Elementary schools are fortunate to have PTO organizations that actively pursue unique events, programs and opportunities to enhance the lives of students while fostering a healthy school community. A common goal shared among the organizations is the need to provide extra funds to support both students and teachers.
According to Susan Parker, who is a member of the East End PTO, “Schools are no longer able to offer field trips, which is why the PTOs bring programs, such as COSI, to the schools.”
One of the biggest achievements during the past few years for the Holmes Elementary PTO was raising funds to provide the new sign sharing school happenings with the community.
“Through the hard work of the PTO, students, teachers and families,” said PTO member Kenneth Lydy, “the sign went up this year and is a wonderful addition to the school.”
The mission of the Denver Place PTO is to work in partnership with parents and community to develop in all students the knowledge and skills needed to become productive citizens in the global community, and to challenge each student with a rigorous, relevant and stimulating curriculum in a safe and caring environment.
The elementary PTO organizations have hosted events such as the mother/son and father/daughter dances, Donuts with Dad and Muffins with Mom breakfasts, and annual school carnivals. They have provided funds necessary to purchase playground equipment, games for indoor recess, academic website memberships, book fairs, Santa’s Workshops, COSI on Wheels, field day activities, skate night, walk-a-thons, Moby Max, school stores, Christmas for Teachers, book allowances for teachers to use during book fairs for their classrooms, dinners for teachers during parent teacher conferences, and much more.
At the middle school level, the ABC Club seeks to improve the lives of children and their well-being through commitment, involvement, and dedication to their education, and their world.
The ABC Club believes it is important to reward success to students who continuously strive for academic progress while also supporting the teachers and staff who seek innovative ways to teach and reach their students. The club works closely with administrators to coordinate incentive rewards for those students who meet the criteria and has provided movies, a carnival day with inflatables, and a bowling excursion as rewards for academic progress and good behavior.
The club also sponsors four dances throughout the year that include a DJ, pizza, concessions and prizes while offering students an opportunity to have fun and socialize with classmates in a safe and supervised environment.
In order to beautify the school and provide a more stimulating environment for the students, to maintain contact with the community, and through school spirit strengthen the community bonds, plans are in the works to revamp the reception area that will include a lending library.
The club also is entertaining the idea of a spirit rock in the front of the school that will allow students to show their Cane Pride.
While each school recognizes that their efforts are concentrated within individual buildings, the effects of their efforts will ripple through the entire community and benefit everyone.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.