Okay so here’s the deal. Gloves are off. Let’s get straight down to it. Our school gets X amount of dollars from the Ministry of Education each year to run the school. This provides the basics that we need to give your child an education. Now, for that, we are very grateful. BUT! This money doesn’t stretch to cover all the things and opportunities we want to offer your kids. And so there ain’t no way of getting around it. WE NEED TO FUNDRAISE.
And who does this – well sometimes individual teachers will put together a cunning plan to provide something extra just for their class. Good on them. And make no mistake this does take up lots of their time and energy, and takes their focus away from the all-important job of teaching and learning. Some have got so good at sniffing out funds that they combine it with learning.
A great example of this is the technology unit the Arctic Wolves ran last year. Penny went cap in hand to a variety of businesses and managed to get sponsorship from several which enabled her class to make a set of go carts. These are still one of the most sought after pieces of play equipment every play and lunch time. So yes, teachers and classes do fundraise.
Grants and gear
How else do we get the extra dollars that enable us to do more for your children? Well we apply for grants from various places. The lottery and kiwi sports grants are our best bet – excuse the pun. These we have recently used to buy the 12 iPads around the school and 10 new Netbooks that are about to go into our computer suite. The kiwi sports grant goes mainly towards travel costs for sports groups travelling over the hill.
All good and well you might think, but actually we have other experiences we want your children to have – Year 6 children learning how to sail, donations to each class for classroom wet weather games, new sports uniforms for rugby and netball, and sports equipment, the Life Education Van, the Cyber Safety talk next term – to name but a few. And where does the money for these come from? Yes you’ve guessed it’s from the efforts and organisation of a dedicated band of about six women who work under the name of HOME AND SCHOOL!
Whose Home and School?
Just recently, they’ve asked me to call in the troops – that’s you by the way! They need help, big time.
They are holding the AGM of the Home and School this Friday, tomorrow, in the library at 3.15pm. And yes, you’re right, if you come along and volunteer there is a possibility you will be sucked into a black hole of time commitment from which you feel you can’t escape. (Mind you it’s a mighty good feeling to know you’re one of the active members of the school community and being a role model to your kids). And yes, the meetings can be a bit challenging as you have to come up with ideas to make money out of a small community that is often being asked to help other groups.
Ideas people and problem-solvers
The plus is: We all love to problem-solve and overcome challenges. It gives us a real buzz! Plus you may not be an ideas’ person. You may be someone who likes to get stuck in once an idea has been formed. We need you too!
And then of course there is the tedious planning and organisation once you’ve come up with an idea. (But then some of us are details people and really like to plan things out – budding project managers. Is this you?) Oh and did I mention that sometimes you need to cold call other parents you don’t know and businesses asking for support! (But then again, you’re starting to make new connections with others in the community.)
Well folks in spite of all the downsides – WE NEED YOU!
Community fun times
We need new blood and fresh ideas not just for fundraising but also for thinking up some fun school community events that may not raise much money but will make our community a closer knit, supportive place for your children to belong. You don’t have to be a parent or caregiver to come along and be active. Friends, other extended family members, grandmas and granddads are all very welcome. WE’LL TAKE YOU ALL!!
So how about it! Please Give It For Takaka School, and be there after the Tabloid sports – 3.15pm at the library. Come and help us make a difference.
I’ll be there, will you? – Tre Sylvawood, Acting Principal