The old adage, “it takes a village to raise a child”, has been taken to heart by one group of Broken Bow school district parents. The Broken Bow PTA has come a long way from the Harper Valley days Jeannie C. Riley sang about!
Thanks to the efforts of the Broken Bow PTA, the school district has been able to acquire technology equipment and support programs they may have otherwise not had the ability to do. Throughout just the past few years the group has raised literally thousands of dollars for the schools and spearheaded major projects such as the playground at Custer.
Last year, the PTA was able to purchase 25 iPads for Custer School. Just the year before, iPods had been purchased for students at North Park.
The classes at Custer are on a rotating schedule for using the iPads, and 3rd grade teacher Julie Drake says her students look forward to that time and absolutely love using the equipment.
The students use the iPads for working on core subjects such as math and English, but also use them to broaden their understanding of our world. PTA President Pam Holcomb says her daughter loves to use the Google Earth app. There is also a fun app with photos the students can use to create silly images or group them in a collage, expanding their creativity.
The money for the iPads came from the various fundraisers the PTA conducts throughout the year. Their biggest fundraiser effort is the flower sales, currently underway. Children in Kindergarten through 5th grade sell flowers, with the proceeds going to support the projects of the PTA. While the official deadline for placing orders has passed, if were not contacted by a student and would like to order, please call Amy Cyboron at 308-872-6504 or Amy Schauda at 308-872-3490 and they may be able to help.
Box Tops for Education is another program the PTA hosts each year which brings in quite a large sum of money. The Box Tops program has continued to grow each year, and this year was over the top - with 42,301 box tops submitted compared to 19,200 last year. For those box tops, $4,922 was collected for the Broken Bow schools. (For photos of the winning classes in the Box Top collection, see page A13.)
“I had parents who now have kids in 6th and 7th grade drop off envelopes of box tops,” says event chair Stephanie Miller. “And that’s what we want. It is our hope that once parents start collecting while their kids are in elementary, that they will continue collecting even after their students have moved on.
“We want people to think about the fact that every time you throw away a box top you’re throwing away a dime that could be used for our school.”
Miller emphasizes the fact that the money raised from Box Tops for Education is 100 percent new money coming into the community. The checks for the box tops go directly to the school, not to the PTA, with some of the funds being used to support the Kids of Character program.
Since 2004, the Box Tops for Education program has raised $12,301 for our schools. That is money the district, in turn, doesn’t have to spend on elementary technology, equipment and programs, while the kids still receive the benefit.
This weekend, the PTA will be hosting a new fundraising event. It’s called the ‘Bid-A-Bag Bonanza’, and will be held at Huckleberry’s Hideout this Saturday, March 31, from 2-4 p.m. Persons will share a fun-filled gala where ladies can bring a gently-used purse filled with secret gifts of the donor’s choice, buy another bag at auction, and enjoy a variety of delicious snacks (recipes from the Broken Bow Elementary Schools cookbook) and a beverage.
Pre-sale tickets are $5 and tickets purchased at the door will be $8. Jackie Schinkel is this year’s event chairman and can be contacted at barry_schinkel firstname.lastname@example.org  or you may contact Pam Holcomb, PTA president, at The School Garden for more information. Chris Russell has volunteered to auction the bags.
The PTA is one of several organizations currently involved in a major fundraising effort for playground equipment at North Park and upgrades to the new gym being built there. These items were not built into the bond. The goal is to raise $200,000 over the next two years for this project. While it is a lofty goal, Holcomb says support from the community has been great and she expects that to continue.
The PTA is always looking for volunteers to help, whether it be on a full-time basis or just with a specific effort. They meet the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Bonfire Grill.
For more information on the Broken Bow PTA, or any of their fundraising efforts, contact President Pam Holcomb at The School Garden.