Parents And Teachers Together

How better to ensure students are given the tools they need to succeed than have some of the most important people in their lives work together? A group of parents and teachers have bridged the gap and are now working toward a common goal—having successful students move forward.
The first official meeting of the new group—Parents And Teachers Together (PATT)—was held February 24 at the Lime Springs-Chester Elementary School. At that meeting, Shannon Reis was elected president.
She says she became interested in starting up a parent/teacher group after visiting a meeting at the Crestwood Elementary in Cresco. Attending the meeting from Lime Springs-Chester were two parents and two teachers. The Cresco PTO started up nearly a year ago. Elma’s PTP (Parent Teacher Partnership) is at least five years old.
An informal meeting was held in January to see what the interest would be and make a few decisions regarding the group. At the meeting on February 24, 14 parents, six teachers and two representatives from Cresco were on hand to learn a little more about the group, vote for officers and share thoughts and ideas. The group decided not to join the Cresco group but to stay with the Lime Springs-Chester school.
Reis says, “The main goal is to help students and teachers to make school a more enjoyable time.”
As with many jobs, teachers oft-times hear only negative comments from parents. PATT will provide support for the teaching staff. The group already started by having goodies for the teachers during conferences to keep up their spirits.
Another project occurred on March 2 for Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Students and staff were encouraged to wear their PJs to school. They had cupcakes and juice as treats and made birthday hats. As a special treat, the Cat in the Hat made an appearance and read some books to the kids.
Some upcoming projects include doing something for Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6); getting T-shirts made, having a used book drive and giving tree and organizing a fun run/walk, scavenger hunt and activity night.
Laney Stevenson of Spring Ahead Preschool offered to give up collecting Box Tops for Education, milk caps and Campbells labels and allowing PATT to collect them. Look for more information on this in the future.
Other fund-raising ideas were mentioned. The school already has nearly $17,000 in its activity fund, which is basically where any money raised would go. Principal Rob Hughes said, “The site-based team has been building up this fund over the years. We usually have one big trip every five years and several smaller programs throughout the year.” The big trip has been going to Mall of America’s Underwater World.He also mentioned the basketball courts near the school will not be used when the new Spring Ahead Learning Center is built. “The two courts would go near the parking lot of the old Presbyterian Church.” Funds of approximately $10-18,000 are needed to accomplish this task.
The group will be looking at a number of things over the next few months and welcome input from parents, teachers and community members.
Reis is looking forward to working with the other officers: Stevenson as vice president, Marcia Wells as secretary, Bethany Shroyer as treasurer and teacher liaisons Kanessa Jones and Dorey Fravel.
“I’m excited to get it going. I think we have a wonderful bunch of parents who want to help.”
For more information, ask a friend to be part of the Lime Springs-Chester Parents And Teachers Together group on Facebook or call (563-547-3229) or email (csreis@omnitelcom.com) Reis today.

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