The Parent Teacher Association at Sally K. Ride Elementary School in Germantown has launched a fundraising effort in hopes of raising $15,000 to support a variety of programs which the school and the PTA sponsor, including After School Clubs and Transportation, Language Enrichment Clubs, theater classes with the Olney Theatre Center, and many other programs.
“For the last several years, we have worked to use the Scholastic Book Fair as our fundraiser,” said Sally Ride Elementary Principal Elise Burgess. “However, we recognize our families are busy, and many hold multiple jobs, so sometimes a direct donation is better, particularly with social media outreach to family members and community members who may want to contribute but aren’t interested in the typical popcorn, wrapping paper fundraisers.”
Burgess said this is the first time the school’s PTA is attempting an additional fundraiser of this type. “It is also an impossible to lose fundraiser; no matter what, we didn’t spend any money to get it up and running, so we can only make money, not lose any,” she said.
The school is taking the bold move to open up the fundraiser to the wider community in hopes of attracting donations from families outside of the school community.
The largest expense which the PTA hopes to fund with this effort is the After School Clubs and Transportation program which provides supervised after-school activities and a safe way home for students attending the school, which is located at 21301 Seneca Crossing Drive in Germantown. The after-school clubs are held twice a week.
“Our PTA is very generous and gives us roughly $4,000 each year so that our students can use the activity bus two days a week for almost the entire school year, so they can participate in after-school activities, such as Run Club, Drama Club, Individual Homework Help, the student government association and more.” Sally Ride Elementary has one of the most widely desperate student populations, with students coming from the local neighborhood, but also living quite far from the school. The school is located just south of Brink Road while some students are bussed from areas across MD-355 and I-270 near Middlebrook Road.
“Our students come from across the street, but also over by the Points by Wegmans and as far as White Saddle Drive and Waring Station Road over by Seneca Valley High School. Transportation can be difficult, so this expense is appreciated every year by our community,” said Burgess.
Another large portion of the funds raised would go towards a foreign language enrichment club. Sally Ride has not had an extracurricular foreign language enrichment program in many years, and the PTA and school administration would like to provide that to the schools’ students. The funding would allow for the program to be held after school and be free for any student willing to participate. However, that program comes with a $5,000 price tag which would be paid through the funds raised by this new outreach to the wider community.
Another program which would be funded is a partnership with the Olney Theatre Center that allows the 5th Grade to have access to arts. “Our relationship with Olney Theatre allows our Grade Five students to have a yearlong collaboration with Olney Theatre to have access to the arts, culminating with the students performing on stage at the Olney Theatre,” said Burgess.
Burgess said that the school’s PTA had not attempted such a fundraiser in the past. “The PTA supports much more than they take in,” she said. “All of their evening events are free to families, like our Movie Night, Game Night, Math Night, Read-A-Thon, and more.” Anyone wishing to donate to support the efforts of the Sally Ride Elementary PTA can visit the PTA’s website and click the “Donate” button.
Photo by Germantown Pulse.