Way to go Washington Elementary PTO

Summer is over when school starts and for parents of elementary students it’s a time to load up on supplies from notebooks to Kleenex.
Not so this year in our community. The Washington Elementary PTO has given parents a gift that should go down in the history books. Every child from grades kindergarten to fifth grade will have the bulk of their school supplies waiting from them in a red bag in their locker.
What a great project and an example of seeing a problem, finding a solution and getting the job done. That’s not to say it was easy. Fundraising for a $6,000 project and coming up with $4,300 from sponsors alone is impressive.
But it’s the volunteer hours it took to pull it off that really deserve recognition. Like most organizations, the Washington Elementary PTO could use some more people to help out. There are three board members (the secretary position is unfilled) and they’ve been working hard on this project.
They worked with Shopko to snap up any available supplies before the Ely store closed its doors. They made those donated dollars stretch even farther by doing this. Must be some good math students on that board.
Then, over the summer, they watched for sales on the items they needed. By working with the elementary principal’s office at the end of the school year they had a general idea of how many kids were expected in each grade. They worked with the teachers to find out what supplies would be needed. Then they made sure they purchased enough items to fill those 238 red bags. Supply and demand, must have been good economics
students on that board.
Those same volunteers had to communicate this project to the parents as well as to the school district. They are sending a letter in the bags for the kindergarten students, for example,
that welcomes them to “the pack” and encourages the parents to join the PTO. Must be some ,good communications students on that board.
Just having the moxie to pull this off is impressive.
We know there is a wide range of support for our school district. Each year it takes a long time to give away all of the scholarships to our graduating seniors on awards day. People are very generous to their Ely alma mater and they have opened their checkbooks to help future generations in hopes they will make our world a better place.
Even the Ely Education Foundation has found success in fully funding a Wish List that has been promoted on these pages. This gives teachers needed items that all too often they dig into their own wallet to purchase. We encourage the Foundation to follow the example set by the PTO by finding a problem and funding a solution.
All in all, a big Ely, Minnesota thank you to the board members and all those who donated to make the school supplies project a reality. Ely is a pretty neat place to live. This project made it a lot easier for parents of Ely schoolchildren.