Parents pitch in at RLS

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, November 5, 2009

One group of local school parents have discovered a way to tackle proration and are now asking the community’s help to raise money for things like crayons and copier paper.

Chris Thomasson, Red Level’s assistant principal, said the concept began at the start of the school year by five local women who decided to do all they could to provide the necessary materials for students. Now, the PRLS group, or “Parents Reaching for a Level of Success,” as they call themselves, is boasting a membership of 50 parents and continues to grow.

“With proration and cuts felt in the classroom and zero money (for teachers) to spend on instructional material, our parents felt they had to do something,” he said. “Instructional materials are those things that teachers use to do their job. For example, say you taught science and wanted to do a dissection lab. Well, if you want to order frogs, that money comes from teacher allocation money. Teachers usually get $450 a year for their classroom. In elementary school, that money is used on crayons, paper, construction paper, so you can understand what that money is used for.

“This year, teachers got zero,” he said. “When money isn’t there, it comes out of the teacher’s pockets and parents’ help. This group wants to raise that money through fund-raisers to give the teachers. We don’t want to send notes home to parents asking them to buy this or buy that. Our community wants to do it for itself. We can take the money we raise and use it wisely.”

Along the school year, a few fund-raisers have been held. The group’s most recent was to sell balloons for homecoming, but its biggest project is happening tonight — the PRLS Hoedown — at 6 p.m. at Crystal Springs Park.

“It’s sort of like a traditional fall festival with booths and games and food — a real wholesome evening of family entertainment,” Thomasson said. “And every bit of the proceeds will go to straight into the classroom.”

Admission to the event is 50 cents per child and $1 per adult. Vendors will be on hand with traditional “fair style” concessions also.

“The park looks fantastic and is ready for an outstanding turnout,” Thomasson said. “Our school is the center of our community and now we want to bring our community in to help support our school.”