Genoa Elementary School has a strong ally in its effort to educate the children of its community – the parent teacher organization.
“They’re a phenomenal group,” said school superintendent Dennis Mock said of the Genoa Elementary PTO.
Over the summer, the group donated $23,000 to the school, according to the June board of education meeting minutes. The parents designated the cash for teacher name plates, a shelter house and a greenhouse.
The name plates arrived shortly before the doors opened Aug. 21 for the 2012-13 school year. They have magnetic backs and attach at the top of each door’s archway.
“The teachers just love them,” Principal Brenda Murphy said.
Genoa PTO has a strong relationship with the school administration. And, that in part, is what makes their efforts pay off.
“We ask them to designate the money for projects that will benefit the entire school. Last year, they donated $20,000 for the bleachers in the new gym,” she said.
Genoa elementary is a $25 million new, state-of-the-art facility for kindergarten through fifth grade, built with bond money approved by voters in 2008. This is the second year of operation. Its creation unified all the district’s buildings onto one campus with the high school, middle school and administration building on Genoa-Clay Center Road.
The school has two shelter houses in the playground area. A concrete slab was poured for a third one near the soccer field in preparation for a future building, school treasurer Bill Nye said.
In all likelihood, the $23,000 will cover the name plates and the shelter house expense, Nye said. The parents and board will have to assess the needs for the greenhouse after those bills are paid.
Murphy is adamant about having a greenhouse in the elementary’s future.
With the changes in the school lunch nutrition and the price of vegetables, the greenhouse will offer a number of savings, she said.
The greenhouse also will be a beneficial teaching tool for the kids, she added. They’ll learn to care for the plants and see the bounty put to use for all on a daily basis.
Genoa PTO funds the projects through a variety of sources. The membership organizes book sales, a meat market day and collection of Campbell’s Soup labels, Box Tops for Education, juice pouches and Miller’s Market receipts.
By far, though, “Their biggest money maker is the carnival at the end of the school year,” Mock said. The next carnival is April 13, 2013.
The PTO meets at 7 p.m. the second Monday of the month at the elementary cafeteria. Its new slate of officers includes president Brandi Baez, vice president Jodi Goodman, secretary Jodi Reineck and treasurer Andrea Beard.