To the Editor:
Last July, I had the opportunity to meet a group of amazing women at the Parent Teacher Organization back-to-school picnic. My son was about to start kindergarten at White Oak, and I thought it would be a great way to get involved. They provided the food and a great atmosphere. All they asked was that we sign up to volunteer at a few of the events held throughout the year. I gladly signed up for what I could, but as the year went on, I grew frustrated with the amount of fundraiser forms my son brought home. I wondered what could they possibly need money for now?
I decided to attend a PTO meeting to see what it was all about. After that, my preconceived notion of what the Parent Teacher Organization is completely changed.
The PTO isn’t just about Market Day, selling pies and fun fairs. After attending a few meetings, I realized that teachers rely on the funds raised for essential teaching supplies. The supplies we took for granted when growing up, and things we assume are provided for our children through our property taxes and registration fees. Just recently, teachers requested $641 for frogs to dissect for seventh-grade biology, $550 for bean bag chairs for the library, over $7,000 to support the PBIS program, $400 for kindergarten seat sacks and $300 for the Tech Trot. They also fundraise for DJs for dances and teacher appreciation week.
The very generous women who have been running the District 54 PTO are exhausted. They’ve been doing so much for so many people with too little help. The current president, Angela Nondorf, is stepping down. The vice president and secretary positions also will be open. It was said at the last meeting that if no one comes to the meetings and volunteers, the District 54 PTO will be dissolved. That is just devastating.
I have been to so many PTO events in the past year, as a volunteer or a participant, and can say they’re never short on attendance. Joining is easy. You just need to attend a meeting. Please consider attending the next meeting at 5 p.m. May 21 in the White Oak music room. They need more involvement and encourage you to have a say. If you have any questions, please contact Angela Nondorf at 815-942-0056, ext 6835.