To the editor:
The Westport Middle School Association (WMSA) will sadly say goodbye to three of its four officers this June. We can only hope to have three new volunteers as dedicated and wonderful to fill the upcoming vacant positions.
Westport Middle School would like to thank Kelley Cooper, WMSA president; Christine Oliveira, WMSA vice president; and Lori Camara, WMSA treasurer, for all their efforts.
These women have worked tirelessly to raise money in order to afford our students amazing learning opportunities and memorable experiences. All of us at the middle school will miss seeing them in the building. However, we will continue to depend on the experience and guidance of Vicki Black-Corey, WMSA secretary, as new officers take on these roles.
The WMSA is a non-profit organization that raises money to enrich the education of our middle school students. The time devoted to exploring fundraising options, planning events, coordinating volunteers, working events, and allocating funds exemplifies a true commitment to our students, for which we are so grateful. The amount of time these officers devoted to the Westport Middle School community is immeasurable. In addition, dedicated parent volunteers also helped support the WMSA, by creating a team of parent-leaders who understand the value of educational field trips that offer real life applications.
This year the WMSA coordinated several fundraising opportunities. Their efforts began with a calendar fundraiser, followed by a Soup and Cookie Drive, which helped reduce the cost of the 8th grade celebratory trip to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Next, they brought two book fairs to the middle school, inspiring many students to purchase a new book. As in years past, they also hosted a pancake breakfast, as well as the first annual wine tasting at Westport Vineyards.
Throughout the year, the WMSA also organizes movie/dance nights for our students to gather together in the evenings and socialize among their peers in a safe and fun environment.
The money raised from the dedicated efforts of our WMSA and parent volunteers helps to support several programs throughout the school year. WMSA has funded the Katie Brown Program for grades 5-8 which educates students about healthy relationships. They have funded the 5th grade trips to the Boston Aquarium and Freedom Trail, helping students connect what they have learned in the classroom to real world experiences. They have funded the 6th grade trip to Patriot Place where students learned to work together in assigned positions to form their own virtual football team. The 7th grade was able to attend A Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep Theatre and the Eureka math play, a Chamber Theater Production, with funds provided by WMSA. They also funded the 8th grade McAuliffe Center – Voyage to Mars and Planetarium where students were once again able to connect the classroom curriculum to hands-on experience. WMSA also accepts grants written by our teachers requesting funds for art supplies, sports games for physical education, or classroom materials.
In order to finance the above programs, WMSA must raise $30,000-$35,000 per year. It takes an abundant amount of dedication and commitment from the WMSA officers and parent volunteers to reach their annual goal. As we say goodbye to Kelley, Christine, and Lori, we send a special thank you for their efforts in creating a better school experience for our students. And to Vicki and our group of parent volunteers, we also thank you. Without you, our school would not be the amazing place that it is.
Westport Middle School