A whirlwind fund-raising drive paid off this week when Kickemuit PTO members learned they’d raised enough money to send all 170 Kickemuit students who want to go on the Nature’s Classroom …
A whirlwind fund-raising drive paid off this week when Kickemuit PTO members learned they’d raised enough money to send all 170 Kickemuit students who want to go on the Nature’s Classroom trip planned for Monday to Friday, Nov. 4-8, in Charlton, Mass.
The trip was threatened earlier this year when the state department of education announced that school districts are now prohibited from requiring parents to pay for the field trips that have an instructional purpose. The news meant that since parents cannot be required to pay for this trip or any educational field trip, the PTO had to raise the entire amount needed to fund it — approximately $45,000.
In the two months since, PTO members held fund-raising events, worked with local restaurants that pledged to donate percentages of their sales on given nights, and started a GoFundMe page. Up until about two weeks ago, it was still uncertain whether the effort would pay off.
But PTO President Amy Bratsos said Friday that recent donations really helped put the drive over the top.
"This week we realized had enough. There were some donations that were a significant amount, which helped, " she said. "Some came from people whose children went, whose grandchildren went, and they added a note about how much it had meant to them."
"Those ones made me cry."
While the trip will go on as scheduled, the state ruling means that fund-raising drives for future events are going to be more commonplace. Ms. Bratsos said PTO members are thinking ahead; in particular, there are other trips that they need to turn their attention toward next, including a band and chorus trip to the Great East Festival next May.
"There are others out there that we need to plan for, and now we have more time to plan" Nature's Classroom as well, she said.
In the annual Nature's Classroom trip, students learn about nature, science, math and more in a hands-on wooded classroom setting.