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Today's Life Solutions  
Today's Life Solutions / Education /

Three simple tips to make a big difference at your local school

September 20, 2010

(ARA) - While the back-to-school advertisements and school supply donation drives have faded from the airwaves, the need to do more as a nation to support our schools, our teachers and our students has not. The problem is, many of us want to help out, but we're just not sure where to start.

We're not only unsure of where to start, but how much we can contribute financially. The economy has not only taken a toll on funding for public schools but on our wallets too, leaving some of us unsure how to pitch in without stretching our budgets too far.

Well, you don't have to sit on the sidelines anymore or let the economy get in your way of making a difference. Whether you can donate $5 or $50, or one to five hours, every little bit counts. Here are a few ways to contribute to your local school that will leave you thinking 'Why didn't I get involved sooner?'

1. Go online to get involved: From forums to local initiatives to national campaigns, the campaign to help public schools is going online. Bing's Our School Needs campaign, at www.bing.com/education is a competition open to U.S. public schools, grades K-12, where students, teachers and parents can submit essays and videos explaining why their school needs funding. Visit www.bing.com/education to check out the videos and vote Oct. 27 for your favorite entry in three categories: elementary, middle and high school. Once you vote, you'll receive a donation code for DonorsChoose.org to help fund a classroom project of your choice. On Nov. 9, visit www.bing.com/education to see which school won the grand prize.

2. Give what you can: You don't have to donate a lot money or time to make a big difference. Many classrooms are in need of the basics, from supplies to a helping hand. If you want to donate, schools need supplies such as: disinfectant wipes, paper towels, pens, liquid soap, garbage bags, pens and glue sticks. If you want to volunteer your time rather than donate, many teachers are in need of a helping hand due to overcrowded classrooms making it hard for teachers to give students undivided attention. You can pitch in by reading to a class, helping out with an art project, organizing a book fair or even hosting a show-and-tell about your career.

To make volunteering and donating even easier, check out the Bing Education map application from Bing Maps, at www.bing.com/education which helps you locate schools that need funding, local and national volunteer opportunities as well as view the video submissions from the competition.

3. Join the PTA: PTAs can sometimes come across as a special club for select parents, causing you to shy away from getting involved. But, the PTA isn't a special club. Rather, it's a group of parents with the goal of supporting their school, fighting for funding, supporting teachers and organizing family events and fundraisers.

If you're looking to get more involved in your child's school and make a difference too, the PTA may be right up your alley. How do you get involved? Just call your child's school or visit the National PTA website at www.pta.org to find out how to sign up.

Now, you don't have to sit on the sidelines anymore. Here's to making a difference in your community.
 

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