Farragut Middle PTO extends fundraiser

Tracy Haun OwensOur Town Youth

It’s frustrating to try to teach and learn when you don’t have the tools and resources to do so. When the Farragut Middle School PTO assessed its school’s needs, it came up with a figure that would really make a difference: $55,000. In trying to raise that by March 8, the PTO is asking parents, community members and business owners to pitch in.

Seventh-grade parent Pamela Millikin, who volunteers with the PTO, says the original deadline for the fundraiser was to be March 5, but with “the flood and the flu” the organization has extended it to March 8. (The state allows only two 30-day fundraising windows per year, according to the PTO, and so it can’t extend past that.)

Millikin says there are continual funding challenges within Knox County schools, including Farragut schools, that result in parents, teachers and the community being asked to help out not just with extras but with necessities.

Money is needed in four core areas, she says, and will be assigned in a priority order.

“We’ve tried to break it down so it’s not so intimidating,” Millikin says.

First priority is replacing the circulation desk in the library, which allows only one student to check out at a time. Millikin says it was brought from the old middle school and is about 50 years old. At that time the library served a school with about 200 students; today there are 1,200 in grades six, seven and eight. She says teachers have told them that students pass up checking out materials because they know they’ll be late getting back to class or will have to stand in a long line.

The second priority is for about 100 additional Chromebooks. Right now teachers must coordinate and schedule with each other to make sure enough computers are available for students who need to take tests or engage in other learning.

The rest of the funds would be used for a project to replace water fountains with water-bottle stations (to curb the spread of germs) and to provide additional needed funding to teachers, particularly in areas that aren’t supported as core, including art education, music education and physical education.

Parents and interested community members can make checks payable to the Farragut Middle School PTO and mail or send them to school, or donate through the school’s fundraising portal here.

For the first time, the PTO is also approaching local businesses about sponsorships that would get their business names in front of parents at basketball games, choir concerts and band concerts. Millikin would love to speak personally to any business owner or representative who would like to partner. She can be contacted by local businesses via email.

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