Lend Inskip Elementary a hand: part deux

Beth KinnaneFountain City, Our Town Students

On Saturday, Oct. 23, Inskip Elementary School will have a homecoming of sorts. From 9 a.m. to noon the school will host a Fall Beautification Day. They’ll be harvesting their garden, beautifying the courtyard, herb crafting, creating garden fresh pizzas and just generally having a good time.

The garden is an integral part of Inskip’s culture. Part of it is used to grow vegetables. Another is used to grow a mix of native wildflowers to support pollinators. But it is more than just an educational tool.

“We use this garden to help feed our students” said Assistant Principal Megan Blevins. “Throughout the school year, when there’s produce available, they are able to take it home. And over the summer, what is grown here is distributed with the food drives as well.”

The Inskip garden at the beginning of the school year.

Inskip has a diverse population of students predominately from working class households. As such, those kids depend pretty heavily on the various programs and services offered through the school. And, likewise, the school depends heavily on support within the community.

Much of that comes through the Friends of Inskip Elementary, a coalition of volunteers from the Inskip Lions Club, Bookwalter United Methodist Church, Cedar Lane United Methodist Church, Inskip Baptist Church, Inskip Community Association, and Christus Lutheran Church (read that story here). These volunteers are at the ready to provide staff with breakfasts and lunches on in-service days, or, as happened recently, turn on a dime to provide masks for students to comply with a judge-ordered mandate.

There have been a great many improvements to the campus over the past several years. The newest addition houses the facilities for the school’s thriving arts classes (see story here). The performance art classes, however, could use some improvements to the space where they have to perform.

As previously reported here, the stage in the gymnasium needs some new curtains. They are in the ballpark of 70 years old and are falling apart where they hang. The back curtains as well as audio/visual equipment and some of the lighting also need to be replaced. The problem is, these expenses are not covered by the school’s budget from Knox County Schools, nor are they covered by any of the other educational grants, etc. the school receives. Parents, teachers, staff, students and the community have to raise the money.

Knox TN Today is partnering with the school and the Friends of Inskip to do this. Initially, we had requested checks be mailed to the school, which can still be done (4701 High School Rd, Knoxville, TN 37912, put “curtain fund” in the memo). But no one seems to do donations that way anymore.

So, we ‘ve done what everyone else does these days to raise money, we’ve set up a GoFundMe. A lack of checks, stamps and envelopes is no longer a valid excuse to not support this worthy cause. You can make a donation here.

The project is still in its infancy. But we’ll be finding some special ways to recognize donors as well, so send those donations in.

  • Executive Producer: $500+
  • Producer: $250
  • Director: $100
  • Choreographer: $50
  • Set Designer: $25

Or if you happened to drop in on Inskip’s Fall Beautification Day, feel free to leave a check with a staff member. These kids deserve this.

Beth Kinnane is the community news editor for KnoxTNToday.com

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