By NEIL ZOLOT
WAKEFIELD — Representatives from Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs) and the Wakefield Education Foundation (WEF) made their annual appearances at the beginning of a school year at the School Committee meeting Tuesday, September 26.
“PTOs are a basic part of the school community,” school board Chairman Amy Leeman said. “They not only do enrichment, but give back to the teachers.”
WEF co-president Melissa Holmes announced their grant cycle is open. “Teachers and administrators can apply for funds for enrichment events to enhance the curriculum,” she said. “I invite the school community to check out our website.”
Over the years, over $650,000 has been raised by the WEF for a wide range of events from bubble shows to engineering programs. Co-president Cary Mazzone announced they have just received a $105,000 Cummings Grant “to help build a comprehensive behavioral mental health program throughout the district. It will enhance what we have now.”
A big event on their calendar is the annual Celebration of Learning in April for students and staff who have shown a dedication to education. Holmes said it is her favorite WEF event.
Two PTO heads showed up with school mascots. The Walton Wildcat accompanied PTO president Linda Butterworth, while the Woodville Teddy Bear came with PTO president Christine Eno.
Eno reported Teddy would like to organize a mascot race that would also include the Dolbeare Dragon, Doyle Duck and Greenwood Gator. She also announced the upcoming Teddy Trot at Lake Quannapowitt Saturday, October 21. There’ll be a school book fair Thursday, October 12 and a diverse culture celebration Tuesday, November 14, which will be moved form the cafeteria to the gym as a result of its popularity.
October 30-November 3 the traveling Discovery Museum, which emphasizes science, will be at the school, partially funded through a WEF grant.
Butterworth reported on a Boo-hoo, Ya-hoo breakfast for parents when school opened. “You can either laugh or cry when your kids go to school,” she joked.
She also said a coffee cart for staff gave PTO members a chance to meet new teachers and people like the new playground and play structure that is used and keeping recess off nearby streets. She also said a mural is planned for the pick-up/drop-off area there.
The Greenwood PTO is also hosting an event at Lake Q, their Fun Run, in April. In March they’ll host their Author Festival, in which authors visit the school and speak to students. Treasurer Danielle Lueger feels “students can learn about the writing process.”
Doyle PTO representative Alexandra Stout told the School Committee about an upcoming First Responder Car Wash. “My son raved about it,” she said. “He couldn’t believe he could wash a fire truck.”
Galvin Middle School PTO resident Laura Livada said they are planning various Night Spots for students, including one for 6th grade Friday, October 13.
There are also plans to expand Juneteenth acknowledgements and celebrations that might include a storyteller. “We got some good feedback last spring and want to continue the conversation,” she said.
High School PTO president Mary Schuster reported parent involvement is lower there. “At this level we see students become more independent and a drop in parent participation,” she said.
Still, they host teacher appreciation events and distribute Halloween treat bags.
Other Halloween events will take place at the elementary schools.
Tuesday’s meeting date was also the last day for Ryan Boyd as Executive Director of WCAT. He even manned the camera showing the meeting. After a decade he will be working at a job closer to his home in New Hampshire.