Welcome to Granby PTO Corner…

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…a monthly resource for information about the PTO, its activities and initiatives. For those new to Granby, or new to the school system, the PTO serves the students, their families and school staff at Kelly Lane Primary School (grades Pre-K-2) and Wells Road Intermediate School (grades 3-5). It is run by an executive board staffed this year by Beth Cherubino, president; Corrine DelGallo, vice president; Sara Pomponi, treasurer Whitney Sanzo, secretary; Nicole Marks assistant treasurer and Jess Tsaptsinos, assistant secretary. It supports several committees, each is chaired and staffed by parent volunteers. The committees provide an opportunity for parents to make connections with each other, their children’s classmates, teachers and staff, but they are the driving force behind PTO. 

The PTO’s belief, is that parent involvement in the educational process makes a difference in creating a positive school atmosphere and the success rate of student achievement. Involvement has been proven to result in better grades, higher test scores, improved behavior and a more positive attitude toward school. Involvment with the PTO supports students and the school community at large. Whether you chair a committee or only have an hour to spare, we welcome your time and talents. For more information or to sign up, visit: granbypto.org.

The executive board and committees spent the summer planning for the 2018-19 school year. The kick off was a social for Pre-K and Kindergarten students and their families on Aug. 27 at Salmon Brook Park. We are also excited that the chess program run by Coach Alexander Lumelsky and sponsored by gifted and talented committee, will return for two sessions this year at Wells Road on Mondays from 3:30–4:30 and open to students in grades 1–5. Visit the PTO website to sign up. 

This summer much of our time was spent working on this year’s primary PTO fundraiser, a combined Jog-a-Thon and Fall Festival, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kelly Lane Primary School (rain date, Saturday, Oct. 27). The PTO Executive Board has set a fundraising goal of $25,000 for the Jog-a-Thon—only possible with the help of students, parents and the Granby community. It promises something for everyone, including food trucks, local vendors, face painting, gaga pit and obstacle course. Participation is also open to surrounding communities. New this year are Jog-a-Thon t-shirts available for pre-order from the “Store” on the PTO website. The shirts, in a variety of sizes. cost $10 for cotton and $15 for moisture-wicking sport tees. Shirts must be ordered by Sept. 28. 

Proceeds will support all PTO activities and initiatives, including classroom teacher grants through the Enhanced Learning Fund (ELF). Last year ELF purchased close to $8,000 in supplies requested by teachers, coding materials, open-choice-time supplies, a songbird habitat, STEAM classroom activity kits, a loom and 4th grade ELA books. 

Because of the innovative requests we received last year, and to demonstrate our commitment to enhancing learning, the PTO is increasing the funds devoted to ELF grants to $10,000 this year. Last year’s special request to purchase Grade 1 guided reading books was fulfilled. The PTO had enough funds to purchase over $6,500-worth of Fountas and Pinnell’s guided reading books. 

The PTO annually gives each Kelly Lane and Wells Road teacher a check for $50 to help offset the “extras” such as fun pencils for birthday gifts or a poster for the wall typically paid for out of their own pockets. 

In addition, the PTO supports two special programs to mark the culmination of the students’ elementary school careers—the annual fifth grade picnic and Nature’s Classroom field trip. These are some of the ways money raised by the PTO directly supports teachers, students and families. 

The generous support of the Granby community through donations and gifts from sponsors such as Geissler’s, is greatly appreciated. To make a donation, visit the website, click  “Store” on the top menu and scroll down to “Donation” under “Merchandise.” Local businesses that wish to be a sponsor or participant in the Jog-a-Thon/Fall Festival, or individuals wishing to volunteer on Oct. 20, may contact Jessica Tsaptsinos, fundraising chair, at jessw2780@gmail.com. Finally, for those who enjoyed last year’s Autumn Auction fundraiser, fear not; the board has tentatively decided to alternate between the Autumn Auction and the Jog-a-Thon on a yearly basis.

The PTO meets quarterly at 6:30 p.m. in the Media Center at Wells Road School. Meetings are open to the public and are scheduled for the following dates, Oct. 1, Jan. 14, March 11 and June 3.