Volunteers Make The Difference at Longview Elementary - myfoxcarolinas.com

Volunteers Make The Difference at Longview Elementary

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The new location for Longview Elementary School will open this fall. While the cost for the facility's construction was a little more than $11 million, the budget did not include money for playground equipment.

The school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) agreed to start raising money for the equipment. In approximately two years, the group raised nearly $60,000.

Don Knapp, PTA president, said, “One component is the playground equipment that we bought a few years ago, and the second component is the one that we’ve raised $60,000 for, and that piece of it is also going to buy new playground equipment.”

Knapp is one of a number of community volunteers who donate their time to help the school. He does not have a child or grandchild going to the school. He says he became connected to the school after hearing stories from one of the teachers he befriended.

One story he was told sticks out above the rest. It involved a teacher asking a student to put on his coat.

“[The student] said, “Today is Monday. On Monday it’s my sister’s turn to wear the coat.” [The teacher] told us that story, and I can’t tell that story without getting emotionally involved with it,” said Knapp.

Knapp says 90 percent of the families with children attending Longview Elementary School are “at or below the Federal Poverty Level.”

Along with other volunteers, Knapp created a store called the “Thrifty Lion” on Longview Elementary’s campus. It is used raise money for the school by selling items donated by community members.

“We have the exemplars of any volunteers you can ever meet,” said Judy Jolly, principal, Longview Elementary School. “They are absolutely the ones that really help us. Maybe not with money, but they are there to volunteer.”

In addition to the playground needs, the school’s library is working to raise $20,000 for new books. According to Caroline Brown, media center coordinator, the average copyright on the current collection is 1994.

“So, we are working, as we move into our new school, to discard the books that are no longer useful to our kids and to raise money to replace them,” said Brown. “We all just have to pitch in together to work to make sure our kids get what they need.”

The school is currently holding a book fair to raise money for new library books, and they have fundraising events planned. The next event is a taco dinner planned for Thursday night.

For more information, visit http://longview.hickoryschools.net
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