Monday, May 2, 2016

UHS PTO Provides $44,000 in Enrichment Grants for 2015-16

You may have scoured the aisles of the Unionville High School (UHS) Used Book Sale for bestsellers, purchased a one-of- a-kind piece of art at the UHS Art Gala, registered your Giant or Target cards to support the high school or happily written a check to send your child to a practice SAT or ACT test. You may be aware that all of these actions support fundraisers that are organized, planned and implemented by the UHS PTO, but you may not know where all of that money – upwards of $35,000 annually – goes, and how it supports the high school and its students.

At the beginning of each school year the UHS PTO receives an extensive mix of Enrichment Project requests from teachers, academic departments, the library and others for consideration. The PTO Executive Board evaluates each request and then presents the vetted projects to the UHS principal. Then, the vetted projects are voted on by all PTO members who attend the October PTO meeting each year. The UHS PTO was able to award $44,000 in grants for 2015-16, due to the extraordinary success of the 2015 Used Book Sale.

“Part of the PTO’s mission statement is to support our teachers and students via curriculum enrichment,” said UHS PTO Co-president Alicia Duncan. “The project grants provide items and materials that make the curriculum more hands-on and more relatable for the students, and they also provide environmental enhancements that have an impact on the daily lives of our kids,” Duncan stated.

“Having coordinated PTO Enrichment Projects for several years, I can say with confidence that we have funded an incredibly diverse collection of project requests from virtually all departments – Science, English, Social Studies, World Language, Tech Ed, Art, Special Education and the Administration,” said current Enrichment Project Coordinator Carol Apicella.

The following are a few of the many requests that have been fulfilled as a result of the UHS PTO’s efforts during the past several years, with the latest projects listed at the top (go to the PTO page and click on "PTO Projects Funded” on the UHS Website for a full year-by- year listing):

  • Seating, Tables and Charging Stations for Student Cyber CafĂ© and Charging Stations for Library/Administration (2015-16)
  • Learning to Learn Classroom Books and Chairs for Alternate Learning Environment/Academic Support (2015-16)
  • Shade Sails for Outdoor Spaces/Administration (2015-16)
  • Furniture for Group Meeting Room/Special Education/Emotional Support/Social Workers (2015-16) Mentor Texts/English (2015-16)
  • Photography and Video Equipment Upgrade/Tech Ed (2015-16)
  • MacBooks for Writing Center, English and Social Studies (2014-15)
  • Texts for Reading Workshops/English (2014-15)
  • Color Printer and Book Display Shelving/Library (2014-15)
  • 3D Printer/Tech Ed (2014-15)
  • Aerospace Engineering Drone/Tech Ed (2013-14)
  • Flip Video Cameras for Analysis of Motion/Physics (2013-14)
  • Digital Cameras, Lights and Tripods for Portfolio Development/Art (2013-14)
  • Cafeteria Courtyard Pavilion (2013-2015)
 “The pavilion project involved funding for Tech Ed as well as support for a student project that resulted in an output that everyone gets to enjoy,” Apicella said. “We walk by things the UHS PTO helped to fund every day, without even knowing it – picnic tables in the lower courtyard, books in the library, plant tissue chemicals and forensic kits in the labs, indoor and outdoor benches, and even the planters right in front of the office,” she noted, adding that “The UHS community’s support for our events, in tandem with UHS PTO efforts, make this all happen for our students.”