Photo by Brett Nachtigall/Fall River County Herald
Hot Springs Elementary PTA members pose for a photo on the new piece of playground equipment that the organization recently purchased. Pictured from left is Brenna Schmit, Edith Hooper, Staci Pokorski, Jennifer Cruz, Petra Wilson, Rgie Wermager, Koreen Hammel, Carrie Loe and Carole Ann Lewis.
By Brett Nachtigall
HOT SPRINGS – Members of the Hot Springs Elementary PTA recently celebrated the achievement of one of their goals when a new piece of playground equipment was installed in the school’s playground, and has their sights on adding even more playground equipment in the future, according to current PTA President Petra Wilson.
“The PTA has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year with members and volunteers and supporting business,” said Wilson. “We’ve been working on increasing awareness of the PTA in our community and improving communication between the school and the parents/guardians.”
According to the organizations’ Facebook page, their Mission is:
• To promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school, community, and place of worship.
• To raise the standards of home life.
• To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth.
• To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth.
• To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education.
In addition to Wilson, the other Hot Springs PTA officers include Vice President Carole Ann Lewis, Treasurer Suzanne Givler and Secretary Carrie Loe.
“PTA members, including parents, teachers, and school administration, work closely together to determine how to use PTA funds to enrich the experiences of Hot Springs Elementary students and staff,” said Givler. “The PTA spends roughly 50 percent of funds each year on short term expenses and saves 50 percent each year for a larger purchase, such as the playground equipment purchased in 2018.”
Income that went toward the playground came from various sources, including $1,500 student council donation, Amazon Smile Fundraiser, Bingo Fund Raiser, Box Tops Fundraiser, Concessions Sales, Coupon Books Fundraiser, Lynn’s Dakotamart Receipts and PTA Memberships.
An annual membership in the PTA is just $10, with half of that fee going towards membership into the national organization as well.
The Box Top program has proven to be a huge success for the group, Wilson said, as they receive 10¢ from each box top that is turned in, from various food boxes purchased at area stores. Drop off locations include the Hot Springs Public Library, Hot Springs City Hall, Evans Plunge, Sonny’s Super Foods, Lynn’s Dakotamart, Prairie View United Methodist Church, Pine Hills Retirement Community, Fall River Health Services and Shopko.
“We’ve also had local restaurants step up and help support our PTA by having PTA dinner nights, where they give 20 percent of their sales to our PTA,” Wilson said. Burnouts Pizza currently offers that promotion on the second Wednesday of each month, while The Vault is planning to do it the third Monday of each month. This program is only available during the school year and not during the summer.
Over the past three years, PTA funds have been used for many things to benefit the school and the students, including Chamber Bucks for prizes, Culligan Water, Math is Fun Treats, Playground paint, PTA Movie Night, SD PTA memberships and insurance, Teacher Appreciation Lunch, Teacher Supplies, Vinyl banner, New checks, Playground balls for the kids and New logo’d shirts for teachers.
Currently, the PTA is only able to benefit students and teachers in the Hot Springs Elementary, however, Wilson said that if the organization continues to grow, they are hoping to perhaps one expand into the middle school and high school as well.
For more information about the Hot Springs Elementary PTA, search them out on Facebook.