Iola PTO members donated $2,149.27 to USD 257 to benefit its school libraries Monday. Taking part in the donation were, seated from left, McKinley Elementary School Principal Angie Linn and Jefferson Elementary School Principal Lori Maxwell; second row, Melanie Neely, Shelly Meadows, Jenn Bycroft, Jessy Coffield, Holly Jerome, Christine Tholen and Tammy Prather, librarian for McKinley and Jefferson elementary schools, Nikki Peters, Amanda Belknap, Jennifer Coltrane, Lisa Dunne and Jenna Higginbotham. Not pictured were Lincoln Elementary School Librarian Daryl Sigg and Lincoln Principal Andy Gottlob.

School libraries get boost from PTO fundraisers

A shrinking library budget for USD 257 caught the eye of Iola Parent Teacher Organization members.

The budget for the district’s elementary schools went from $9,464 last year to $3,200 in 2017-18, noted Holly Jerome, a PTO member.

“There were multiple books, supplies and Accelerated Reader materials that needed replaced, but the budget did not allow,” Jerome said in an email.

“PTO felt the library was something that benefited all children and took this on as our main event for the year,” Jerome said.

The PTO committee gave the school district a $2,149.27 check Monday for library material expenses.

The donation comes on top of several other community service projects, including donating to the Iola Reads aeronautics expo; handing out prizes for family nights at all three elementary schools; buying meals for teachers and staff during fall and spring conferences; and purchasing Young Authors books.

The PTO will rent inflatables for the May 14 Field Day/ Play Day and will take part in Teacher Appreciation Week May 7-11.

Another fund-raiser in the form of an ice cream social is planned for June 7.

“We thank all parents and community members who have supported our fundraisers this year and continue to be involved with the schools,” Jerome said.

“I don’t know how we would do it without the volunteers that come and help out in the library,” added Tammy Prather, librarian at McKinley and Jefferson elementary schools. “They are so valuable. I want people to know that we could always use help and please reach out if this is something that you would like to get involved with.”

The PTO is seeking new volunteers to serve on its executive committee for 2018-19 and beyond.

“I have enjoyed being a building coordinator because it allows me to communicate with the teachers and parents,” member Jenn By-croft said. “PTO is a great way to get involved.”

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