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Sulphur Springs gets new computer lab

Posted: June 2, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 2, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Leaders of Sulphur Springs Elementary School celebrate the opening of the school’s new computer lab. The school’s PTA launched a raffle earlier this year to raise money for the computer lab.

What do you do when your computers are out of date during a budget crisis?

The Parent-Teacher Association at Sulphur Springs Elementary School decided to coordinate a raffle, and 90 days later, the students are enjoying a state-of-the-art computer lab.

The computer lab at Sulphur Springs was last updated in 2002. Leslie Neumann, computer lab technician at Sulphur Springs, said the computers weren’t responding to many of the programs the students were using through the Internet, as well as the district server.

Principal Josh Randall approached the PTA in February about updating the lab. Within a week, the PTA jumped into action.

“We knew we needed to raise a great deal of money for this computer lab,” said Marian Effinger, PTA vice president, ways & means. “We had long considered holding a raffle to help raise money for the PTA, but we knew that a concrete goal would be the key to a raffle’s success. The whole thing really came together when Mr. Randall gave us a hook for raising the money.”

Effinger and her team immediately got to work. In their bright yellow “Prize Patrol” shirts, the team held an assembly to rally the students: showing the students all of the prizes they would win as they sold each book of raffle tickets. The incentives ranged from spinning a prize wheel at their recess to a plush backpack to a drawing for an iPod touch.

With flyers sent home to parents and the students ready to sell the books, the race was on to raise the money for the computer lab. At each recess, students who sold a book of tickets ran down to the PTA Prize Patrol to spin the prize wheel.

“We had almost half of the student body participate in this raffle, and we collected an average of $1,900 each day,” Effinger said.  Within three weeks, the raffle had helped raise half of the money needed to purchase new computers for lab. The PTA then matched the monies raised in order complete the goal.

On April 28, the new state-of-the-art computer lab opened at the school with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The students immediately noticed the difference.

“The new computers are wider, faster and thinner. It makes coming in to the computer lab something special to look forward to every week,” sixth-grader Hannah Bayer said.

“I am very proud to watch our school community rally around a goal and achieve it. These computers are a wonderful resource for our very deserving students,” Randall said.


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