Cartersville Elementary School’s Adopt-a-Classroom program just received its largest donation to date.
State Rep. Paul and Marijon Battles recently donated $4,000 to adopt several classrooms at the school and give teachers money to help meet the educational needs of their students in whatever way they feel is most beneficial.
“Rep. Paul Battles is a firm supporter of education,” Principal Ken MacKenzie said. “His wife, Marijon Battles, retired after completing a very successful teaching career in Cartersville City Schools. They were both educated in Cartersville City Schools, where Paul was recognized as an exceptional athlete at CHS. Both are very dedicated, caring grandparents. Their generous gift to our ... teachers is much appreciated and will immediately enhance the educational opportunities provided by those teachers.”
School counselor Elaine Hite, who is in charge of the program, said the school greatly appreciates the couple’s donation.
“Rep. Battles is well-known for his service to our community, and his wife, Marijon Battles, is a retired educator,” she said. “Their legacy of community service continues with their private donation. They are a great supporter of our school system, and CES is very thankful for their generous donation.”
The money was divided into eight $500 awards, given to three classroom teachers — third-grade teachers Danielle Ruff and Shannon Vogelsang and paraprofessional Tiera Smith — and four specialist teachers — special programs teacher Lora Gantt, PE teacher Jason Jackson, art teacher Jennifer Turem and music teacher Gary Lovingood. The remaining $500 was for MacKenzie to use at his discretion.
“We are very grateful for the donation,” Vogelsang said. “Every year, we look forward to being adopted by parents and companies so that we may purchase additional learning resources for our students. I plan to buy additional reading materials that will enhance the children’s learning, materials such as reading games and authentic literature that will make learning meaningful.”
When MacKenzie became principal of the elementary school in 2009, he brought the Adopt-a-Classroom program with him from his previous school system in Florida, Hite said.
“It was implemented at CES beginning in 2010-2011,” she said. “Since, it has expanded to other schools in our system.”
So far, 42 sponsors have adopted classrooms for the 2015-16 school year, donating $10,225 to the program, Hite said.
“We have 41 homerooms at CES,” she said. “Only nine of our homeroom teachers still [need] adopting. We also have 25 specialist teachers — this includes Title/EIP, PE, music, school counseling program, etc. Eighteen of our specialist teachers still need to be adopted.”
To be considered fully adopted, a classroom needs a $150 donation, but “any dollar amount donated to the program is appreciated,” Hite said.
“We are pleased to say that several of our classrooms have been adopted multiple times,” she said.
Hite said the program has been “extremely” successful to this point.
“We are beyond pleased with the support we have received from the Cartersville community and look forward to many more years of our Adopt-a-Classroom program,” she said.
Anyone interested in adopting a classroom can download a form from the school website at es.cartersville.k12.ga.us or pick up one at the school office.
Donors may stipulate how and to whom their money is distributed.
“They may donate to one specific classroom or multiple teachers,” Hite said. “... Their donation helps our teachers to have additional support to reach educational goals.”
Sponsors are recognized with a sign posted outside the classroom they have adopted and also are listed on the school’s marquee and website.
This year’s Adopt-a-Classroom sponsors are Scott’s Moving Service (Scott and Debbie Sheffield), Choate Dental Associates, Saunders and Katie Jones, Darren and Heather Wilson, Redline Rim Repair, Justin and Emma James, Charles Wilson, Josh and Vanessa McWhorter, Joey and Brittney Pogue (Dynaflux), Eyeworks, Matt and Barbara Terry, Todd Browning, State Farm, C&N Auto Care (Clay Nally), Lisa Hartley, David and Lisa Archer, Jenkins and Bowen, PC, Karen Boone, Richard Crowder, Tom and Kelly Young (Peachnet Communications), Barrett and Michelle Morton, Jeff and Sara Kellner, Terry and Amy Lewis, Alison and Clark Wiedetz, Sam and Stacy Sabaka, Jacob and Sabrina McWhorter, Paul and Marijon Battles, Dr. Edward and Lori DeBartlo, Mike and Jan Byrd, Amber Gallagos, Boyd and Jennifer Morris, Chemical Products Corp. (Miles Chesley), Tracie Yvonne Garrett, Gary Martin Hays and Associates, Atlanta Budokan, Joey Womack (Your Friend in Real Estate), Georgia Southern Transportation, Michael and Brandi Stewart, Anne Peace, Hair Shop of Cartersville, Moises Alarcon, Lynda H. Ulrich and Terry Reid Hyundai.
For questions about the program, call 770-382-0983.