St. Mary’s Catholic School will soon be getting a big upgrade to its computers, thanks to a sizeable donation from the school’s parent support group.
The $25,000 donation will buy 26 new state-of-the-art touchscreen devices. The parent support group, made up of volunteer parents, has been raising funds for the past two years and reached the goal of providing funding for the new lab this year.
Erika Wood is co-chair of the parent support group, and so had a big hand in organizing this year’s fundraising, along with fellow chair Cathy Newsome. Wood said the group has put on weekly walk-a-thons and fun lunches to raise the money. They’ve also done some one-off events, like an art revival auction, heritage food sale and an upcoming Mother’s Day tea towel sale. Wood explained that for the tea towel sale, students of the school painted self-portraits that were imprinted on the towels.
“That’s the kind of stuff that we’ve been doing,” she said.
Wood said that since St. Mary’s is an independent school and funded differently than public schools, it doesn’t have the money to upgrade all of its computers at once. Instead, the parent group took it upon itself to raise the money to purchase new computers.
“There often isn’t one thing that will serve the whole student body, but all the students benefit from it,” she said.
The parents are made up of a core group of twelve, with others helping out.
“They are really happy to participate and co-ordinate these events and it’s just an amazing team,” she said. “It’s been a contribution of a lot of people.”
The weekly lunch program is in itself quite an operation.
“First of all, you have to plan the menu and have the parents order it, some of it is catered and some of it is cooked in-house,” she said. “On those cooking days it’s a really busy kitchen. It’s been really fun and I think we just kept our eyes on the prize to do something really substantial.”
The money will get the school new laptops, along with software.
The new computers have been purchased, but the date for installation is not yet known, as the computer sciences teacher will be doing the installation as time allows.
The likely date students will be able to log on to the new laptops is September.