The Giving Tree at Lingleville ISD

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The Lingleville ISD Giving Tree
The Lingleville ISD Giving Tree

By JESSIE HORTON
TheFlashToday.com

In 2013, the Lingleville PTO took all the things they loved about one program and started another — The Giving Tree. PTO member Amber Parks said she presented the idea to other members of the PTO as a way for people to have an opportunity to help the teachers who help educate local children.

“Teachers too often go out of their own pockets to provide basic school supplies and other classroom essentials,” Parks said. “This is a great way for people to help those educators obtain items for their classrooms and students’ benefit that they wouldn’t normally have access to. There are so many situations that cause students to not be able to afford school supplies and these good-hearted individuals work with the school and the PTO to fill in the gaps.”

According to officials, teachers were asked to submit three wishes each. No wish is too big or small. The wishes are then transferred to ornaments and placed on a tree in the foyer of the high school (in front of the gym). All the wishes are anonymous and the information is supplied with each ornament to make purchasing easier, such as stores to find the items, websites and/or item numbers. Some of the items requested this year include art supplies, tablets, electric pencil sharpeners, speakers, bean bag chairs, board games, desk chairs, books, music players, fish tanks, Play-doh, a mini basketball goal for the elementary, highlighters, gift cars for future supply purchases and more.

Parks said this was the perfect way to say thank you to those teachers by providing something that improves the learning environment for both teachers and their students. And anyone can stop by Lingleville ISD and pick up a wish ornament. Once the item is purchased, it can be dropped off at the school office along with the ornament. This can be anonymously or the donator can attach a signed card.

Gifts will be distributed to the teachers the day Christmas Break begins. The gift deadline was supposed to be today, but has been extended for a very short period. Teachers with gifts arriving late will receive a certificate to tell them their goodies are on the way.

We had several teachers request tablets last year, and only one was pulled from the tree and returned,” Parks recalled. “To me, for our first year, that was a victory. We also had donations of stability balls for a whole class to use instead of chairs, bean bag chairs to create reading nooks, books, welding gloves, puzzles, art supplies, printers, gift cards and science scales, and that’s just to name a few of the wishes that were made possible last year.”

While not every wish was answered last year, Parks and her husband, Craig, along with Tyler and Emily Howle (Emily is the president of the Lingleville ISD PTO) personally made sure each teacher received at least one of their wishes. They said the goal is to have a more wishes completed each year the program is in existence, until all are filled annually.

Parks, who is the Giving Tree Coordinator, will also assist anyone wanting to get a last minute ornament for teachers at Lingleville ISD. She said anyone needing help could contact her via email amber@cmaparks.com or on her phone at (940) 507-1544.

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