Cordley School's PTA has earned state recognition for its involvement in education.
Parent-teacher organizations are well-known for baking fabulous goodies for school carnivals, fund-raisers and other events.
But in April, the Cordley School PTA went the extra mile when it prepared some food for teachers.
The PTA knew that the small refrigerator in the teachers' lounge was on its last leg. So the food arrived in a 20-cubic-foot, frost-free Frigidaire refrigerator-freezer.
It's that kind of school involvement that won the Cordley School PTA an Award of Excellence from the Kansas PTA. Only seven other PTAs in the state received the award this year.
"Cordley Elementary PTA is to be commended for working together and uniting for the success of all children at Cordley," Merry Dee Hornbuckle, Kansas PTA President, wrote in April. "Cordley PTA is making a difference in the school and the community."
The Cordley PTA will be recognized at the Kansas PTA's state convention, which will be Oct. 14-16 in Wichita.
Cordley Principal Janet Broers said the group is certainly deserving of the award.
"The big thing that we've seen with the PTA is the interest in working with the staff to provide the best possible learning experience for students," Broers said. "It really creates a good feeling for everyone here at the school."
The PTA's support has come in many forms, including:
- Purchasing computer equipment and software for the school. This year, the PTA's Computer Committee accomplished a long-term goal of providing a computer and printer for every classroom.
- Supporting student involvement in the Douglas County Science Fair. The PTA awards certificates to all Cordley students participating in the event, and it provides money for classroom teachers to purchase science materials and supplies.
- Purchasing books for students through the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) program, which provides books to schools at significant discounts.
- Helping implement a landscaping plan for the school grounds.
Julie Barnard, co-president of the Cordley PTA, became involved with the group when her son, Shane, started school nearly three years ago. He now is in second grade, and Barnard's daughter, Shari'e, is in kindergarten.
Although the Cordley PTA has been active for years, Barnard said she was glad to see the number of active members increase this year, from eight to about 25.
"One of my goals coming into this was to promote more participation, and I feel like I did what I set out to do," Barnard said. "The numbers really help."
Barnard attributed the group's dedication to the realization that parents have a strong role in their children's development.
"It feels like a little country school with everyone banding together for the best education for all of our children," she said. "Everyone has a special gift to give, whether they're working in the classroom or pouring orange juice at the pancake supper."