What $60,000 worth of PR could have purchased at local schools

Teachers are finding ways to solve their classroom needs from outside sources. Meanwhile, a bunch of balloons to unveil a new high school cost the city $800. What is happening!?

Recently RTD reported that the city of Richmond spent $60,000 to unveil the new Huguenot High, including $800 on balloons. The money was used to hire an outside consulting firm ( a fact that also seems somewhat shady as well) despite the existence of the city’s and RPS’s combined communications staff of 10 people with a budget nearing $1 million.

Nobody has ever won the argument that throwing more money at the problem will solve all the educational woes of Richmond, but there are needs that aren’t being met.

Many Richmond teachers have turned to the nationwide site DonorsChoose.Org. The site allows teachers to post a request for funding for a specific item or items and DonorsChoose.Org collects the money from donors and then ships the desired item.

Below is a partial list of the 49 classroom requests when you search “Richmond, VA“. The bolded titles you see below are also links, if you feel inspired to donate. The 16 classroom requests below have a total cost of $7,743 (or a little less than 10 sets of unveiling balloons).

  • youPad, wePad, We All Love Some iPads! – My students need a classroom iPad mini. – Ginter Park Elementary School – $334
  • Hooray for Hot Dots/Calling for a Cash Register – My students need hot dots pens, game cards and a play cash register. – Greene Elementary School – $174
  • Wild for Words Their Way – My students need math manipulatives and Words Their Way word sorts. – Greene Elementary School – $170
  • ESL/ELL Excels! – My students need 25 Spanish-English dictionaries, a timer, labels, a pencil sharpener, and EXTRA sharp pencils to help them show off their true brilliance during our upcoming state standardized assessments! – G H Reid Elementary School – $334
  • Boom! Help Blow Our Minds Away With The Touch Of A Button! – My students need a printer and four VTech Tablets. – George Mason Elementary School – $726
  • Reading is the Gateway Skill! – My students need nonfiction comprehension folders and a research and respond comprehension center to increase the effectiveness of literacy stations in my classroom. – Chimbrazo Elementary – $650
  • Co-Taught Classroom that Needs your Help! – My students need headphones in order to utilize different programs that will meet their specific needs. – Ginter Park Elementary – $375
  • Technology Needed to Finish the Year Strong! – My students need 20 sets of headphones, a laminator, and laminating pouches to make our classroom run more efficiently. – Ginter Park Elementary School – $392
  • Give These Students The Tools They Need To Succeed – My students need tools to fabricate their robot inventions, These tools will make their robot dreams possible. – Huguenot High School – $969
  • A Magical Classroom Library – My students need books to improve literacy including Dragons Love Tacos, Bad Kitty, and Judy Moody. – Miles Jones Elementary School – $774
  • We Do Measure Up with Measuring Materials! – My students need the allowance game, student clocks, hands-on measurement centers for 2-5, geometric shapes kit, customary weight set, and metric balance. – Woodville Elementary School – $507
  • Learning To Love Reading – My students need a class set of subscriptions to My Big World with Clifford. – Blackwell Elementary School – $173
  • Modeling Made Easy – My students need a document camera with a USB cord and extension kit. – J L Francis Elementary School – $184
  • On the Spot Doc – My students need a printer and ink in the classroom to print in class reports and complete projects they are not able to complete at home. – George Mason Elementary – $267
  • Fifth Graders Reading for Middle School Preparation – My students need 30 copies of the Gary Paulsen novel, The River. Each child needs an individual copy to participate in directed reading instruction. – Swansboro Elementary School  – $245
  • Stretching the Science Classroom from VA to FL – My students need help paying for a trip Florida that will help them see life science concepts first hand. – Albert Hill Middle School  – $1,469

Tonight, Tuesday, April 28th, the Richmond public school system will hold the ”State of the Schools” address.

It’s scheduled for 6:00 PM in the Claude G. Perkins Living and Learning Center on Virginia Union University’s campus.

The event is open to the public.

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Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

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