The Dollar Project at its route is about changing children's lives, and the possibilites of helping students doesn't stop at field trips.
The Living Spiritual Elders Project, a group of generous residents who try to make a lasting impression on the youth they help, started its involvement with Booker Elementary School when group member Peg Buckley shared how family homelessness was a growing problem in Sarasota and how the children at Booker were affected.
But beyond the field trips and what The Dollar Project can aide, the school has plenty of need — volunteers and funds — for its programs.
One program is called Rockin’ Readers for kindergarten, first and second graders, Assistant Principal Marya Fairchild said
Local (mostly retired) residents come in to school every week, throughout the school year, and spend 20-30 minutes with each a child, sitting with them and reading a book. Fairchild said every single child has someone to be their "Rockin’ Reader" and this type of support is invaluable to these young children because it provides them with a stable, caring adult who has an interest in their well-being.
One area of immense pride to Fairchild is the Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA).
Fairchild noted that every year throughout the State of Florida students in second grade have a reading competition within their respective schools.
Sixteen different books are chosen by the state as approved reading material for the curriculum.
The students then check out the books and they win a star and a tiered acknowledgement token for each book they read.
At Booker Elementary, there were only enough funds to purchase 32 books this year, two of each title. Fairchild said the librarian spent the first six months of the year having students begging for books because they were checked out.
Luckily, a donation came in and Principal Dawn Clayton purchased paperback copies of the 16 books so all of the students could compete. As noted in the attached photos, the library wall is covered with stars. Fairchild said the students love reading and love the competition.
The school has also been blessed to have help from All Faiths Food Bank, which provides snacks for the school’s food pantry.
Agusta Obi, Booker’s school counselor and home school liaison, has volunteers come in to school every Thursday to pack backpacks full of healthy snacks so children leave on Fridays with some assurance of nutritious food for them over the weekend.
A dollar from you would help fund that program for next year, or it could be used to help send the students on field trips, or help keep the healthy snack pantry fully stocked.
SEE MAIN STORY: Dollar Project Helps Fund Booker Elementary School Field Trips