Pine-Richland teachers give ‘Gift of Time’

Pine-Richland School District  |  Posted on

Teacher Eileen Gilson teaches students how to make fudge through the ‘Gift of Time’ fundraiser.

Many teachers and school employees pour their hearts into helping students in the classroom. Thanks to a fundraising effort, they gave the “Gift of Time” to students before school, after school and during lunch time at Richland Elementary School in December. The “Gift of Time” project entailed teachers and staff members volunteering their time to work with students after school on different activities from cooking to painting. Families could purchase raffle tickets for a quarter to win a session with the staff members.

Although the concept is simple, the outcome is great. Teacher Beth Grower, who helped with the event along with other staff members, says the project benefited the Richland Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), which does so much for the students, school and staff. The raffle raised more than $2,200 for the PTO. In addition, students got to see their principal, nurse, teachers and other staff members in a whole new light and build connections.

In all, 23 different opportunities were available and more than 100 students won a chance to participate. Some of the sessions include a Tea Luncheon, Egg-cellent Engineers, Yoga & Breakfast, Pizza & Just Dance, P.E. Teacher for a Day, Kids R Cooking Sweet Treats, and Canvas & Cookies. Principal Gene Niccastro offered a session called Pizza & Apps. The popular session provided students a chance to spend time with their principal while eating pizza and playing Minecraft, Temple Run and Pokémon on their mobile devices after school. School nurse Beth Cassandro hosted Canvas & Cookies, where students painted canvases and enjoyed cookies while their projects dried. One student even took the opportunity to invite school secretary Gina Hoffman to paint with her. Art teacher Eileen Gilson took her artistic flair to the kitchen. Participants learned how to make three-minute chocolate fudge and caramel corn.