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Falls City Parent Group members (back row, from left) Laura Britton, Jami Kidd, Amy Houghtaling, Donna Creekmore, (front row, from left) Judy Scheet and Kristy Major are just part of the active group that supports Falls City students and schools. The group is hosting a bingo fundraiser Friday at 7 p.m. at the Falls City Community Center.
August 07, 2012
FALLS CITY -- The Falls City Parent Group is small -- but mighty.
The group of 10 to 12 parents has to be, considering they represent an entire district -- not just a school -- and one with a unique set of challenges.
They organize the typical activities, like jog-a-thons, a winter concert fundraiser, baked potato feeds and bingo nights. On top of that, though, the group also is trying to find ways to assist the high school, which will not have a math teacher next year, and help raise money to support summer sports camps.
"I don't think there are any boundaries actually (on what the group does)," said member Judy Scheet. "If somebody comes up with an idea, we are open to it."
That philosophy takes dedication and drive, something this energetic group has in abundance.
"We can be very creative with what we do and we can pull together pretty quick," said member Jami Kidd.
The group wasn't always this active.
Before 2009, the club suffered from a lack of involvement, but a new group of parents -- including school board, Falls City Alliance and Falls City Arts Council members, and even the mayor -- saw a need to re-energize the organization.
"Suddenly, there was a bunch of parents interested and open to it," Donna Creekmore said. "People started coming and it became more of a group."
It began with a successful jog-a-thon, which gave the group resources to support teachers and programs and also plan more fundraisers.
Falls City Parent Group also focuses on making families feel welcomed at their children's school.
"We try to put on activities that promote parents and families to come here and feel comfortable in school and engage in school," said Amy Houghtaling, a group member and the city's mayor. "We've done 'Muffins for Mom' and 'Donuts with Dad,' something where they get to come and hang out with their kiddo at school."
Often, group members can be found lending a hand at those activities.
"I think our parent group is unique in that we don't just raise the money and dole it out," Houghtaling added. "We are a part of the activities that we raise the money for."
The model has been successful, with the group supporting close to 20 events last school year, member Laura Britton said.
The upcoming school year will come with even more challenges as budget cuts have forced the district to lay off a teacher at the high school.
"We are looking to support the new structure with losing the math teacher," Kidd said.
One of the ideas is to make sure students have the support they need -- either through a mentor program or tutor.
Given that funding cuts aren't likely to end soon, the group is always looking for more members -- and you don't have to have students currently in Falls City schools to join.
"It's open to everybody with children," Kidd said.
What: Falls City Parent Group.
Next fundraiser: Bingo, Friday at 7 p.m. at the Falls City Community Center, 320 N. Main St. Snacks will be provided.
For more information: 503-871-6527 or on Facebook under "Falls City Parent Group."