Parent and community engagement is thriving at Peabody Elementary

By Mandy Grisham

Peabody Elementary’s PTA organization, the Friends of Peabody, has started off the school year with a bang! The group consists of parents, teachers, friends, neighbors, and businesses who want to support the school’s students, staff, and facilities in creative ways.

To recap 2010-2011, the Friends of Peabody raised $11,000 through various fundraisers. With that money, the group is planning several projects. They are in the process of making over the library with new murals, carpets, bean bag chairs, curtains, and window seats. With the funds raised from the annual Chili Cook-Off, they purchased a Triple Shoot-Out Basketball Hoop that will be installed on the field, as well as numerous balls and hula hoops for recess. And to enhance the new $20,000 worth of library books that were purchased by the school last year, the Friends of Peabody donated funds for the school to implement Accelerated Reader, a program designed to give incentives to students as they read.

In August, the group elected the following officers: Co-Presidents, Tiffany Richmond and Mandy Grisham; Vice-President of Academic Innovation and Advocacy, Ginger Spickler; Vice President of Staff Support, Tara Harris-Davis; Vice President of Parent and Community Engagement, Lurene Kelley; Vice President of Fundraising, Shelley Thomas; Secretary, Veroncia Butler; Secretary-elect, Danyelle Carnes; Parliamentarian, Joann Massey; Membership, Nicole Freeman; By-laws, Leslie Zapol; Treasurer, Kim Edmaiston; Treasurer-elect, Charlie Land; and WatchDOGS, Josh Spickler and Charlie Land.

And this group is just the tip of the iceberg. Working with many of these officers are more teams of parents who have committed to using their time and talents to enhance our students’ educational experience. Ideas in the works for this year include starting the STAR (Super Tutors Achieving Results) volunteer program, increasing membership by 20%, providing more support to teachers, providing technology to teachers, funding a shade structure for the playground, and many more too numerous to name.

If any of this news excites you, we’d like to share a few specific ways you can partner with us:

● We invite you to join the Friends of Peabody for only $5 to show your support of our school community and stay connected to our announcements and calls for volunteers.

● Be a STAR tutor to a 2nd grader who is reading below grade level on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

● Mark your calendar for November 10 for ThinkShow. Be a juror or just come see what creative things the students are up to. The school will be open until 6pm.

● Mark your calendar for November 17 when we will have our second annual Silent Auction and dinner. Please consider making a donation of goods or gift certificates to the Silent Auction.


For more information on any of these opportunities to be involved, please contact, visit our new website, or “like” Friends of Peabody on Facebook!

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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