Help to Fund the Sewanee Elementary School

The 2015-16 SCC (SCC) Fund Drive is underway. The power of the people helping people makes a difference in the life of the community. Sponsored by the Sewanee Civic Association, the SCC raises money yearly for local charitable organizations serving the area. This year’s goal is $100,000.

Since 1867 there has been a long-standing relationship between the community and the public school. For years this voluntary community commitment maintained the educational system, such as St. Paul’s on the Mountain school and the school on Billy Goat Hill.

When the Sewanee Civitan Club (now the Sewanee Civic Association) was first organized, its objective of good citizenship included “a comprehensive program for the betterment and improvement of every phase of community activity.” (Chitty) This included providing school facilities. At that time, the Franklin County Board of Education agreed to pay the salaries of teachers, but did not provide the buildings. The University at that time was unable to help with the expenses. Funding for a new public school became a community goal. The school building would be on University leasehold land, owned by the Sewanee Civitan Club, and operated by the Franklin County School Board.

Funds were raised in the community and the Sewanee Public School was completed in 1927 through volunteer efforts. In 1933, the community built the Roosevelt Addition. In 1943, more than half of the town’s SCC budget went to maintain the school, and fund programs for enrichment and the purchase of supplies. The county took over the maintenance of the school in 1955 when the building and land were turned over to the county as long as a school remained on that site.

The Sewanee Elementary School (SES) continues to rely on yearly funding from the SCC to meet the school’s needs. This funding commitment “has served the intentional purpose of eliminating the door-to-door fundraising.” (Chitty)

The Sewanee Elementary Parent Organization (SES PO), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, requests and disburses the SCC funds each year for SES. All money received is used for yearly support to the school. The SES PO works with teachers and staff to find solutions to specific educational needs of the school that are not met by the Franklin County School system funding or services.

The SCC is the primary source of revenue for the SES PO operating expenses. The SES PO also receives money through annual dues and small fundraisers such as t-shirt sales. SES receives additional money from school pictures, two book fairs, and BoxTops. This year the SES PO will receive $20,000 if the SCC goal is met.

The money raised for the school will help to fund: classroom supplies, including the library for new books, eBooks and material purchases; enrichment funds for visiting speakers, performing artists, field trips to cultural events and exhibitions, Friday School, Field Day, and academic tutoring; and professional development funds to support travel and registration costs for dyslexia/autism training, writing conferences, math, and Common Core training.

SES always welcomes community members to art shows, musicals, and science fairs. Volunteers are always needed to help in the library, teach Friday School or read to the children. For more information, go to <http://sewanee.fcstn.net>.

The goal of the SCC is to help citizens by funding the community. The SCC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible. Send your donation to SCC, P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375.

Editor’s Note: For complete information on the history of the public schools, see the “Sewanee Sampler” by Arthur Ben and Elizabeth N. Chitty, 1978.

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