Signs point to good things at Elvin Hill

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

Those who live in Columbiana may have noticed a bright new addition to the view on Washington Street. Elvin Hill Elementary School recently received a private donation that allowed the PTO to finally achieve the goal of providing a new marquee that will help the school communicate with the community at large.

“Mr. Wayne’s days of slapping letters on the old sign are over,” praised Principal Courtney Madison. PTO president Amy Dixon shared with us that often messages couldn’t be communicated or had to be “creatively” communicated due to the loss and damage to some of the alphabet supplies over the years. As it became more important to have various ways to communicate with parents this year due to COVID-19, the need to replace the sign became more urgent this year.

A donor that prefers to remain unnamed, provided the Elvin Hill PTO with an $8,000 donation to not only help them complete the goal of purchasing the new digital marquee but also to help them cover some of the missed fundraising opportunities they lost, such as the big Easter Egg hunt and Field Day, when the school had to shut down in March because of the pandemic. This also allowed the PTO to provide the school with the things they normally help the school start with this year, such as copy money, lamination paper, bulletin board paper, teacher appreciation lunches and more.

Due to coronavirus, parent volunteers are not able to be inside our schools this year. Dixon told us that it’s important for parents to reach out to teachers this year more than ever, to find out how they can help from home. Many teacher’s workloads are heavier this year because they often have to provide extra work for students that may have to work from home short term due to quarantines, and asking them if they need help with cutting out things or prepping class projects from home can be a big help. “The biggest thing our schools need is for our parents to actively seek ways to support their teachers,” Dixon told us.

Principal Madison echoed this idea by saying, “Although the school is not open to visitors, families can still join our support PTO and volunteer in the following ways: organizing and/or supporting fundraisers, contacting teachers to assist with tasks from home, attending meetings via Google Meet, and simply playing an active role in their children’s education. We would love input from our families on ideas to keep them engaged amidst COVID-19.” She hopes families will join the Virtual Parent Advisory Council Meeting Thursday, Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m.

She went on to say that the PTO at her school also provided keypad entrances, and pressure washing and re-striping for the parking lot which keeps their school looking neat and fresh. “There are not enough words to describe the importance or our appreciation of our PTO’s efforts. Their impact is far-reaching and Elvin Hill is a better place because of support from our donors and families. They keep it ‘“Happening at the Hill!’”