Photo by Charity Maness/Fall River County Herald-Star
Members of the Hot Springs PTA recently met for a meeting, including Katie Burchfield, Kelly Bednar, Rebekah Gabel and Carmen Johnson.
By Marcus Heerdt
HOT SPRINGS – The Hot Springs Parent Teacher Association’s (PTA) mission is to help the students and teachers within the Hot Springs School District (HSSD) in a variety of ways, and the organization is currently looking to grow its membership.
“We would love to have more parents and staff join us,” said PTA president Kelly Bednar, who joined the group in 2022. “Our PTA is unique because we have one PTA for all three Hot Springs schools, so participation is key. Right now, we are trying to grow again because there was a decline in our numbers once COVID happened. Our organization is small but is filled with some incredible parents and educators that really go above and beyond to help out at the school.”
Using funds received by partnering with local businesses, the group organizes and pays for numerous events within the district, such as recently providing the secondary teachers with a meal during parent-teacher conferences on the evening of Oct. 2.
“We have some awesome business partners that donate to our group,” Bednar said. “We do the Lynn’s receipt contest year-round in which we get $100 for every $10,000 of receipts we turn in. Also, Pizza Hut does a ‘PTA Day’ the third Wednesday of every month during the school year where we get 10 percent of sales donated to our group. Finally, River Run Greenhouse partners with us at the end of the school year to do flower basket sales where we sell baskets and make a portion of the sales. These three business donations make up the majority of our budget for the year.”
Each year the PTA provides four meals for HSSD staff: two for conferences, one during the holiday season, and one for teacher appreciation week.
Last year, the organization funded snacks for students during state testing, provided dinner for the cast of the musical Matilda, and gave money to help with senior graduation celebrations.
The PTA has been quite busy already this school year, with one of the larger projects being a donation of six portable air conditioning units and 12 fans to the school during the scorching high temperatures experienced in the first couple of weeks of classes. The group also plans to work concessions on certain days at sporting events.
Coming up on Nov. 2 during elementary parent-teacher conferences, the PTA will be hosting a “Reflections Family Art Night” for elementary students. This program is a part of the National PTA’s education in the arts where each year more than 300,000 students create original works of art in response to a selected theme.
“Our goals are to enhance the connection between home and school, create a space where parents and educators can work together, and ultimately to support our teachers, staff, and students in any way we can,” Bednar said. “We would love to have more parents and staff join us. The more people we have helping out, the more funds we can raise and the more we can accomplish.”
To become a member or for more information about the Hot Springs PTA, contact the organization through their Facebook page “Hot Springs K-12 PTA.”
Ways to support the Hot Springs PTA:
• Become a member and attend the group’s monthly meetings at the school
• Stay up to date by signing up for the monthly email list
• Drop off Lynn’s receipts at any of the school offices
• Eat at Pizza Hut the third Wednesday of each month
• Purchase River Run Greenhouse flower baskets in the spring near the end of the school year
• Donate art supplies for the Reflections Family Art Night event before Nov. 2 such as buttons, ribbon, feathers, scissors, glue, quality paper, paint, markers, crayons, and pencils