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Greenacres PTA Adds Photography, Hot Air Balloon

SCARSDALE, N.Y. –  Lobbying village officials to close a street during school hours, organizing a hot air balloon demonstration at the school playground, publishing student work and supporting an annual artist-in-residence program are just a few projects keeping  Greenacres Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Association busy.

“Schools flourish from a close relationship with parents,” said Kathleen Campbell, PTA president at Greenacres. “The parents are Greenacres are amazing, simply the most generous people who donate their time and significant hours to the school.”

According to Campbell, the hot air balloon sponsored by the PTA two weeks ago not only wowed the students, but also gave them an opportunity to evaluate its mechanics. Last week, students began their first lesson with a photography artist-in-residence, under whose tutelage they will learn how to operate a camera, understand light and balance, lens operation and photo editing, Campbell said.

“This entire process allows them to tell a story in picture form and makes learning exciting,” she added.

The annual artist-in-residence program also contributes to staff learning. Last year, teachers were trained by gardeners from the New York Botanical Garden in laying out and planting a garden.  Efforts funded by the PTA’s beautification committee led to spring plantings and “made a great improvement to our physical aesthetics,” Campbell said.

Meanwhile, she added, the PTA did not expect its request to close Huntington Road during school hours for safety purposes to reach the doors of the state legislature and governor’s office. State laws limit the authority of town and village officials to approve the action.

“The safety of the children is a priority. I do think it will happen and I am hopeful it will happen this year,” Campbell said. “We are pushing village officials to get this accepted.”

Other efforts by the PTA include getting an early start on preparations for the school’s 100 year anniversary coming up in 2016. Families also look forward to the annual publication of Kaleidoscope, which includes art, stories and poem submissions by students from all grades, she noted.

Campbell said that stepping into the role of PTA president was a result of mentoring by her predecessor.

“It’s an opportunity to do something with the children and participate through leadership,” she noted. Her youngest daughter, Alexa, attends third grade at Greenacres, while her other children, eighth grader Kaitlin and sixth grader Keenan, have moved on to the middle school.

Winning an additional $10,000 in the Main Street Connect and Entergy sponsored Better Schools Bonanza sweepstake would allow the PTA to enhance classroom space at the school, she noted.

“We’re limited in our space at Greenacres so we would dedicate it to creating additional physical space,” she said.

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