Roberts PTA focuses on technology

SUWANEE -- In a packed gymnasium on Friday, Roberts Elementary students, teachers and administrators held a kickoff for their annual Parent Teacher Association fundraising campaign.

Using BMX bike stunt show being brought to the school, and certain teachers and Principal Dion Jones being part of the stunts as a carrot, PTA Board members drew raucous excitement from the student body. The fundraising goal is $20,000 to $25,000 for the BMX treat, PTA vice president Valerie Vickrey said.

The PTA, which previously used funds raised for a shaded outdoor classroom, shaded bench areas, books and MimioTeach smartboards in classrooms, has listed technology as its priorty this year.

"We need more technology in our school," Principal Dion Jones said. "The main focus is technology, and then we're focused on playgrounds, and getting more books for the school."

Jones said he would like each classroom to have several iPads available, and that cost is between $10,000 and $15,000.

Each classroom has MimioTeach smartboards, Jones said, but school administrators would also like to have MimioTeach devices so students can interact with teachers and the smartboard.

"We're a brand-new school," Vickrey said of the 3-year-old school. "So we're missing a lot of things that schools that have been around a while have. We need to raise as much money as possible."

The PTA isn't selling products to raise money so it could reduce costs, Vickrey said.

"Our parents are very supportive of fundraisers in the past, and we're hoping they will be this year," she said.

Along with technology, the PTA also provides grants for teachers.

"The school funds are limited, our teacher resources are limited," Vickrey said. "We're here to provide teacher grants, we've already given one and we will throughout the year to buy specific things that they request that they need to enhance our children's learning."