Fall festival fun adds up to higher tech teaching


Suntree Elementary student Jameson Diskin sports painted-blue hair at the annual fall community festival Nov. 5 while playing on the new playground that was last year's festival fundraising objective.

photo by Sheri-Lynn Diskin

The Suntree Elementary School Fall Community Festival Nov. 5 raised about $14,000. About $6,000 of it will go directly to classrooms for teacher-initiated projects, including covering costs for extras for students of low-income families. The PTO, which organizes the festival, will earmark the remaining $8,000 toward adding new, and updating outdated, technology.

Student Tricia Carmer paid a visit to the balloon maker. | PHOTO BY SHERI-LYNN DISKIN

“Right now, teachers in grades three to six rotate the carts so that students have a laptop one to two days per week,” principal Mecheall Giombetti said. “Obviously, if we are to prepare students to compete and thrive in a high tech world, it's pretty important that we teach them on computers, and current ones.”

It was her last school festival, as she will retire at the end of the year. A grant she helped the school apply for could be her parting gift to the school if awarded, increasing the ratio of electronic devices to one per student in those grades.

“Even if we get the grant, we will want to grow the plan to include laptop carts in every second-grade class, so it would be a very valuable donation if anyone wished to contribute this holiday season,” she added. Other critical technology needs include replacing outdated printers and the ongoing expense of printer cartridges.

For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation, call the school at 321-242-6480. Donors are acknowledged with signage visible to all families through the entire school year.