Updated: Monday, 14 Dec 2009, 5:48 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 13 May 2009, 5:29 PM EDT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Parents and students from one local school corporation have found a creative way to save some teachers' jobs.
In only three weeks, parents from Cumberland Elementary School have organized the free Community Barbecue Event to benefit the West Lafayette Community Schools.
It would cost approximately $50,000 each to retain the 12 to 13 teachers being let go due to budget constraints. So far, $36,000 has already been raised through donations from parents. Event organizer Rachel Shook hopes upcoming fundraiser will raise more.
"Our goal would be to raise to least $14,000 and that would be guaranteed to save one teacher," Shook said.
The S.O.S. or Secure Our Staff event will include games, special guests and an auction featuring items like autographed basketballs and jewelry.
Some Cumberland teachers even volunteered to auction themselves off to raise money. Attendees will be able place bids for the opportunity to spend time with a teacher while participating in a variety of activities. For example, they could bid on the opportunity to paint with one teacher or attend the zoo with a second
Teachers said the plight of their colleagues motivated them to volunteer.
"Of course you're in shock to begin with then we really started looking at each other and saying what can we do to help our colleagues," Cumberland Elementary School kindergarden teacher Nina Wojtalewicz said.
Cumberland Elementary School Principal Kim Bowers said all the money raised goes directly towards teachers' salaries. She said parents and teachers have rallied together to help save her staff.
"They're really very creative, very well-organized and we're very excited. I don't even know if this won't become an annual event just because of the way it pulls everybody together," Bowers said.
The S.O.S. Community Barbecue and Auction event will be held on
Sunday, May 17th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Cumberland Elementary
School. The school is located at 600 Cumberland Avenue in West
Lafayette. The event is free and open to the public. People are
encouraged to bring picnic supplies. There will also be a dunk tank
and other games.