Waldo’s push for paper in full swing
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By Natalie Gray  November 22, 2013 12:00 am

It’s no secret times have been hard for schools recently and that much of those hardships have been caused by money. Budget cuts and class cutbacks seem to have become something to unfortunately expect with a new school year, but what might not be as expected is a school adding more classes but running out of essential classroom supplies in the process.

That is the situation in which Waldo Rohnert Intermediate School finds itself. The school this year added a range of classes and programs to their curriculum, such as reading groups. The programs have come with a cost that the school cannot afford – copy paper.

“We used our copy paper in a much faster rate than we anticipated,” Waldo Rohnert Principal Suzan Lopez said of the recent paper shortage.

According to Lopez, the school is in fact not out of copy paper, but their supply is dwindling. Lopez explained that every spring schools give their district a measurement of copy paper their expect they will need for the fall school semester. The measure is based on past paper usages.

The school’s current supply of copy paper came from estimates taken from last school year’s spring semester before the school added new courses, projects and tutoring programs. The influx in new course material has created a need for more printing and copying.

To try to replenish its paper supply before it runs out, the school has called for a paper drive, inviting their students and students’ parents to help.

“Parents have always helped us in every way they can,” Lopez said. “We have a great school in the fact that we feel we can reach out to parents in an area of need. And we have a wonderful PTA president.”

That Parent Teacher Association president is Celida Velazquez, and she has been working hard to arrange various other fundraisers for the school. Last month, the school had an annual walk-a-thon where with donations from sponsors, the students racked in $4,000. According to Velazquez, the walk-a-thon is the school’s biggest fundraiser of the year. That money will not be going to teachers to purchase classroom equipment that might have also run short prematurely. Velazquez also noted the school has payments to the Christmas Store, for field trips and field trip bus fair to worry about.

According to Lopez, turning to the district for aid in the copy paper is something she would like to avoid. She says even though she recognizes the district would be willing to help, she knows that funding restraints exist on every branch of education and would rather not add her school’s economic strain to that of the district.

So, the school has turned to its students, parents and community for help. Last week, the school announced the copy paper drive, inviting students to bring in reams of white copy paper to donate for their school’s use. There is no official end date for the paper drive yet, but Lopez expects it to end mid-December. The classroom with the most donated paper wins a cookie and hot chocolate party.

The school would also appreciate donations from anyone other than their students and parents, whether that be money or copy paper. And, though you may not be invited for cookies and hot chocolate, any little bit of effort would help, said Lopez. 

“It’s little things (like this) we try to do to make the school a community focus,” said Lopez.

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