Opinion: Partnerships with communities essential to Potsdam Central success, superintendent says
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 6:26 am

One of the Core Values & Beliefs of the Potsdam Central School District reads: “Partnerships with our families and community are essential to our success.” Never was this belief more evident than on Saturday, Aug. 24 when our first Back to School Fair was held on the grounds of the New Hope Community Church. We are so grateful to have a generous community who came together to support our students as they headed back to school.

Thank you to the Raquette River Lions Club, the Potsdam Elks Club, the Kirby Family, the Mills Family, and many others who donated school supplies so our students could have the tools they need to be successful in the classroom. Thanks to the UPS Store, B99.3, and Big Lots for setting up collection boxes and to all of those shoppers who helped fill them up. Thanks to Kim and Randy Sixberry of Great Northern Printing for their generous donation of 200 drawstring bags to house the supplies.

Thanks to Fidelis Care for donation 150 toothbrushes and coloring books and to Town Councilwoman Rose Rivezzi for spearheading the effort to raise funds to purchase 25 new bike helmets for the event. Thanks to the Potsdam Village Police Department for attending the fair to provide safety tips and help with the fitting of the bike helmets. Thank you to The People’s Project for donating hundreds of new books for our students. And thanks to PCS Cares for organizing gently used clothing to outfit children heading back to school.

We are grateful to the North Country Crusaders and Cubby T. Clown, who helped provide fun and entertainment for the fair. We appreciate the volunteers from Today’s Hair and Day Spa, Mh Studios, and the cosmetology students from Seaway Technical and Career Center who provided haircuts so our students would look their best on the first day of school.

Thanks to the St. Lawrence County Traffic Safety Board, who answered questions about car seats, proper installation and qualifications for getting free car seats. And thanks to the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, who were on hand to photograph and fingerprint children as part of their Operation Safe Child initiative.

Finally, thank you so much to all of the volunteers who came together to make this event possible. Thanks to Lawrence Avenue Elementary music teacher, Sarah Towler, who helped organize the volunteers and Rebecca Donnelly from the Potsdam Public Library, who was on hand to read to visitors. And most of all, thanks to the amazing Laurell Brault, founder of the Potsdam Snack Pack Program. It was Laurell who conceived of the fair and worked tirelessly to bring her vision to reality. The Back to School Fair was a resounding success, with over 600 children and their families in attendance, but before the day was even over, Laurell was already talking about next year’s fair.

I am proud and grateful to belong to a community that values education and is committed to helping every student succeed. Thank you all!

Joann Chambers, superintendent

Potsdam Central School District