That’s an option that Petersdorf says is no option at all.
“Not everyone likes to play outside during lunch, and the library is a place for students to use computers, to read or draw or to just quietly gather,” said Petersdorf. “I’m not willing to back up from things that we need, and I think this is something that is important.”
In the past, funding for the extra library hours were paid for by the school district and, if necessary, supplemented through site council funds or PTA donations. Those dollars, however, are now needed to keep key employees, and the funds are not as readily available.
But Petersdorf has a plan. “I’m asking for donations,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve ever done this and I’m only asking for the month of August, but I’m hoping that a modest donation of $10, or less, will help offset our costs of keeping the library open an additional three days a week during lunchtime.”
Currently, the library is kept open two days a week during lunchtime with funds from last year’s school book fair. Petersdorf is hoping to raise $1,500 in parent donations to keep it open five days a week and allow the school to use the book fair revenue to buy books and supplies for the library.
So far, the strategy is working.
“We have 280 families at our school and so far we have collected about 50 donations (about $800), so it’s going well; we’re over halfway there and I’m really happy with that,” said Petersdorf. “But it’s really about more than raising money. It’s about parents feeling like they are supporting something that they can actually see. I know that for some families the $10 is a big amount of money and for others it is nothing at all. But I felt that the amount was a reasonable, modest amount that people could contribute – less if they wanted – and still feel a part of the process.”
Petersdorf’s campaign officially runs through the end of August. “I don’t want to keep asking people for money all year,” he said. Donations will still be accepted afterward, and any surplus will be put aside into a fund for safekeeping.
“Any extra donations that we get I will hold onto for items that we might need down the road,” said Petersdorf. “I just want to say that if it wasn’t for our supportive PTA and staff we wouldn’t be doing half of what we have been able to do here (on campus). It’s an amazing community.”
To make a donation to the library fund, call 925-809-7540.