November’s School Advisory Council Meeting at Greenville Elementary resulted in happy smiles by way of good news from School Superintendent Doug Brown, a check presented to Principal Barbara Pettiford for $5,000 and a show of patriotism from some of Greenville’s first graders.
Cheryl Clemons opened up the meeting with a presentation by the Greenville Training School (GTS) Mass Reunion Committee. Clemons, who is a member of the committee, shared how the GTS alumni had raised money for the school to provide, what they felt was a real need for the school.
Greenville Elementary was previously known as Greenville Training School, and those alumni gather every four years at a reunion, organized by Greenville residents who make up the GTS Mass Reunion Committee. This past July, after the reunion, the committee sent out notice to alumni they wanted to collect funds for a new stage curtain for the school’s cafeteria/auditorium. Rev. Ernest Bruton, a main organizer for the fundraiser said, “We have a love for the school. We want to see the students do well and we want them to feel good about the school.”
For some time now the school’s stage has worn a faux “curtain” made from taped-together trash bags and the GTS felt it was time for the stage to have a makeover. “I applaud the effort and creativity of the trash bags, because those bags were the catalyst that made us want to step up and do something more for them,” said Bruton.
GTS Mass Reunion Committee Gertrude Reddick presented Greenville Principal Barbara Pettiford a check for $5,000; money that alumni in Greenville and around the country raised for the new stage curtains. The Madison County School District had previously agreed to pay for any funds needed, but not collected after the fundraiser, which was verified by Superintendent Doug Brown, who was in attendance at the meeting.
Following the presentation, Superintendent Brown acknowledged the school for all the positive strides and accomplishments they were making and spoke of grants the school had received at the start of the year, giving the school technology in the way of Chromebooks and tablets for use in the classrooms. Brown described this technology as a tool, paralleling it with textbooks, but followed that statement by saying tools needed to be combined with teaching to be effective and that teaching came primarily from two places.
The first place Brown discussed was student’s homes, saying “home” is where a large amount of teaching takes place and where students should be receiving support and encouragement to perform at their highest levels. The second place was in the classroom, where teachers interact with students, either in groups or independently and went on to talk about how the classroom today is much different than the classrooms of yesterday.
Before giving up the microphone, Brown invited all teachers and parents to email him and to share their thoughts on what they believe the school needs saying, “The energy that is here now is getting the wheels moving; I want this school to thrive and to flourish. I need to hear from you.”
The Greenville PTO tended to some quick business on fundraisers, campus improvements and successes with their Pride Program before giving up the stage to a handful of the elementary school’s first graders who saluted our veterans, stated the Pledge of Allegiance and sang to the crowd the American patriotic song, My Country ‘Tis Of Thee, ending the evening’s meeting.