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Longview’s marquee in place after years of fundraising

Aug 31, 2017 12:54PM ● Published by Jana Klopsch

The first message on the long-awaited marquee sign showed appreciation for those who lead the fundraising effort. (Jeannette Bowen/Longview Elementary)

Gallery: New Longview marquee [2 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Julie Slama  |  Julie@mycityjournals.com

This fall, students returning to Longview Elementary may enjoy puzzling out a riddle as they approach the school.

Shortly after the long-awaited marquee sign was mounted on the wall of the school, Principal Chad Sanders posted a riddle. It was mixed amongst announcements and events for the end of the school year.

“He’d change the jokes and riddles every couple days as a fun way to greet the children in the morning and gave us all a smile,” said past Parent-Teacher Association President Jeannette Bowen.

Bowen said it was a three-year fundraising effort to raise $5,000 for the marquee sign. The school also contributed $3,000.

“It’s been a long process. We’ve had no-fuss fundraisers where we just ask for donations and 100 percent of the money goes to the PTA, which we funded our regular activities as well as set aside money for the marquee. People appreciated not having to buy cookie dough and wrapping paper and we were able to use more money toward the sign,” she said.

Bowen said incentives were given to students when they brought in funds, from a longer recess to a class popcorn party. A favorite was to provide students with a miniature flashlight and allow them extra reading time in their room with flashlights.

“It’s been a long process, but we’ve worked together with the school to raise the funds. We’re super excited that it’s finally here,” she said.

In appreciation, the first message showed gratitude for the organizers and volunteers with the message, “Thank you PTA for this marquee!”

Bowen said that the PTA decided it’s still important to have a marquee even though the school newsletter is sent out on email, there are reminder texts and even fliers are distributed.

“It’s another avenue to communicate with our parents about what all is happening at our school. There could be one message when kids are dropped off and another later at pick-up time. There are calendar events and activities, such as our back-to-school night and a lot of information we’re trying to get out at the beginning of the year,” she said. 

Bowen said it can also be used to recognize students, such as posting the name of the winner of the spelling bee or Reflections contest.

“Like with the principal’s riddles, it can relate fun news to our community as well,” she said.

However, perhaps the one who may appreciate the marquee board the most would be the custodian, she said.

No longer is the custodian expected to figure out individual letters to place on the former message sign and carry them outside or have to unscramble mixed up messages students may have changed to be “clever.” Now, it is electronically typed in from the principal’s office.

“The happiest one is our custodian,” Bowen said. “There’s been a lot of rainy or cold days where the custodian would have to climb a ladder to change letters and that is now over. We’re getting the messages out quickly and efficiently.”  

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