Each year the Wish Benefit provides two-thirds of the McNear Elementary PTA budget. About half the money raised comes from the paddle pledge and goes to the major investment there, and the other half to all the other PTA programs such as the Teacher Supply Fund, TIDE, MASC, classroom grants and more.
With the impact of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, this year's event will not be able to happen as planned. But that doesn't change the fact that we still need to raise the money to keep our PTA programs afloat in the next school year.
We have committed to the school district that we're going to fund the student advisor position for one more year, to give the district and the school some time to find a permanent funding source. This means our kids will get the benefit of all that Ms. Nanci Ryan does for at least another year. The cost for this is covered 100% by paddle pledge proceeds, so with no in-person paddle pledge, we've decided to raise that money online.
We know that we're in a time of economic uncertainty, but we also know that our parent community always does its best to put the needs of our children first. To cover our fiscal commitments and still provide programs to our kids, we need to make this goal.
Some background: Prior to the 2019 Wish Benefit, we received feedback from a number of parents that the departure of Chris Bell, who had been an important presence during recess and around school, was a big loss. The parent community felt that it was really important to have a staff member who was tuned in to all that was going on between students, identifying where students needed some extra attention or help resolving social issues, often with other students. The opportunity arose for the PTA to fund this position, and we were able to hire Nanci Ryan into the role. We needed to raise over $30,000 to do this for the 2019-20 school year, and at last year's Wish Benefit the parent community came together to make it happen. Nanci has been an enormous asset to McNear, and we've received overwhelming feedback that parents would like to repeat the funding for another year.
This year's Paddle Pledge will be focused on continuing Nanci's terrific work. The school has committed to working towards making Nanci's position more sustainable moving forward, so that the PTA will not need to fundraise for this every year. However, the school needs this coming year to put those plans in place. With Nanci staying on for 2020-2021, we can get to a place where the student advisor role is a permanent fixture at McNear!
We're going to need an average of $250 per family to reach our goal. We know some will be able to give more, but in the current economy, we know some families will struggle to contribute. Please do what you can!