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SERC postpones supply drive, hears Trainor

Supply Our Schools program will start up later this summer.

SOS, PTA involvement and potential volunteers were discussed at the School Education Relations Committee meeting Wednesday, May 5, at Town Hall.

Town staffers are considering the use of a room or area of Town Hall for the SOS supply drive initiative.

Town Administrator David Smoak and Associate Administrator Gary Palmer were focused on logistics.

Palmer said, “I’m thinking worst case scenario –– we have someone pull up in a pick-up truck and unload. It’s more complicated than just putting out the bin.”

Smoak said, “I’m worried people are going to bring clothing, paint …”

Town Parks and Leisure Services Director Sue Stuhl said, “We’re really pushing the end [of the school year] and what may be a better option could be to really push this in August.”

Stuhl added, “We can do a preview in Talk of the Town, which is delivered to every home in Farragut. And, we can Tweet it, put it on Facebook, our Web site and the cable station.”

When asked what teachers would do with the supplies collected before the end of the school year, Farragut Intermediate School principal Kay Wellons said, “Supplies would probably be stored.”

Johns decided to bench the SOS weekly supply drive until just before the start of school in the fall.

Guest speaker Pam Trainor, president of Knox County Council PTA and recently elected to the Knox County Board of Education for District 9, spoke on PTA involvement and new volunteer avenues.

After an overview of Knox County PTA, Trainor said there is a major resource Farragut teachers aren’t taking advantage of: Teacher Supply Depot.

“We don’t see any Farragut folks down there,” Trainor said.

Four times a year –– at the beginning and in the middle of each semester –– teachers are welcome to “load up” on as many school supplies as they want.

Volunteer programs were discussed.

Shannon Warden said, “We felt like we would need help.”

Trainor said, “Involve your seniors and your faith-based organizations in the community … especially your faith-based organizations.”

Trainor added it isn’t “politically incorrect” to involve faith-based organizations.

A major need individual school PTA committees struggle with is finding volunteers for landscaping needs – mulching, weeding and planting, among other needs, Warden said.

“It seems to take someone who has a passion to sweat outside. We have a really hard time getting volunteers,” Warden said.

Trainor suggested utilizing fathers and middle-schoolers to squelch landscaping needs.

“It’s a good thing to get dads involved. No offense, but they need to get involved. There is also more they can do beyond spreading mulch.”

It helps to get those kids involved at the middle school level. It’s fun for them to get involved – they can visit past teachers and gain ownership in the community, she added.

“If you get the teachers to buy into this, they can get the kids to get into it,” Trainor said.

“[Pellissippi State Community College] is very close. It’s just down the road. Get those community organizer wannabes involved in a community,” Trainor added.

For more info about the Depot, visit

SERC’s next meeting is 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 2, at Town Hall.쇓


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