Parent Involvement Matters Award winner
Pittsville Elementary and Middle School
Wicomico County Public Schools
Karen Bromley, a parent of two students who have attended Pittsville Elementary and Middle School, has been named Wicomico County’s Parent Involvement Matters Award winner for the 2013 - 2014 school year. This award is administered by the Maryland State Department of Education in conjunction with Target, its primary corporate sponsor.
Mrs. Bromley the school’s 2013 - 14 PTA president, is known for making herself available to help in any way that she can. Mrs. Bromley believes that it is her job as a parent to make sure that teachers have what they need to be successful with the students in the school. In all of her efforts, her ultimate goal is not to raise money but to bring together families, teachers, and the community to create a ‘GREAT’ school.
As a classroom volunteer, she is in the school daily trying to lift burdens off the school and the teachers. Mrs. Bromley has made billboards, laminated items, and provided one-on-one assistance in reading and math. In her sons’ primary school (Willards), she was president and secretary of the PTA.
In addition to volunteering herself, she developed a Volunteers Program for the 2012-2013 school year. She asked teachers to identify when and where they need help. Then sign-up forms were sent out to parents, asking them to volunteer and say where they felt most comfortable. She then created a master calendar for implementation.
Also for the 2012 - 13 school year, Mrs. Bromley spearheaded a fundraiser through Decorating Delmarva. Pittsville Middle School decorated a tree that was set up at the Delmarva Raceway (which had been transformed into a Santa’s Village/Winter Wonderland theme). The school raised money by selling tickets ($15 per car) for families to visit the raceway ($5 was returned to the school for every ticket sold). The school earned $955 for this fundraiser.
In addition, she has served as a parent partner for the 4th and 8th grade teams at the school. In 2011, it seemed that the school and parents might not be able to fund the field trips that these two grade teams traditionally had. [The school has nearly 50% of the students designated as eligible for FARM- free and reduced meals.]
She remembered, too, how much her older son had enjoyed the field trip to Philadelphia when he was in the 4th grade. She also knew how much her younger son, then a 4th grader, was looking forward to the trip – based on the excitement his older brother had shared. So she drafted a small team of parents and teachers from Team (grade) 4 to hold a Krispy Kreme fundraiser at the school and in the community. By selling 600 dozen donuts, the Field Trip Action Team was able to reduce the field trip costs as promised, contributing $10 for each 8th grade student and $12 for each 4th grade student.
Mrs. Bromley also is an active participant and promoter of the school’s Community Scavenger Hunt. The Scavenger Hunt incorporates a bike and car show, a country-style fair with dunking booths (teachers volunteer to get dunked) along with a race to find items in various organizations and businesses within the community. This has proven to strengthen the community and family support for the school.
A neighboring school, Willards Elementary, was the location for the bike and car show and the launching point for the Scavenger Hunt. This partnership ensures that parents and students will make a seamless transition from primary school grades to Pittsville.
Karen Bromley is an advocate for teachers; she believes that teachers should not have to pay out of their pockets or come up with fundraisers to help their students. She constantly encourages parents to ‘step up’ and ask the principal and the teachers: “What do you need? What can we do?”