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Fundraiser able to purchase iPad minis for elementary

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

A fundraising campaign at Wilson Elementary School, which drew national attention, raised more than $13,000 for the purchase of iPad minis for the Denton school’s library.

Carol Richmond, the school librarian who spearheaded the fundraiser, said she is pleased with the results.

“Thank you to the community for the support,” she said. “It was great fun, and we hope they enjoyed it, too.”

She said the school hopes to add the classroom set of iPad minis to the library by the first week of February.

The school had originally hoped to raise $30,000 to purchase 30 iPads, but decided to use the $13,500 that was raised to purchase about 25 iPad minis to be checked out through the school library. An additional five iPad minis are being purchased for the five classrooms that each raised $1,000 or more by Dec. 31.

To raise the funds, the school launched the Wilson Film Festival last fall. Individuals were encouraged to view online videos created by classes at the school and vote for their favorite by making a donation.

Using the school’s current 24 iPads, classes at Wilson Elementary filmed 30 videos for the film festival and also showed viewers how the devices were being used by classrooms.

In November, the school hosted the Wilson Red Carpet at Ryan High School to screen the films for the public and to stump for donations.

News of the film festival gained national attention after an article in the Denton Record-Chronicle in October was picked up by The Associated Press. As the story spread, the school saw increases in festival donations, Richmond said.

The school has no information on festival donors and no way of knowing where in the country donations were contributed from, she said.

Richmond said there are no plans to use the film festival as a fundraiser next year, but the festival could continue as a way to show how iPads are being used in classrooms.

Audrey Staniszewski, principal of Wilson Elementary, said the school is appreciative of Richmond’s efforts in putting on the fundraiser. The school received feedback from parents and grandparents that they enjoyed participating in a fundraiser that didn’t require them to purchase items they didn’t want, she said.

“We were very happy,” Staniszewski said. “We’re so appreciative and pleased by the response, and that all those monies will go to buying iPad minis.

“We are so excited to get that technology, the iPads, in the hands of the kids.”

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.