GLADSTONE - Teachers, parents and students visited Cameron Elementary Monday night for a spaghetti dinner and tours of newly-completed classrooms.
The Cameron Parent Teacher Organization sponsored the dinner and collected a freewill donation. PTO fundraisers like the spaghetti dinner support student activities, purchase library books, behavior incentives, and Accelerated Reader rewards. The fundraisers also provide teachers with mini-grants.
The event also gave parents and teachers the opportunity to tour newly-added kindergarten classrooms. Teachers and students first began using the rooms at the beginning of February.
"The kindergarten classrooms are just wonderful. They're a teacher's dream - to have things designed for our tiniest students," said Jay Kulbertis, Gladstone Area Schools superintendent.
Besides being specifically designed to meet the needs of small students, the four new kindergarten rooms have individual bathrooms and lockers. The rooms also feature interactive projection - something even students who are still unable to read can use to learn.
As the building project moves into Phase 3, more technology upgrades will be added to all of the buildings in the Gladstone School District.
"We are touring other districts who have already made technology purchases, as well as working with vendors, to cater the technology to grade level," said Kulbertis.
In addition to the kindergarten rooms, the Cameron addition includes two rooms which will be used next year for before and after school programs by the YMCA.
"One room will be before and after school care - like we have at Jones currently - and then the other room will be some type of preschool programming," said Angie LaBay, childcare director for the YMCA of Delta County.
It has not been determined if the preschool program will be full day, morning and evening, or some other format.
"We're trying to get a consensus from the parents to see what the Gladstone population wants to accommodate their needs for preschool," said LaBay.
Other than supplying the rooms, the preschool and after school programs will not be the responsibility of the school. The programing and state licensing will be done through the YMCA.
The building updates to Cameron are far from over. Both Cameron and Jones elementary schools will be receiving new entryways once the building project reaches Phase 3. The entryways are designed to increase safety and security.
"We're giving these two elementary schools the attention they didn't get back when the new high school was built back in '98-99," said Kulbertis.