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A donation of $10,000 was provided to the Parent Teacher Association this year, helping the group secure necessities for each classroom. 

Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous local family, Willamette Primary School students will receive free school supplies this year.

A couple of weeks before the start of the new school year, the elementary school's Parent Teacher Association informed parents that they received a donation of $10,000 for their annual school supplies fundraiser.

"One of our missions as an organization that supports our students, classrooms, and families at Willamette Primary is to ensure that everyone has the materials that help our students and teachers be successful," said PTA President Jessica Orth.

Purchasing school supplies for children can result in an exorbitant receipt for some families, especially those with multiple students in the district. According to a survey from Deloitte Insights, families spend on average $661 per child for back-to-school shopping per year. Inflation has also raised these cost — an 8% increase from 2021 and 27% increase from the pre-COVID-19 year.

The PTA understands these costs and organized the fundraiser last year to help lift the burden off parents.

"We recognize that expensive supplies can put a large dent in families' budgets. We also recognize that every student having the same high-quality school supplies helps create an inclusive classroom environment where everyone has access to the best tools," said Orth.

The purchased school supplies will be placed in classrooms this year and were carefully selected by staff. At the end of the last academic year, teachers were asked to create a list of supplies they needed for the upcoming term. Most teachers requested crayons, markers, scissors, sharpies, glue sticks, Ticonderoga pencils, whiteboard markers and flair pens.

The donor was a family from Willamette Primary who specified that they wanted a donation spent on school supplies but didn't explain further.

"We are so grateful for the $10,000 donation, along with every donation we receive and every volunteer that helps support our school," said Orth.

Some other sponsors this year were: Art Show Silent Auction and Raffle, Local Dine Out Nights (where restaurants donate a portion of proceeds to the local PTA), Bottle Drop and general donations from the community. Some of the money raised this year was also from the annual Fun Run.

The PTA aims to raise around $50,000 each year.

Since the annual fundraiser begun, the PTA has purchased spirit t-shirts for the school, helped pay for a new sound system in the gymnasium, purchased new adjustable basketball hoops, provided classroom funds for every teacher, added an inclusive communication sign to the playground, provided recess equipment for every classroom, helped renovate the library and funded a school field trip, among many other things.

"This year, we hope to continue supporting our school in similar ways, as well as install," said Orth. "This amazing donation (of $10,000) helps ensure that all of our goals can be met as well as having flexibility as needs and ideas arise."

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