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Lion’s Den benefits teachers at Troy Elementary

The Troy Lions Club officially opened the first-ever “Lion’s Den” Teacher Resource Closet at Troy Elementary School (TES) on Thursday, September 10, 2020.  The efforts were welcomed and proudly supported by the school administration, teachers, and PTO at TES.

Club President Lori Swindall said, “When searching for an ongoing local service project, our members began developing a plan to help teachers and students with yearly school supplies.  It is our club’s intention to make this our major endeavor year-round on top of providing vision screenings throughout each year, as well as vision services for those in need.”

With the help of a few local TES PTO members, the Lions Club conducted a school-wide teacher survey at the school.  The Lions learned that 100 percentof the teachers at TES had student school supply needs that are beyond what parents can provide or that are allotted in the teacher’s yearly school budgets.  Swindall said, “The survey indicated that many students needed basic supplies throughout the year, and sometimes special class projects require additional items that the teachers need to purchase.  Those extra supplies were being provided each year with money out of the teacher’s pockets. We want to help alleviate that burden from the teachers.”

Chrissy McLendon is a resource teacher at TES and reached out to the Lions as soon as she was notified of the “Lion’s Den” opening. “Thank you so much for the Lion’s Den! As a teacher of special needs students, this will be an amazing asset to my group of students. Some of these kids (come) from a very disadvantaged home-life,” said McLendon. “I usually end up buying things for my children. Thank you for such a kind, charitable act.  It will be greatly appreciated.This will allow me to use my money to help my students in other ways.”

Once the Lions learned of the needs, a plan was formulated to keep supplies at the school where teachers have instant direct access for their students and classrooms. Thus, the idea for the “Lion’s Den” was born. Second

Vice-President of the Lions and current TES PTO President, Dr. Elizabeth Hitchcock, initiated another school-wide teacher survey to find out specifically what supplies were most important to them throughout the year. The Lions Club received teacher responses, then began to focus their fundraising efforts towards collecting the school supplies needed to stock the TES “Lion’s Den.”

Lions Club Service Chair, Dr. Jillian Camwell, led the effort to create an inventory tracking system that will be managed by her Service Committee members.  Tracking the usage of the supplies will help the club learn what items are most important and how many students the sup¬ply closet is serving annually.

The Troy Lions Club is planning to use part of their annual fundraising efforts to stock the new resource closet. Swindall said, “We are excited for a successful first year helping the teachers at Troy Elementary and are looking forward to adding at least one new Lion’s Den each school year until we are serving all four public elementary schools in the area.” The club welcomes monetary contributions or donations of quality school supplies to help keep the closet fully stocked.