There has been a heartwarming effluence of donations gifted to the Winthrop Public Schools; especially this year, while students and faculty are undergoing a transition period. As discussed at the Winthrop School Committee meeting on Sept. 8, committee members were touched by the generosity of the community, who have donated over $6 million.
“That’s a phenomenal amount of money,” said Mary Alice Sharkey, School Committee member. “To donate to the most precious thing we have — our kids — is amazing.” The late Paul and Norma Facella have gifted multiple scholarships to students over the years. They never had children, and Paul loved the Town of Winthrop and the high school. He always wished to contribute so children could have a successful education and future.
That is why The Facella Family has endowed $6.5 million to the Town of Winthrop for student scholarships. Details are being finalized, and a scholarship committee is being organized to create award criteria. Macero is considering putting money towards AP testing and athletic equipment, as well.
“It is a beautiful thing that he has done. We are blown away and are very thankful,” said Macero. “If at all possible, I’d like to get this to kick-off this year.”
The Viking Pride Foundation has contributed $11,200 in funds for specific items in the school department: $5,000 for athletic equipment, $3,000 to replace football headsets, $2,000 to purchase a tennis ball launching machine, and $1,000 to replace track hurtles.
“The Viking Pride Board understands the stresses placed on classroom teachers during the transition. Items may get lost. A building with more students may present new obstacles. We would like to help minimize that impact,” said Viking Pride.
The foundation has also donated $10,000 for teacher transition distribution grants. Teachers can easily apply for the program online by mid-September, and awards will be granted later this month.
“I thank the Viking Pride Foundation for all the work they do to raise funds, and the thought they put in,” said Gary Skomro, School Committee Chairman.
To pilot a co-curriculum tutoring program, Viking Pride has presented $9,000. For locker room upgrades at the Pauline St. high school and Miller Field, they have given $2,500. Another $2,500 has been donated to support student-led programs at the high school. For high school teacher appreciation, Viking Pride presented $2,000, and another $2,000 were given for a poster machine.
Colin Cash, who has a love for the middle school, and an appreciation of the work staff has done with students, has also presented $10,000 to the 6th and 7th grade school to put towards advancements in classroom technology.