POCOMOKE – After donating an unprecedented $5,000 to community charities last year, Pocomoke Middle School aims to have an even bigger impact this year.
“This year we’re on pace to break that record,” Principal Matthew Record said. “It’s commendable because we’re not a large school.”
In spite of the school’s small size, its employees remain committed to supporting causes within the community. While some are annual fundraising events, others are suggested by teachers as they come up throughout the year. Last year, charitable organizations supported by the staff of Pocomoke Middle included United Way, the American Cancer Society, the Worcester County Education Foundation, Coastal Hospice, Women Supporting Women, Diakonia and the Eastern Shore Reading Council, among others.
“We’ve also given to several scholarship funds and victims of national disasters,” Record said.
He says the more than $5,000 raised by Pocomoke Middle last year was in addition to the personal spending by teachers to provide students with extra things like classroom supplies and holiday treats. Nevertheless, it’s typically the teachers who suggest particular fundraisers to the faculty council.
“Teachers suggest an organization or a cause then we agree to it and set a date,” Record explained.
He said staff often asked to support cancer related initiatives.
“Cancer touches everyone,” he said. “Our staff is not immune to that. I think we have big hearts for those in our community that are battling and surviving cancer.”
Denee Bowen, a special education teacher and the school’s Worcester County Teacher’s Association representative, says she and her peers feel compelled to support local charities because they know those groups provide important services within the Pocomoke community. She said the United Way campaign in particular received a lot of support from Pocomoke Middle teachers.
“With the majority of our staff doing it, it gives us a sense of community and shows how generous we are as a whole,” Bowen said.
Roughly $3,000 was raised by school staff for United Way last year. This year’s campaign, which kicked off in October, runs through the end of November at each of the county’s public schools.