Daily Point of Light # 2890 Mar 3, 2005

Cedar Creek Middle School in Bastrop Independent School District is located in a rural community where both parents work to maintain a minimal income. Seventy-five percent of the students ride the bus to and from school due to their parents’ employment. Needless to say, parent involvement, perception, and communication have been an area of concern foe Cedar Creek Middle School since it opened five years ago.

Mrs. Yvonne Perry has helped change this concern into a strength. Mrs. Perry is currently the PTA President at Cedar Creek Middle School and does not receive any compensation for her time. Through her position in the PTA, she has created opportunities for parents and the community to bond with the school and improve their family structure through activities, services, and communication.

At the beginning of the school year, the PTA, through Mrs. Perry, sold prepackaged school supplies at a reduced cost so parents would not have to drive fifteen miles and pay higher prices for the same products. She also provided school supplies for those students/families who could not afford them.

Our first general PTA Meeting in August included a dinner, which was donated by a national food chain, and a great speaker over “Building Successful Partnerships”. The speaker was very informative and provided parents with tools they could use to improve their family structure as well as assist with their child’s education. The meeting was well received by parents and teachers and all of these resources were free.

In September, Mrs. Perry organized and led Cedar Creek’s first Annual Fall Fiesta that included games, tournaments, food, products, and activities for children of all ages and entire families. The purpose of the activity was to generate funds for student organizations and give families something to do as a family. The fiesta catered to more than 400 people from infants to grandparents and generated $4000 for organizations to use with their students.

Throughout the fall and spring, Mrs. Perry has come up with creative ideas to continue building family friendly schools. Near Christmas, the PTA will bring in various businesses and products to provide families a close place to purchase presents for their families at a low price. In the spring, she has arranged for another guest speaker to provide a family centered program and she has organized a “Parents Night Out” including a dinner, dance, and babysitting.

Mrs. Perry, through her creativity and vision, hundreds of hours of service, great organizational skills. And family centered focus, has changed the perception of schools in the local community. Students and parents are starting to view Cedar Creek Middle School as a place of learning and opportunity instead of another hurdle to overcome.