IRON RIVER—The launch of a new parents advocacy group was announced during the West Iron County School Board’s May 19 regular meeting.
It is called the WIC Progressive Parents Organization, and its mission, according to a handout, is to “objectively advocate, protect, mediate and assist.”
The new group already has a website (www.wicppo.com) and a Facebook group.
Pam Leonard, one of the group’s founders, announced the new group. During the board’s April meeting, she voiced concerns about an incident that had taken place at the school. Since then, she said, an investigation has taken place on her concerns, “and they’ve been addressed.”
As for the PPO, Leonard said it is “dedicated to positive things for West Iron County High School students and staff alike.”
The group was formed for many reasons, mainly to help parents and students address any concerns they may have. The group will not speak for them, she said, but will guide them through the process if they want to make a complaint.
The PPO, Leonard continued, also wants to help the School Board understand how others see the school district and what changes they would like to see. “We’d like to try to help with that.”
This would include providing things that are missing or that school officials would like to have: The PPO would look at those areas and potential resources that could address them. It would also help raise funds for some needs.
“We believe that busy students make happy students,” Leonard said, “as well as parents, teachers and citizens.” She invited the school officials to join with the PPO. “We’re three moms—two moms and a grandma--and we’ve accomplished a whole lot in a little bit of time.”
Leonard said that Superintendent Chris Thomson has already offered the use of school facilities for PPO activities. But the Caspian Community Center has also offered its facilities. The building needs updating, she said, but it has potential.
“We want to give the kids here something to do. We know in this community we don’t have a lot—there’s no movie theater, no bowling alley, not a lot of extras.
“We got brainstorming and decided that we would make that our first project and take that under our wing.” The PPO plans to paint the Community Center and revamp it. “We want to make it really kid-friendly, and we’re filling it to the brim with all kinds of things for kids of all ages.”
The work is being done with the blessing of the Community Center’s director and local law enforcement agencies. Security systems will be installed, and the facility will be chaperoned.
The PPO’s first meeting will be held Tuesday, May 27, at 6:30 p.m., at the Community Center in Caspian, with a mini-concert before the meeting. “We have lots and lots of ideas and suggestions, and we’re willing to listen to everybody else’s, too.”
A two-day painting party has been planned for Saturday and Sunday, May 31 and June 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Several board members said they had looked over the website already. “It looks very positive,” said Faye Atanasoff.
“I applaud your efforts,” added Board Chairman Roy Polich.
Leonard also asked about School Board meetings starting at 5 p.m. “Many people would like to attend meetings,” she said, “but at 5 o’clock it is difficult for working parents to get here.” She asked the board to consider a different meeting time.