PCS to fund extracurricular basics

Pelham City Schools will fund basic necessities for athletic teams and extracurricular activities, school officials confirmed. (Contributed)

Pelham City Schools will fund basic necessities for athletic teams and extracurricular activities, school officials confirmed. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham City School System will provide funding for athletic teams and extracurricular activities this coming year, taking fundraising for basic necessities out of the hands of teams and booster clubs.

“Extracurriculars are going to be as much a part of the school as anything else,” Pelham Board of Education President Rick Rhoades said during a July 29 phone interview. “It’s just a different philosophy.”

In previous years, anything not directly related to academics was funded by teams and booster clubs, Rhoades explained. This year, school system will pay for the basic needs of extracurricular activities, such as facilities improvements and supplemental salaries for coaches.

“If something is in need of repair, we should fix it,” Rhoades said. “Over the years, you will see a difference… facilities will be better.”

Rhoades said he hopes the move will alleviate some of the pressure on teams, families and booster clubs, and allow “our coaches to coach.”

“(There will be) no more pressure on families to always fund teams,” Rhoades said. “We just want to get out of the fundraising business to pay salaries and build basic facilities.”

Without the burden of fundraising for basics, Rhoades said booster clubs will be able to focus on raising money for “extra things,” such as additional equipment or travel tournaments outside of a team’s regular playing schedule.

“Hopefully you can get some extra things,” Rhoades said. “Booster clubs should boost things.”

In addition, by the school system taking on some of the funding for athletic and extracurricular activities, Rhoades said he hopes to see the cost of participation lowered, allowing more students to take part.

“We’ll pay the coaches, we’ll build the facility, we want booster clubs to boost the children,” Rhoades said in an interview after a July 28 BOE meeting. “Now when booster clubs do things, it’ll be for special projects.”