November 26, 2022

EDUCATION MATTERS: Nodaway Valley booster clubs make a big difference

The Nodaway Valley Booster Club (NVBC) is the driving force for the “extras” our schools need to make the teachers and students know how much they’re appreciated. They donate new and repair old materials and equipment the school needs to operate activities’ programs. The mission of the NVBC is to enrich the lives of children and families in our communities. They raise money through concessions, membership drives, and fundraisers. Each school’s booster club acts as a separate entity, though they are all part of the same 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. The NVBC supports all NV activities - PreK-12. They are run by hard-working volunteers who support our schools with their time, positive energy, and ideas. Chairs are Jim and Bobbi Williams at the HS, Lisa Rardin and Molly Herrick at the MS, and Brittany Groves, Vicki Hepp, and Anna Shilling at the Elementary. These folks would be the first to tell you they need more volunteers and more resources to support the many needs our schools have.

The high school version of the Nodaway Valley Booster Club (NVBC-HS) raises $35,000 to $40,000 annually and spends almost all of it each year, saving just enough to get started with the supplies for the next year. Most of the NVBC-HS revenue comes from the concessions they offer at almost all NV HS events, as well as memberships. The athletic/activities director puts out a form to all the coaches and sponsors and asks them to list things they need for their activity. That list is then brought before the high school spending committee, composed of booster club members, and this group decides what they can afford to purchase. Just recently the spending committee approved (among other purchases) an electronic piano for the music department at NVHS and the new mascot who made its debut at Homecoming! Uniforms for various activities are on rotation and the booster club pays for half of the uniforms that are up for replacement and many other things. There is much work to be done in the concession stands and Bobbi noted they need volunteers.

The Middle and Elementary School Booster Clubs were established right after the elementary bond issue was passed in 2015, so they are new compared to the HS club. The MS and Elementary Clubs started with adding NV clothing for younger students and now the Spirit Clothes have moved to the Home Store on HWY 92 and are for everybody!

In addition, the Middle School Booster Club acquires its revenue through a concession stand at MS activities and donations. They had an old popcorn machine that didn’t work, but parents cleaned it up and fixed it and it is now producing delicious popcorn! Volunteers from the booster club have built shelving, figured out how to pipe in water at the sports fields, and they even fixed a broken scoreboard at the baseball/football fields. Volunteers weeded, moved rock into the dugouts, and fixed fences, among many other things they saw needed to be done. Staff, community members, and students all contributed to the work. The NVBC-MS provided Cutie Oranges for the students during the Iowa Assessments, and every student received a book of their own to read during the summer vacation. The NVBC-MS paid for field trips for the students, which had previously been cut from the budget because of low state funding. They also sponsored Donuts with Dad and Muffins with Mom as they invited parents in to eat breakfast with their students between 8 and 8:30 AM. for a day each in February. Additionally, they provide goodies for the crowd after concerts and other events related to the arts.

The Nodaway Valley Elementary Booster Club (NVBC-ES) doesn’t offer concessions but asks for community members to buy memberships to the Booster Club for their revenue. They kicked off the year with a “back-to-school” night for kids and their parents and served supper to all who came. The kids met their teachers and put their supplies away, and played fun and engaging games. Moms and Dads had time to visit and get acquainted. There were raves all over the NV community for this event. The NVBC-ES also contributed the bright new graphics and design work (donated by NV graduate and artist Brooke Baudler Pavel) in the entryway, highlighted by three purple stripes representing the three communities of Bridgewater, Fontanelle, and Greenfield. The NVBC-ES donated almost $3,000 for the new playground equipment.

The MS and Elementary Booster Clubs both support the staff by providing lunches and dinner on Conference Days from local restaurants and goodie bags during Teacher Appreciation Week.

I know not all the good work the NVBCs do is listed. An informative Facebook page can be found by searching for Nodaway Valley Booster Club on Facebook. This will keep you up-to-date on their activities. If you want to give money, send a check to Sue McMorran, Superintendent’s Office, 410 NW 2nd Street, Greenfield, IA 50849. Sue will see that it gets to the right building, but be sure you make clear to which building you wish to donate. If you would like to volunteer in any of the booster clubs (and they ALL need volunteers!), call the school of the booster club you want to support, and they will put you in touch with one of the chairs of the club.

NV Elementary Office - (641) 743-6136

NV MS Office – (641) 745-2291

NV HS Office - (641) 743-6127

When kids see adults volunteering and giving their time and other resources, they might just grow up to do those very things. Adult models have a strong impact. Actions DO speak louder than words. These booster clubs are helping all three of our schools to thrive, and the volunteers are acting as wonderful role models for our students. Thanks to all. Hope you will join one (or all!) of the clubs and contribute to the good work they do.