In 2000, Altrusa Richardson adopted Richardson Terrace Elementary School, a RISD elementary school with a diverse population of nationalities represented in the student population. A large vinyl banner with the Altrusa logo and club name is prominently displayed outside on the front of the school. We provide hands-on service and assistance, as needed, throughout the school year. Services vary from year to year, but we respond when asked to provide assistance.
On October 3, 2011, the Richardson ISD Board of Trustees recognized Altrusa's outstanding commitment and dedication to Terrace Elementary School. Sharon Newman, Principal of Terrace Elementary, gave Altrsua a "big thank you" for all the time and effort devoted to Terrace. Several teachers and students also give their thanks.
Committee events/activities include:
Backpacks The creation and maintenance of 13 backpacks for Pre-K children to check out and take home to work with for a one week period. The activities had to be interactive and creative to keep the interest of 4 and 5 year old children. And, we knew the parents needed simple instructions included with each backpack to guide them as they worked with their children. Each backpack contains subject-relevant books, games, activity sheets, crayons, paper, worksheets, or other supplies needed to effectively teach vocabulary and other skills in the specific area. Subject areas included: Alphabet, Animals, Art and Music, Reading, Writing, Sorting and Colors, Shapes and Patterns, Opposites, Numbers, P.E, Nutrition, Read to Me, and Play With Me (games).
Wednesday Club A weekly enrichment program for approximately eight able kindergarten students. The children literally dance with excitement each week. All activities were hands-on, and each session endswith a poem and a “pass word” (vocabulary word) from the poem for admittance to next week’s session.
Field Trips Altrusa plans, arranges for, and underwrites enrichment opportunities for Terrace students. During 2010-2011, Altrusa arranged a Chinese New Year’s Celebration complete with professional lion dancers and including student participation and the Bubble Lady as well as a Pre-k trip to the Arboretum and a Kindergarten trip to the Museum of Science and Natural History including museum classes. A trip to Santa’s Village during the special Friday morning when the Leadership Richardson Class runs the village has become an annual gift of Altrusans to the Pre-K, Special Needs Pre-K and kindergarten students. During 2011-2012 we plan a dance assembly, a music assembly the return of the Bubble Lady, the YoYo world champion, a third grade field trip to the Museum of Science for the Electric Theater and Sharks, and a Pre-K trip to the Arboretum
Altrusa provides books to be used in the Book Nook distribution at Terrace Parents Expo, and during Altrusa programs at Terrace. The books arecollected and distributed by members of the Book Nook Breakfast Club. Members gather at the Half Price Books Warehouse on Saturdays at 7:30 A.M, wait\until the warehouse opened at 9:00, grab madly for the books then count, haul, sort and deliver them.
Manners Party Annual Good Manners Parties celebrate the good manners the children learn during Pre-K. Children are treated to a fully decorated party table, ice cream sundaes, and fruit. Children exchange Altrusa-provided books which they havechosen and wrapped for each other as gifts.
Teddy Bear Time Our classic model to parent reading program for Pre-K.
Read to Me Time An offshoot of Teddy Bear Time for Kindergarten children, this program used new books purchased at the Scholastic half-price sale.
Altrusans are active in classrooms, providing assistance with reading, writing, and as
“centers” in Pre-K. Altrusans work directly with the children, teaming with the teacher.
A new program this year will be a letter/craft exchange program with a fourth grade Terrace class and a class in Haiti. The Elementary Education committee is working with the International Committee to set up this program.
Another new program, warmly welcomed by the Terrace staff has been the establishment of the Teacher Store. Altrusans generously collected school supplies from a list established by the Terrace principal and from the sale lists of various stores. All supplies will be used by Terrace teachers for the benefit of their students.
And then, of course, Altrusans are there at Terrace on the first day of school, and to judge the Science Fair, the Invention Convention, to participate in the Parent Expo, and wherever else we are needed.