A Catoosa mother is working to raise $100,000 in just 38 days. It might sound impossible, but News On 6 education reporter Ashli Sims reports the cause is well worth it. Itâ€™s a carefree afternoon for one Catoosa pre-kindergarten class. But the days of 4-year-olds frolicking in the sunshine will soon be over.
"Obviously we had no desire to cut an early childhood program, there just absolutely no joy in this at all," said Catoosa Interim Superintendent Dr. Bill White.
Catoosa is still more than $200,000 in the hole, and next year isn't looking much better. So they've cut corners and teachers to try to find money anywhere they can. Until Catoosa Public Schools can bounce back financially, pre-K is no more. That is unless one mom can pull off the impossible.
"And I have the word from Dr. White and the president of the school board, Mr. Conklin, that if I could pull off $100,000, they'll reinstate the program," said Catoosa parent Marti Jackson.
Marti Jackson can't break the news to her 4-year-old, so she's going to fundraise. She's just launched a website and donation fund to save Catoosa pre-K. Jackson works in sales and she says she's going to put those skills to use for Catoosa kids.
"I'm gonna get it!â€ she said. â€œIf I have to take vacation from my job and make sales calls, I'm gonna get the money."
"It certainly is a mammoth goal, and it seems Herculean in its approach. But we're very pleased that the community wants to respond," White said.
Jackson has set up a fund with Tulsa Community Foundation. She says all donations are tax deductible and will only be used to fund Catoosa pre-K.
"I have confidence that the community will rally together and raise the funds and save the program," said Jackson.
Marti Jackson's website, savecatoosaprek.com
, has only been up for about a day and it's already gotten more than 100 visitors. Jackson says if she doesnâ€™t meet her goal of $100,000 by July 1st, the money will stay in the account until Catoosa's pre-K program can be funded, but she's optimistic she will meet her goal.