Donation paves the way for much-needed sidewalks, landscaping, site filling, drainage pipe and portable classroom transportation at school that relies on community contributions Mobile, Alabama (August 19, 2010) It has been said it takes a village to raise a child. This is certainly true at Prichard Preparatory School (PPS). Situated in the predominantly black, low-income North Mobile County, the independent elementary school offers an oasis of learning and character development for students who otherwise might fall through the cracks at large public schools. At PPS, students in kindergarten through fifth grade receive state-of-the art instruction in small classes by highly qualified teachers in a safe environment conducive to learning. They also are educated academically, spiritually and culturally in preparation for their pursuit of collegiate degrees. “It is a life-changing experience for the child,” said the school’s principal, Rosalie Howley. “For many children, having the opportunity to attend our school means the difference between success and failure – and breaking the cycle of poverty.” But the school, which nearly doubled its enrollment from last year when it welcomed 60 students August 9, relies heavily on corporate and individual contributions to serve its students. “Donations are the only way we can get things done,” Howley said. That’s why the school is grateful for donors like White-Spunner Construction, Inc. The Mobile-based general contracting, design build and construction management firm recently donated $10,300 which included materials and labor to perform much needed site work, drainage pipe and improvements on the campus. White-Spunner Construction’s contribution was used to provide landscaping, bring in dirt to fill potholes, pave sidewalks from the school’s main building to two portables or “learning cottages,” and double the size of a concrete patio. “Their contributions have also allowed us to purchase more technology for Prichard Prep. We now have SmartBoard technology in every classroom and have added a computer lab,” states Howley. “The sidewalks were so important because that area was dirt and it became quite messy when it rained,” Howley said. “By bringing in fill dirt, White-Spunner Construction also fixed some low areas that collected water. White-Spunner’s improvements are going to help the campus – not only in appearance – but now students won’t have to trudge through potholes when it rains - and this is Mobile so it rains a lot here. The first day of school, it rained, so it was wonderful having the sidewalks.” White-Spunner Construction feels blessed to be able to provide this recent contribution, said Jeff Carrico, project manager for WSC. “White-Spunner Construction is humbled to have the resources to help this special school and we encourage other area businesses and individuals to contribute to its continued success,” Carrico said. White-Spunner Construction has a history of supporting the Prichard Preparatory School, donating the initial $5,000 of the total contribution and serving as one of the main sponsors of a recent benefit that featured New York Times bestselling author, Andy Andrews. Matt White, president of White-Spunner and Associates, is a dedicated member of the school’s board of directors, Howley said. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for people like White-Spunner,” Howley said. Sandy Stimpson, chairman of the school’s board of directors, said donations like the one provided recently by White-Spunner Construction are crucial to the school’s success. “We absolutely could not run the school without contributions from individuals and corporate entities and foundations,” said Stimpson, executive vice president of Scotch & Gulf Lumber LLC. “All improvements have to be funded through contributions as does our tuition assistance program. Presently, since all students are receiving tuition assistance, we have to raise a lot of money each month.” Howley said it costs the school about $8,500 annually to educate each student and the school is always in need of donations to help with structural, instructional and operating expenses. Students also are in need of sponsorships. Often, families and local churches must pool resources to scrape together the $2,000 annual per-student tuition, she said. “Sometimes, they pay $50 a week,” Howley said. “But they do what it takes because they want their children to get out of this poverty cycle and this is one way of doing it - through education. We are always looking for sponsors – churches, retired folks and others who can help pay tuition for kids that just can’t afford it.” PPS serves as a feeder school for college preparatory schools in the area, giving disadvantaged children a leg-up to attend St. Paul’s, St. Luke’s, UMS Wright, and ultimately college, Howley said. “We want to put them on a pathway to a college education,” she said. “To convince them they are smart enough and they have what it takes to succeed.” About Prichard Preparatory School Officially established in 2008, Prichard Preparatory School (PPS) is an independent elementary school in North Mobile, Alabama that provides students with a unique opportunity to reach their potential through a life-fulfilling academic, spiritual and cultural education. The school’s mission is to educate students academically, spiritually, and culturally and to develop their character through Biblical principals in preparation for the pursuit of collegiate degrees. For more information, contact Rosalie Howley, PPS Principal at 251.456.1234.