ExPECT to kick off membership drive

VERONA – On the heels of a successful corporate membership campaign, the grant-funding organization for the Lee County Schools is ready to target teachers and students’ families.
“We put this money right back in the schools,” said Bobby Richardson, co-president of Exceptional Progress in Education through Curriculum and Technology. The private-sector organization plans a membership drive from April 14-25.
Richardson and co-president Pam Sanders discussed ExPECT’s latest membership drive on Monday at the Lee County School Board meeting, held at Verona Elementary School.
“We’re looking for community involvement,” Richardson said, “with different membership levels from $10 for staff, $20 for families and $50 for businesses.”
ExPECT also receives money from the United Way of Northeast Mississippi, and in January it awarded Lee County teachers $29,633.71. The money fully or partially funded 66 grant requests for things such as books and microscopes at 14 schools.
ExPECT began in 1989 as a special project of the Tupelo-based CREATE Foundation, Richardson said. The 20-year-old organization has had its ups and downs over the years, hitting a low in 2007.
“Membership was probably below 50,” Richardson said. That year, the organization’s ranks swelled to nearly 200 through a grassroots campaign aimed at teachers, principals and parents. In 2008, 40 corporate donors raised more than $11,000 for the cause.
“Today we have about 250 members,” Richardson said.
This year’s membership drive will culminate on April 25 with a rally at The Mall at Barnes Crossing.
The event will be from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and will feature student entertainment as well as a performance by Hannah Montana impersonator Molly May.
Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or ginny.miller@djournal.com.

Ginny Miller/Daily Journal