Vaudene Pruitt and Lera Price, members of Palo Pinto Retired Teachers and School Employees Association, prepare free books for distribution to first-, third- and fifth-grade students in schools in Palo Pinto County.
Every year, thanks to the Palo Pinto Retired Teachers and School Employees Association, every first-, third- and fifth-grader in Palo Pinto County gets a new book.
Retired teachers meet before distributing the books and sort them by reading levels appropriate for the specific grade levels. Volunteers then visit students in Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto, Graford, Gordon, Strawn and Santo school districts and invite students in those grades to come and choose the book they would like to own. The retired teachers distribute between 1,100 and 1,200 books each year as part of their effort to encourage reading. Donations are welcome and individuals, organizations, school districts and PTO's can help with the purchase of books.
Another project Palo Pinto County Retired Educators undertake each year is providing a scholarship for a senior in the county who plans to become a teacher. This money is raised through donations and fund-raisers throughout the year. This year's scholarship recipient was Flor Turcios, from Mineral Wells High School.
Palo Pinto County Retired Teachers and School Employees is the local unit of Texas Retired Teachers Association. Members are encouraged to be healthy, active, contributing members of their community and state. Members contribute many volunteer hours to the communities where they live. In addition, TRTA was instrumental in obtaining a raise for teachers and school employees who retired in 2004 or before.
Retired educators had not had a cost of living increase in 12 years.
All former teachers and school employees are invited to be a part of this group. Meetings are held beginning with lunch at 11:30 a.m. the third Tuesday of each month from September to May at Holiday Hills Country Club.