By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Palisadian Janet Kacker, who has two children attending Palisades Montessori Center, recently organized a GoFundMe to raise funds for the staff of the early education center.
“My husband and I had been saying when we look back at this time, we want to feel like we did something good, how did [we] help during this crisis?” Kacker said. “It was always at the back of my mind that I wanted to do something, I just didn’t know how.”
Then Kacker found that Montessori’s staff was not being compensated during its mandated closure, which Kacker said will not allow students to return to campus before the end of the school year.
Mia Levi, owner of the center, explained that staff members were paid through March and that any work done thereafter, including virtual check-ins with students, have been voluntary.
Kacker asked a couple of other moms how they felt about starting a GoFundMe for the staff for remaining committed to the students and everyone was on board—Kacker then took the initiative to launch the fundraiser.
“Without salaries, they’re really struggling with rent, food and other necessities but fortunately, we can help by donating directly to them through a fundraising campaign organized by the parents,” according to the GoFundMe that was created on April 1.
By April 17, the fundraiser had garnered a total of $23,600 from 45 families who donated.
After deducting GoFundMe fees, the families raised a net total of $22,903.
Kacker said that they hoped to get the funds to PMC’s staff as quickly as possible, distributing between the three head teachers, three assistant teachers and an administrative assistant.
Kacker delivered the checks to each staff member on Friday, May 1. The head teachers received $4,700 each. The assistant teachers received $2,500 each, and the administrative assistant received $1,500.
The fundraiser remains open: “Should there be more funds raised, we will use the same ratios as indicated for any additional amount,” the GoFundMe states.
Kacker shared that she is very fond of PMC and described it as a “fabulous place” that takes great care of its children. PMC is a school for toddlers through pre-k.
To donate or learn more, visit gofundme.com/f/palisades-montessori-covid-staff-fundraiser.
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