by Lisa Tome
Tom Marinelli was glad he was at his desk and seated during a recent conversation.
"I was just bowled over. I was literally speechless. I am glad I was sitting down," said Marinelli, principal at Conowingo Elementary School.
Marinelli received word that the Conowingo Lions Club was making a substantial donation to the school to the tune of $5,000.
"The school has always been a priority for the club," said Bernie Brown, president of the Conowingo Lions. Brown explained that weekly Bingo games held at American Legion Post 194 in Rising Sun funded the donation. "The money goes back into the community," said Brown.
School staffer Mary Amos serves as the liaison between the Lions and the school. Amos, Marinelli, and assistant principal Josh Mangold explained how the money will be used. A top priority will be to buy upgrades for the already high tech Smart Boards. Those upgrades will make the boards even more interactive for student use. The Lions' donation will also help the school purchase online databases that can be used by the entire school.
Amos said the donation will help prepare the students for the more rigorous standards of the Common Core curriculum.
"We have an ongoing relationship with the Lions," said Mangold.
"They have been historically generous with the school," said Marinelli.
The relationship with the Lions also provides annual vision screenings for the students.
Two years ago, the Lions Club also funded a donation to the school which comes in handy particularly during the winter months.
The school is a WeatherBug hub which alerts staff to weather events. During warmer weather, it can also let staff know when it may be unhealthy for students with breathing problems to play outdoors.
The WeatherBug not only provides updates on conditions, it also allows students to study weather, fitting in with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) curriculum.