Pruitt Acadia Chapter DAR school’s chairman

CROWLEY – Acadia Chapter DAR Schools Chairman Joanna Pruitt takes a school bus to chapter meetings. The question comes to mind: why would Pruitt ride a bus to a DAR meeting? The answer is that she doesn’t ride on the school bus, she carries a miniature yellow bus to the meetings.

Pruitt’s school bus is a bank. She passes the bus around to the attendees at the meetings in order to collect change, which is earmarked for the Kate Duncan Smith DAR School, Bacone College, Chemawa Indian School, Crossnore School, Hindman Settlement School, Berry College, Hillside School and the Tamassee DAR School.

Pruitt’s idea to use the school bus bank to remind members to donate to the schools was an ingenious idea. Members save their change to make contributions that will provide some financial help to the designated schools. The yellow school bus bank is a fun reminder that students at the DAR schools depend on donations.

The Kate Duncan Smith DAR School on Gunter Mountain, Alabama, has educated the isolated mountain children since 1924 when a 4-room building was constructed of native mountain stones. The Kate Duncan Smith DAR School also participates in several in-kind giving programs, including Campbell’s Labels for Education, Box Tops for Education and empty inkjet and used cell phone recycling. These programs provide funds for students’ educational materials. Acadia DAR members also collect labels for the schools.

Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma is committed to the mission of educating American Indians. DAR chapters give personal items and clothing to students in addition to scholarships.

Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon was designed to meet the needs of Alaskan natives and Native American youth. DAR members provide financial and educational assistance in the form of scholarships and material goods for the students.

Crossnore School was founded in 1913 in the isolated North Carolina mountains to serve children who cannot live at home because their primary caregivers are abusive or neglectful. Financially, DAR joins with the school to provide hope and healing in a homelike setting for children in crisis. DAR’s vision is to break the cycle of abuse, abandonment and neglect for these children.

DAR has sponsored the Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky, founded in 1902, to provide an educational opportunity for the youth of the mountains. Its major educational emphasis today is its work with students with dyslexic characteristics. This is the only program of its type within 200 miles. It also offers an Adult Basic Education/GED Program.

Since 1902, Berry College in northwestern Georgia has been successful in providing college educations to rural students. DAR members help with financial support.

Pruitt’s school bus money helps the Hillside School in Massachusetts, which was founded in 1901 as a rural home for boys who were orphaned or otherwise without a home or family. It now provides a supportive environment for students with learning problems.

Tamassee, founded by the South Carolina DAR in 1919, gives deserving boys and girls a home, an education, and a chance in life. A faith in God and the principles of citizenship and patriotism remain the foundation of the school. DAR assistance is given in the form of scholarships.

Each school receives financial assistance from DAR members, including scholarships, material donations and genuine personal interest. Annually, approximately 600,000 is contributed to the DAR schools.

Joanna Pruitt’s little yellow school bus bank collection is a part of the contribution DAR members make for the schools. That’s why Pruitt takes the bus to Acadia Chapter DAR meetings.

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