The bricks are a fundraiser for the E. Rivers Education Foundation, said Brittain Prigge, the organization’s president. The foundation raises money to provide the school with needed or desired items Atlanta Public Schools has not budgeted for, including technology, books and classroom supplies, she said.
Prigge said the brick campaign kicked off in May and about 50 bricks have been sold.
“[To raise] about $50,000 is what I’d be thrilled with,” she said.
Two sizes of bricks are available to purchase — a 4-inch-by-8-inch paver with up to three lines of engraved text or an 8-inch-by-8-inch paver with up to six lines of text. The costs are $100 and $250, respectively, Prigge said.
She said so far the majority of bricks purchased have been for current students. However, alumni have also contributed to the campaign.
Buckhead resident Sallie Smith attended E. Rivers in the 1950s from first through seventh grade and was the first to purchase a brick, Prigge said.
Said Smith, “I pass by the new construction at least two or three times a week, and I saw the sign about calling in to get a paver.”
She said she thinks the brick campaign is a good way to raise money for the school. Smith has several fond memories of her time at E. Rivers.
“I remember a lot of my teachers’ names as well as the principal, Mrs. Willowby,” she said. “I remember the taffy sale we would have in the spring — the best taffy. We made money for the school. They were all different colors and all different flavors. Across the street from E. Rivers on Peachtree [Road] was Fred’s Fruit Emporium. He had a big porch, and we’d go over there and pick a watermelon and just sit out on the porch and eat watermelon.”
While the original school opened in 1917, it burned down in 1949 and a new building was erected in the early 1950s.
“To me and many others, we thought E. Rivers was very modern looking,” Smith said. “In its day it was. I can’t wait to see the new construction.”
Prigge said she is impressed at how the alumni have such strong ties to their elementary school.
“I think these people have a vested interest and would love to put their names [in the new brick courtyard],” she said.
Bricks can be purchased online at www.eriverselementary.com/bricks. The deadline for the fundraiser is Sept. 1.