“In the first two weeks, we’ve jumped from 225th to 111th place in the voting competition and our goal is to be in the top 50 by next week,” said Kristin Gokce, foundation volunteer, who is the coordinator for the initiative.
The goal of the initiative is to fund a new playground for the school of 1,000 students. The program winners will be those with the most votes by mobile text or via online voting before the deadline of Dec. 19.
The program is designed to help provide resources to schools to give kids the opportunity to grow and develop. Woodward’s nomination can be viewed online at http://tinyurl.com/wesplay where supporters can vote. Supporters can also vote via text by sending 502pbf to 95248. One vote per voting method is allowed per day for a total of two votes per day maximum per supporter.
“The Cross Keys Foundation has been building an extended base of supporters precisely to leverage social media campaigns in support of our seven schools,” said Mpaza Kapembwa, foundation board member and area resident.
Woodward Elementary is one of five feeder elementary schools for Cross Keys High School in north/central DeKalb County. By one measure it is the “poorest” elementary in DeKalb County with 99.6 percent of its students classified as “free and reduced lunch,” indicating the portion of students who receive subsidized meal programs at the school.
The foundation’s efforts to “get out the vote” target the young people of Cross Keys High School who are spreading the effort via word-of-mouth among their friends online and in “real” life.
“High school students volunteer at Woodward throughout the year in a variety of roles to help us,” said Principal Melanie Pearch. “It is great to see them rally to this playground effort on behalf of our children.”
The volunteer students are placing fliers around the community, including yard signs, encouraging community members to vote for Woodward through the deadline. They also are leveraging alumni networks at university campuses around the country to engage service clubs in the effort.
“It is encouraging to see so many folks coming together to help the children of Woodward — we’ve already won in a way,” said Gokce.