After a year of uncertainty and reduced social involvement at schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Petal Primary School PTO decided to start spring 2021 off on a more positive note.
So a couple of weekends ago, some PTO and administration officials snuck into the school to leave a little surprise for the teachers and staff: more than 1,450 eggs filled with candy, makeup and other treats hidden around the campus for a good old-fashioned Easter egg hunt.
“We’ve just tried to do everything we can this year to encourage them,” said Petal Primary PTO president Kalee Moore, who organized the event. “It’s been a difficult year for them, so we tried to go out of our way to surprise them with whatever little bits of encouragement we can.”
The idea for the Easter egg hunt originated in March, when PTO members recruited several local businesses to chip in for various prizes. In total, approximately 50 items were donated.
Other eggs were filled with purchased items such as candy, nail polish, lip balm, bookmarks and the like.
“Some of them, the office printed certificates for things like ‘free dress day’ or ‘wear comfy clothes,’” Moore said. “It was things that didn’t cost money, but were special to teachers because they don’t get to do it very often.
“And then the principals had about three certificates where they would purchase a lunch for teachers.”
On the evening of April 11, primary school principal Tessa Trimm emailed the staff to let them know about the hunt. Early the next morning, the teachers showed up ready to find the eggs, which were hidden all around campus.
“She said the doors would open at 6:30 that morning, and they could start coming in then,” Moore said. “It was first-come, first-served, that kind of thing.
“When (Trimm) got there, the teachers were lined up outside the door, and they had Easter baskets ready, and some of them had their shoes off ready to run. They were just so excited to go and find the eggs. It was a huge hit.”
Because the event was such a success, Moore and other PTO members hope to hold similar ones in the future.
“I had several comment on our post on Facebook that they were appreciative of it, and posting pictures of what they had got,” Moore said. “They seemed to enjoy it, so we’re hoping to do it every year and grow it and get more donations from businesses.
“We do things for the kids throughout the year, too; the main thing we do for them is purchase big items like recess equipment. It’s mostly the bigger-ticket items that PTO tries to fund.”