Tobi’s Fund For Warner Elementary School In Red Clay

This is just too awesome for words.  A special education teacher at Warner Elementary School started a Go Fund Me account for a Positive Behavior Support program at the school.  You can donate here.  This is what Tobi wrote:

Hi! My name is Tobi Fitzgerald and I am a special education teacher at Warner Elementary School. The school I teach at is located in Wilmington, DE and it is one of a few priority schools in the state. The students that we service are typically from low income families and we have an 82% poverty rate at our school. 

This school year has been absolutely amazing. Many people would think that our students have behavioral problems and yes, some of them do. However, the staff at Warner is focused. Together, we have decreased school suspensions and referrals. Our goal is to keep our students in the classroom and handle behavioral challenges as they arise (in the classroom). The more educational time we can provide, the better off the students and the community will be. 

I am currently a member of the school Climate Committee. Within this committee we review behaviors across the school and focus on ways to keep the students out of trouble. We are a Positive Behavior Support (PBS) school. One of the ways we encourage positive behaviors for students is by providing them with a schoolwide incentive program. The students are able to individually earn Thunderbird Tickets for being caught being great. They can also earn Warner Wings when an entire classroom is displaying awesome behaviors. The students can use their Thunderbird Tickets to purchase different PBS trips, dress down days, movie and popcorn events, purchasing items at the school store, etc.

These different events cost a lot of money for the school and its employees. Many employees spend their own money to purchase incentives for students. I have been an educator for over six years and trust me, this is true. The funds that we receive for programs at school do not pay for student incentives. 

I plan on using any funds received to pay for school incentives for the students. These kids really are amazing and I am blessed to be a part of their lives. It is my goal to raise 3000.00 so that I can donate all of it to the school Climate Committee. I want to be able to purchase items for the students that will continue to keep them focused on making positive choices each day. 

This will mean so much to me, but imagine this: A child has been so focused on making positive choices and saved all of his Thunderbird Tickets so that he could buy a big ticket item at the school store. Only the item he chooses to buy is not for him. It is Christmas time and he wants to get his mom a really nice gift. He purchases a 40.00 gift card to give to his mom on Christmas day. 

These are things that we take for granted each day. However, for a Warner Elementary School student, seeing his mom’s face light up on Christmas morning would make a world of difference. 

Please think about donating. Every little bit will help!  Thank you and God bless!

Published by

Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

4 thoughts on “Tobi’s Fund For Warner Elementary School In Red Clay”

  1. Interesting. A few years ago a teacher in another Title I school in Red Clay asked to make a Donor’s Choose page to get iPads for his classroom. He had a plan for their use, etc. He was denied by the Red Clay administration. Told that we didn’t want to “look bad.”

    By the way, that teacher (a very good one) left the profession. After three years of teaching he’d had it.


    1. Students are being rewarded with $40 gift cards??? Seems a bit over the top. Why are kids constantly being rewarded for behaving and doing the right thing? I also teach in a PBS school…the district has money designated for PBS. A staff member just has to fill out the paperwork and submit it to the district.

      Regarding the above comment, so, it is okay to flat out ask for cash but a teacher is not allowed to apply for a grant via Donor’s Choose? Sounds shady.


      1. One thing to keep in mind Blue Hen, is that Warner has one of the lowest populations of low-income and poverty kids in the state. It is also a priority schools. The Delaware Dept. of Education and Governor Markell did not give the Red Clay priority schools the promised amount. That has caused a lot of problems. I have no problem with this teacher doing this. It is a person’s choice if they want to donate or not. And it is helping kids.


  2. My comment was based off of the previos comment made by Teach. I was coming more from the fact that we teachers cannot use Donor’s Choose or write grants in my school but, it is okay to ask for cash at other schools. That just doesn’t seem right. I did not state that I had a problem with this teacher using Go Fund Me. My point is that perhaps they should A) use the funds available via Red Clay before asking the public for assistance and B) not have such costly rewards for students. I teach in a PBS school in Red Clay. There are some great rewards for under $40 such as going to the movies, roller skating, bowling, inflatable party, etc. The poverty level in my school is over 90%. Therefore, I understand Warner’s position. However, we have found affordable ways to reward students using the funds from the district and small fundraisers.


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