Identifying Cedar Ridge

Students and families pitch in to mark the school
Wednesday, March 10, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:51 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sarah Darr loves cartoon monkeys and has been saving her money to decorate her room with “monkey stuff.” Instead of spending the money she received on her ninth birthday to buy wallpaper and pillows, however, she bought the letter “C.”

Cedar Ridge Elementary School’s student council of fifth- and sixth-graders has decided to get the school’s name on the front of the their building, which is now bare.

“We have that thing outside now,” student council president Rana Poulton said of the school’s current stone sign outside the building. “But no one can see that. It’s important for people to know who we are.”

Cedar Ridge, off Route WW, is a brown brick building with no distinguishing marks to signify that it’s a school.

“We usually just tell people that it’s the building after Casey’s,” Principal Barbara Stratton said.

Through candy bar sales and other fund-raisers, the student council already had hundreds of dollars in its treasury and wanted to do something memorable for the school, student council sponsor and fourth-grade teacher Clint Darr said.

“I mentioned the idea of putting letters on our building, and the council agreed,” Clint Darr said.

Clint Darr ordered a sample letter from a Web-based business to show what the letters would look like. The letters are 15 inches across and silver, to commemorate the school’s silver 25th anniversary this year, Stratton said.

His daughter, Sarah Darr, bought the letter.

“I have always wanted to volunteer,” said Sarah Darr, who has donated her time to the Humane Society of Central Missouri and to the Central Missouri Food Bank. “I heard that the school needed a name on the front. I figured that I can come by and see this letter anytime, but toys will run out of batteries.”

The student council announced the project March 1, and 17 of the 20 letters have already been “adopted” by classes, families and individuals.

Money donated by the student council cut the cost to $85 for each letter.

“After you adopt a letter, you still have to raise the money for it,” Clint Darr said. “We’re hoping to get all of the money raised by April and then get them up in May.”

To save money on installation, Clint Darr and Stratton’s husband, Larry Stratton, are going to hang the letters with the template and hardware that will be shipped with the letters.

Several classes will have fund-raisers to pay for their adopted letters. One first-grade class is having an in-classroom garage sale, and the fourth grade is hosting a pizza lunch. Becky Bond’s fifth-grade class has two projects in mind.

“Mrs. Bond buys snacks, and then we can buy them from her,” Rana said. “We also might have a read-a-thon for fifth grade. In a read-a-thon, people pledge money for the amount of minutes you read.”

The fifth grade chose to adopt the letter “Y.”

“Mrs. Bond said ‘Y’ would be good because it’s the last letter of the sign, and we are in fifth grade, our last year here,” Rana said.

Judging from the rate at which letters are being adopted, Cedar Ridge is considering adding more letters to the building.

“We may add ‘school’ to the end of the name because more families are wanting to adopt a letter,” Stratton said. “Many families have had all their children go through Cedar Ridge and want to help out.”

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