ANDOVER — Carol and John Emery, along with many other people with ties to the local elementary school, decided to take a special step to prevent the K-5 school from closing.
The Emerys are sponsoring a writing contest for anyone who has or is attending the school, for parents, grandparents and staff.
Participants are asked to write an essay, a poem, or to dictate “Why I Love Andover Elementary School.”
“We love the school and much of our lives revolve around it. It has given us a high quality of life and we want to give back,” Carol said.
Her husband, John, retired from SAD 44 after teaching for 30-plus years, including most at Andover. Carol is the student council adviser.
The Emerys are offering $100, $50 and $25 cash prizes for the top three essays or poems.
Those who wish to enter the contest must pay a $10 entry fee, with those funds going for the Save Our School Committee. The judges will accept written entries and tapes, which may be sent to John and Carol Emery, P.O. Box 261, Andover, ME 04216, or calls to them at 392-3161.
Other judges are Roger and Barbara Sabin and Vickie Meisner, all retired teachers from the school.
Deadline for entries is June 1. The winners will be announced at the end of the school year at a school event.
“We wanted to do something positive,” Carol said.
The Save Our School Committee is also planning a couple of fundraisers in February.
Susan Merrow, an Andover selectman and member of the committee, said local residents Claire and Steve Sessions will present a play titled, “Love Letters” at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Andover Town Hall. All proceeds from the $8 for adults, and $5 for seniors tickets will go to the committee, as will funds raised during intermission, which will be a chocolate extravaganza.
A second fundraiser, set for Feb. 11-18, will be an online auction of an antique desk that was originally used at the Elm Street School, which was the forerunner of the current school.
Those interested in either fundraiser may log onto Facebook and type in Save/Recreate Andover Elementary or Fans of Andover Maine.
The Save Our School Committee has scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Andover Town Hall. Merrow said subcommittees will report on various strategies for the future of elementary education in the town.
SAD 44 Superintendent David Murphy has said that the school board will again look at everything in the district as they develop the 2012-13 operating budget.
The school, with about 35 K-5 students, was considered for closure during the 2011-12 budget development process, and was given another year to operate. No decision has been made on whether it will be up for closure again this year.