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Norwalk PTO's Votes Cash in $500

Julie Signore had one question on her mind Wednesday morning. "How close are we to $10,000 ?" the treasurer of the Jefferson Science Magnet School Parent-Teacher Organization asked John Falcone, as a friendly discussion in the school's conference room got under way.

Falcone, the president of Main Street Connect, publisher of this website and nine others in Fairfield County towns, was there to present Duddy and other PTO representatives a $500 check. The PTO is the first to receive the Thank You contribution in Main Street's Better Schools Bonanza promotion, after getting at least 100 people to register on the website.

After registering, people can vote for their favorite school , with an 11:59 p.m. Nov. 15 deadline. The promotion will culminate with a $10,000 prize to the school that gets the most votes. The second place winner will get $5,000. "$10,000 can go far toward a new playground," said Signore, who is also a third grade teacher at Jefferson.

Also in attendance for the meeting were Sarah Duddy, PTO president, Assistant Principal Katherine Gallagher and second grade teacher Shonna Mitchell. Falcone told them that Jefferson Magnet was one of three Norwalk schools that were in contention for the first $500 Thank You. "Norwalk schools are doing well," he said. Signore and Duddy said that their school has an advantage in the contest, given its relationship with Pepperidge Farm and GE.

The women were excited to get the $500, even if they weren't unanimous in their ideas of what to do with it. "It's up for discussion at this point," Duddy said. Inspired in part by new murals in the schools, Signore would like to invest the money in more paintings. "There's a lot of kids in the school who are disadvantaged and can't afford to go on Nature's Classroom. Maybe sponsor, one, two, three kids."

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