Ridgewood elementary school raffles local business vouchers to fund new theater arts program

P.S. 68 is one of the few schools in its district to not have a theater arts program.
Photo by Michelle Delgado

An elementary school in Queens is organizing a raffle with vouchers for local businesses in an effort to raise money for a theater arts program at the school.

P.S. 68, located at 59-09 St. Felix Ave. in Ridgewood, is one of the few schools in the area that does not have a theater arts program on offer, prompting the parent-teacher association (PTA) to raise money so one can be in place for the next school year, starting in September 2024.

The Treasurer of the PTA , Michelle Delgado, said that while the school of only 500 students does have a music program, it is lacking in musical education, which the PTA feels is just as valuable as an academic one.

“A lot of the parents saw what other schools in the district were offering and started asking why can’t we have that? Our school has low enrollment every year. We know the budget may not be there to offer everything at the school, so we feel raising money for this program is important,” she said.

The school needs to raise $8,000 in total for the program. It currently has $1,600 from a two week penny drive that the students ran in recent months.

If the money is raised, the theater arts program would be run by an outside theater company over the course of eight weeks for every grade, with the students putting on a show at the end of the program for parents to come and enjoy.

Raffle prizes include gift cards for local Ridgewood businesses, including Decades Pizza, Rolo’s restaurant and Daya Yoga Studio. There are also gift cards that parents can use for their children, such as gymnastics lessons, swimming lessons and a day of camp.

“If you are not interested in kid prizes then you can just write ‘no kids’ in the comments of whatever your payment is,” Delgado said.

Delgado added that the PTA used their connections to reach out to as many businesses as possible, and that all the businesses were happy to help out.

“All of the moms on the PTA are really committed to the cause so I’m proud of the prizes we have on offer. I’m confident that we will raise enough for the program,” she said.

One ticket for the raffle is $5, and three are $10. Tickets for the raffle can be purchased from the PTA’s website. The raffle is taking place on Feb. 14.