Do Non-Profit, Private Schools Need Donations?

Why Would a Private School Need Fundraisers?

It is no secret that attending an independent school usually comes with paying tuition. One might even think that with these streams of money coming in, private schools would be set for the school year (and beyond!). So, if you are here you may be wondering, “Why would a school that receives tuition per child require community donations or support?” That is a great question and one we would be happy to answer!

The Gap and Overhead Costs

Did you know that at most private schools, Oak Creek Academy included, tuition does not actually cover the full cost of educating a student? This discrepancy between funds received through tuition and the full financial demands of a private school is often called “the gap” – this difference can sometimes be quite large. In fact, for some private schools the gap is large enough that they would be unable to remain open without the contributions from sponsors and donors. Furthermore, most private schools are classified as non-profit organizations, meaning they get ZERO government funding or support. Oak Creek Academy tuition costs fall below the state average for private schools – and there is not another school like OCA in central Texas. 

You may still be wondering, “Okay, but where does the money actually go?” The hard reality is that the overhead of running a school is quite significant. From faculty and staff salaries, to facility maintenance and operations, utilities, upgrading or replacing out of date or broken heating and cooling systems, daily supplies such as toiletries and cleaning products, sanitation and cleaning of the school, field trips, school events, training and staff development, providing and upgrading technologies, etc. all means the cash flow is larger than one would ever imagine. So where are they going to get the funds to cover the gap between tuition and actual cost of running their school? This answer is, in short, donations. Community donations can even help keep tuition costs lower and more affordable for families.

How can I Help a Private School Fundraise?

Now, you may be asking, “Okay, so what can I do to help?” There are many ways that you can help a non-profit private school raise funds. This could be setting up one-time or requiring cash donations – or sharing their donation page with your friends, family, and community. Did you know some companies will even match the donation amount of their employee? Non-profit schools can also take gifts in kind, or service/supply donations – just be sure to ask what they need first. You can even become a sponsor by donating specifically to cover the cost of a student’s tuition or the cost of a specific project.

Support Oak Creek Academy

You can help support Oak Creek Academy by donating through our Network for Good giving campaign, or by sharing our page on social media. We believe that all students deserve the chance to learn in an environment that fosters their social-emotional, language, cognitive, and physical development. All donations go toward furthing the mission and vision of Oak Creek Academy. Your support means the world to a child who needs an encouraging environment to learn, grow, and succeed.   

Basic Guide to W-Sitting

What is W-sitting?

W-sitting is a sitting position in which children sit with their knees bent/rotated inward and their feet tucked under them, while their bottom is resting on the floor between their legs – creating the w-shape that gives this position its name. Parents and therapists usually notice children W-sitting between ages 3 to 6, but you may also observe it with younger or older children.

Why do Children gravitate towards W-Sitting?

W-sitting is a more stable position for children because they rely on their joints to keep them upright instead of their muscles. It also leaves their hands free to play without challenging their balance. Children with low muscle tone, hypermobility in the joints or decreased balance and truck control are also more likely to W-Sit. While this is a normal position for a child to briefly move in and out of during the day, it should not be maintained for prolonged periods of play.

What are the Negative Effects of W-Sitting?

Pediatric therapists routinely work to correct this sitting posture to prevent additional impairments. Let’s explore some of the reasons W-sitting is not recommended for children:

Overuse of this position can delay development of postural control and stability. This effects coordination balance and the development of motor skills.

Children who W-Sit do not have to work as hard to engage their core and hold their trunks upright – instead, they rely on their joint structures (and not their muscles) to hold them up. This causes increased posterior pelvic tilt which can result in poor sitting posture, decreased core activation, reduced trunk rotation, and delayed fine motor development.

In some studies, W-Sitting points to an increased risk of developing joint abnormalities such as a pigeon-toed gait pattern. This walking pattern is correlated with excessive tripping, clumsiness, instability when walking and running, and decreased balance and body awareness.

What are some Alternatives to W-Sitting?

You can provide consistent and positive verbal reinforcement to the child such as, “legs out” or “sit on your bottom, please”. The verbal prompts used will take the place of physically adjusting the child’s position. You can also use physical cueing such as a gentle tap on the leg. Here are some alternative positions for your child:

Cross-legged, or “criss-cross applesauce”: This is a common position in which children sit with feet crossed and knees apart.

Side-sit: in this position, both knees are bent, weight is shifted to one hip, and both feet are out to the same side. This removes stress from the hip joint structures, allowing for easy transitions in and out of sitting. Encourage sitting on both the right and left sides to promote equal development.

Long-sit: In this position the child’s bottom is firmly on the floor with their feet are straight out in front of them. You can also provide back support by having the child lean against a wall or pillow.

Short kneel: Children sit in a folded kneeling position – their feet tucked together under their bottom. kneeling can be a great way to strengthen hip and core muscles, just be sure that they do not shift back into the W-position.

Half kneel: Children position themselves with one foot tucked under their bottom and the other foot flat on the ground.

Praise your child when they reposition themselves. W-Sitting can quickly become a habit; early identification and encouragement is the best method to prevent any adverse outcomes from sitting in this position.

When Should You Worry About W- Sitting?

While W-Sitting is a natural position for children to move in and out of during play, they should not depend on it for support and balance. If your child frequently utilizes the W-Sitting position and you notice any of the following, discuss them with your child’s pediatrician to determine if an evaluation is necessary.

Ask for a referral for a physical therapist for further assessment if your child:

develops a limp,

expresses discomfort or has signs of hip pain

exhibits weakness in their lower extremities,

uses a pigeon-toed gait when walking

Ask for a referral for occupational therapy for further assessment if your child:

appears to have low muscle tone or weak core strength: signs of poor muscle tone include frequent falling or clumsiness, and overall poor posture

is unable to sit alone in any position other than a “W”

seems clumsy or uncoordinated

has trouble with fine motor delays (cutting paper with scissors, tying shoelaces, etc.)