The (Lip Sync) Battle Returns

Grace Allen
Tickets on Sale Now for Feb. 8 Event to Benefit WEST
The WHY of science was explained to sixth graders during a visit by a Mad Scientist, who taught how to make a human electrical circuit, create a tornado in a tube, fabricate a tiny lightning storm, and “catch” a shadow.
Issue Date: 
February, 2020
Article Body: 

Dedicated teachers usually have a wish list of enrichment activities and projects they’d love to provide their students. But even the best-funded school systems don’t always have the money to implement these extra programs. That’s where the Wrentham Elementary School Trust, Inc. (WEST) comes in. WEST is a non-profit organization founded by parents to provide grants for curriculum enrichment programs in the town’s elementary schools.
WEST relies heavily on fundraisers and donations, and this year’s biggest fundraiser is coming right up. The Lip Sync Battle will take place on Saturday, February 8 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Franklin Country Club, located at 672 E. Central St. in Franklin. The performers, including a group of Wrentham police officers, will lip-sync their hearts out for Wrentham’s school kids.
Tickets are $50 per person ($40 for Wrentham’s public school teachers), and includes light appetizers. The 21-and-up event will also feature a cash bar and raffles. Attendees can buy extra votes for their favorite performers, also.
This is the second year for the lip sync fundraiser.
Katlyn Gallo, the new president of WEST, says the 501©3 non-profit typically disperses close to $25,000 a year in grant monies. A “grant night” is held in January each year, and teachers present their requests before WEST’s board.
“We’re a very specific organization so the money has to go towards something built into the educational system,” explained Gallo. “It has to be for a curriculum-based grant.”
Some of the WEST-funded grants from last year’s fundraising include Google virtual reality goggles for the sixth grade, a coding tutorial for grades three through six, author and poet visits for grade two, a traveling presentation by Boston’s Museum of Science, and a music education program for pre-K.
Gallo believes the organization has made a big impact on education in Wrentham.
“Each grant is different and the variety of grants means all the children in the school system benefit,” she said.
The organization also raises money through its Shining Star program. Twice a year, parents can purchase a “star” to honor a teacher by making a donation to WEST in amounts ranging from $10 and up. The teacher is presented with a Shining Star certificate, and many have displayed them in their classrooms for years, noted Gallo.
In the spring, WEST holds an online auction to support its efforts. Parents can bid on several experiences or activities for their children. Past auctions have included a pizza party with Dr. Allan Cameron (Wrentham’s superintendent of schools), a ride on a fire truck, and a Park Terrace Swim Club membership.
Corporate sponsorships are also available.
WEST was founded in 2007 and has funded close to $280,000 in educational grants for the Wrentham public schools.
“I have inherited a very well-run organization,” said Gallo. “Parents built this from scratch and it’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make it what it is today.”
To support WEST and its mission for the Wrentham public schools, volunteer for an event, attend an event, purchase a star, or simply donate, said Gallo.
“All those things are ways to be involved, and it really does benefit the entire school community.”
To learn more about WEST, or to purchase a ticket for the Lip Sync Battle on February 8, visit