Community comes together to help fund new digital sign at West Point Elementary

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

WEST POINT — For a long time, Sybrenna Thornton was dedicated to updating the messages on a sign in front of West Point Elementary School. She’s the school’s front office secretary and has put many a message on the plain, simple board the had been in front of the school for many years.. Getting a new message on the sign was a cumbersome process of putting on one letter at a time. That was hard enough, but it was an especially tough task on cold or rainy days. There were also times they old sign would be in danger of falling, and Thornton would have to prop it up.

There’s got to be a better way of doing this, she often thought to herself.

There is a better way of doing this, and it’s called digital technology.

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With Thornton’s idea of having a better way to post messages, school officials approached the Troup County Board of Education with the idea. After all, some schools in the system already have digital signs.

A new digital sign costs $32,000. The county school board agreed to fund half of that cost, providing WPES could raise the other half.

That meant some serious local fundraising. “At first, we thought ‘no way’ but the more we got into it the more we found a lot of support behind the idea,” Thornton said.

A total of 19 sponsors contributed to this, raising a total of $16,330. There’s now a first-class digital sign in front of the school. Those who have driven by the school and seen it are raving about it.

Thornton still posts messages on the school sign, but this time from the comfort of the front office.

“The sign looks so much better than what we had before, and it’s so much easier to put messages on it than the way we did it before,” she said.

The new sign is very colorful and attention getting. When the name of the school appears in big bold letters on it, there’s a red, white and blue U.S. flag waving behind it.

“This is a dream come true for us,” said the school principal, Keneithia Cook. “It’s a way for us to better connect to the community. We not only have lots of information about school activities, we also have messages from the West Point Recreation Department. It’s something good not just for the school but for the community at large. Lots of people have been telling us how good it looks, and we appreciate that.”

“It is so nice,” said Angie Smith, the assistant principal. “It will allow us to have continuous messages. We can get more information out that way.”

Prominently displayed on the base of the sign are the sponsors. They include the Troup County School System, J. Snith Lanier, Century Building Materials Co., Batson-Cook Company, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Kimberly Clark, Keeney Memorial UMC, the First United Methodist Church of West Point, the Charter Foundation, SouthState Bank, Interface, Inc. (LaGrange), sewingmachine.com, Johnny’s New York Style Pizza, Capital City Bank, Alex L. Dixon, P.C., attorney at law, the Lambda Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Martha Shipman, West Point Vision, the Seegar fanily and West Point Council Members the Rev. Jerry Ledbetter and Sandra Thornton.