The parents of Turner Elementary School held bake sales and sold bottles of spices. Those at Randle Highland held a Halloween carnival and peddled liquid soap.
Their labors were for the Washington Parent Group Fund, a joint community-business venture to raise funds for educational enrichment programs for pupils attending schools in less affluent areas of the city.
Altogether, parents from nine Anacostia schools raised $3,800 for needed services and supplies. Some 27 local businesses then contributed $7,600 in matching funds. Yesterday, the first checks resulting from the group's efforts went to four of the schools participating in the project.
"The parents in Wards 7 and 8 have a stigma attached to them that they are not as involved as parents on the other side of the city. We are here today to show that is not true," said Iris Toyer, secretary of the group fund and a parent at Stanton Elementary, at Naylor Road and Alabama Avenue SE.
There to congratulate the parents in a ceremony at Simon Elementary at Fourth Street and Mississippi Avenue SE were Barbara Bush, the wife of the vice president, and several school and city officials.
"Most of the time I'm traveling around the country encouraging people to do the things you've done," Bush told the parents. "Today for me is like the icing on the cake."
D.C. City Council member Hilda Mason (Statehood-At large), in a pointed reference to the Reagan administration's education budget cuts, said she looked forward to the day when, instead of Parent-Teacher Associations, "the Defense department has to hold bake sales to supplement its budget." Bush nodded and smiled.
The parents plan to continue and expand their fund-raising activities and hope that yesterday's checks will be just the first of many. Each of the four schools received about $850 yesterday. The other five participating schools have not yet submitted plans for spending the funds.
The Simon School allotment from the fund will go to buy reading workbooks and other books that children can keep to start their home libraries.
For Turner Elementary, at Stanton Road and Alabama Avenue SE, the grant means students will be able to receive nutrition and hygiene instruction from the dean of Howard University's Nursing School and free nursing services from some Howard students.
Nichols Avenue Elementary, at 2427 Martin Luther King Ave. SE, will use its funds to employ four parent-teacher aides to assist classroom teachers this semester.
And Randle Highlands, 30th and R streets SE, will purchase audio materials, workbooks and wall charts for children in kindergarten to third grade.photo: Barbara bush is given a bouquet by Adrienne Johnson at Simon Elementary School. (By Harry Naltchayan-TWP)