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19 Ways To Use School Spiritwear - PTO Today

...Encourage friendly competition with a pizza party for classes with the highest participation. Create photo opportunities. Ask families to submit “spirit selfies” when they wear their spiritwear off-campus, then publish the photos in your newsletter or on Facebook. Or set up a DIY photo booth at an event and have attendees take group photos in their matching gear. Beat the weather. Offer items appropriate to your local climate—tanks and athletic shorts for warmer zones, jackets and sweatpants for colder areas. Celebrate something new —a new school building, a parent group name change, a new mascot, or a renovated building, for example. Commemorate a schoolwide milestone. The 25th, 50th, or 100th year that a school has been open or a parent group has been in existence is worthy of celebration. Promote an academic milestone. Get kids and parents excited by achievements like reaching the 100th day of school or reading for a million minutes schoolwide. Show off student creativity....

PTO Finances: Midyear Budget Review - PTO Today

...Also, our school safety patrol has its party at the end of the year, so I assume that the PTO will spend $250 in June, as budgeted. I subtract $250 from our checkbook balance. Finally, consider any other anticipated projects or activities that are not already in your budget and subtract their cost from your checkbook balance. For example, our principal asks the PTO to contribute to the spring art fair because the school unexpectedly needs to rent display stands. This was not a planned expense for the PTO, but we anticipate approving the request this spring. I subtract $250 from our checkbook balance. Give it your best guess. You have been treasurer for many months now and probably have a good idea of the expenses that remain this school year. You also can look over the treasurer reports and checkbook registers from prior years for more insight into the types of expenses ahead. This analysis is not a precise science. Unexpected variables can affect your PTO’s exact financial position...

12 Creative PTO Fundraisers - PTO Today

...After braving the icy waters, the plungers thaw out at a party with food and live music for adults and children. The bad news: The Atlantic Ocean’s temperatures in January are typically in the chilly 40s. Better news: Participants can wear whatever they want into the water and are only required to go in ankle-deep without a time limit. The best news: The plunge typically raises a cool $57,000 in pledges for area Catholic schools, including St. Rose. Lemon Aiders Each October, 4th grade students at Lakeville Elementary in Great Neck, N.Y., operate a pink lemonade stand in front of the school at recess time. The stand has become an anticipated community event, and this year students raised $1,300 in just two hours. Proceeds from the annual sale are donated to a nonprofit organization that promotes breast cancer research. Halloween Hounds Last October, the Ocean City (N.J.) PTA put on a Halloween costume contest just for pups. Four judges presided—a local veterinarian, a representati...

The One-Hour Meeting Manager - PTO Today

...When discussing the planned activities for the Polar Express party, don’t allow the discussion to veer off into Family Fun Night. Many meetings get derailed when the board tries to accomplish too much in one session. It’s also important to be mindful of another common hazard that can keep prospective PTO members away from your meetings: insider discussions. I know about this firsthand because when our PTO met, the board would sometimes be guilty of talking about their own experiences. Yes, the cookie dough fundraiser was a challenge when the dough was delivered three hours late and we had to hand-deliver it to families across town, but it is irrelevant. Save the war stories for social settings. Likewise, don’t confuse planning sessions with business meetings. Encourage committees to meet separately from the full PTO. A room full of parents looking for updates on the PTO budget and the principal’s school improvement plan do not need to witness a debate over whether to hire a DJ...

6 Ways To Boost Redemption Program Profits - PTO Today

...Rev Up the Competition Consider offering incentives like a pizza party for the class that brings in the most to encourage kids’ interest and participation. 6. Enlist Teachers’ Support While teachers shouldn’t be expected to add to their workloads, a small amount of support can greatly increase profits. Show them your appreciation by offering incentives like books for the classroom or other supplies. The best PTO advice, ideas, and inspiration delivered weekly. Don’t miss it! Coming soon: the ultimate expo event! Register now. How To Do a School Holiday Shop Yourself 6 Fall Fundraisers That Make the Holidays Easier How To Write a Winning Contest Entry General Mills Explains Shorter Box Tops Product List Direct Donation Fundraising: How To Make It Work Comments (0) Add comment... Name (required) E-mail (required, but will not display) Website Send Cancel Weekly Newsletter Download our free School Fun Run Planning Guide for all the tips and tools you need to plan a successful eve...

Public Speaking: Overcome the Jitters - PTO Today

...Most students, on the other hand, would be more interested in finding out how their classroom could earn an ice-cream party. Keep your remarks brief. Parents and kids alike will get restless if you talk too long. Choose just two or three key points that you want to emphasize. It’s a good idea to write them down on an index card in case you lose track. If you’re worried about forgetting something, print out a copy of your remarks in a large font to make it easier to read. Next, practice your speech a few times in front of a mirror or for family members. The more familiar you are with the speech, the less likely you’ll be to ramble or lose your train of thought. “It might seem kind of goofy when you’re first doing it, but by the end of the school year you won’t have to do it like that anymore because you’ll have more confidence,” says Dianna Flett, immediate past president of the Margaret Brent Elementary PTO in Stafford, Va. Ask a few people for feedback to make sure yo...

26 Ways for Your PTO To Rock a Star Wars Family Movie Night  - PTO Today

...In the unlikely event of technical difficulties(!), it’s best to prepare for the worst with a few quick games. via Children's Ministry Deals   18. Throw in an egg relay race during intermission... via Sweet Benannasam on Pinterest   19. ...or a quick game of Pin the Lightsaber on Yoda. via Penny’s Parties   20. Keep the little kids busy by making Chewbacca puppets out of brown lunch bags. via JDaniel4’s Mom   21. Serve up popcorn, Star Wars-style. via Hello, Society   22. Put a fun twist on your concession stand with Hutt Dogs. via Catch My Party   23. Decorations don’t have to be fancy. A few strands of star garland will do the trick! via Etsy   24. Kick things off with a bit of trivia before the movie starts. via Play Buzz   25. Set up a fun photo booth for families. Smile! (Or don’t.) via Lemon Squeezy Home   26. Families will have a blast at your event—we promise! And when all’s said and done, give your PTO a well-deserved pat on the back. You all rock! via...

Fundraising Incentives: Create Excitement, Meet Your Goals - PTO Today

...” Such prizes might be a pass to attend a Zumba party, an inflatable bounce house, a BMX bike show, or a pizza party. One appeal of such an event is that it can’t be substituted for, as some of the prizes can be. “If a mom sees a flashing ball at the dollar store and that’s a prize her child wants in the fundraiser, then she won’t mess with the fundraiser,” says Cady—she’ll just buy the ball for her child. The chance to get a break from class and have some fun can’t be replaced, however. “We try to get every single school to do some form of event,” he says. “If the child really wants to go to the party or event, for the mom to please the child, she’ll help sell five items.” Though the small prizes are key, large prizes are still an incentive for many. But it’s important to choose the right item. At Poinsettia, one year’s prize was attendance at a surf camp. “Unfortunately,” says Weaver, “a lot of kids didn’t fight for that. They weren’t interes...

How To Choose a Fundraising Company - PTO Today

...You might ask whether the item level for prizes can be lowered, though it’s likely that your group will be asked to share some of the cost of awarding prizes at low sales levels or for a big prize such as a schoolwide party. What can you expect from your fundraising company representative? Before, during, and after the fundraiser, you should expect a sales representative who is involved and attentive. You want someone who is excited about the product and who is committed to helping you reach your goals. The rep should ask how much money you need to raise and how soon you need to do it. She should talk to you about what motivates your families so you can work together to create the most effective fundraiser for your community. However, that could mean a difference of opinion. “Some schools will say ‘This is what we want to do,’ ” Marshall says. “Our duty as a fundraising company, if we feel it’s not in their best interest to do it that way, is to say ‘Our experience is...

Put Meetings in Perspective - PTO Today

...Some version of a pizza party or kids’ prize for the class that has the most parents at the meeting. Baby-sit ’em. Free baby-sitting in the school gym while parents meet in the cafeteria. Bribe the parents. Door prizes, gift certificates for those who attend. Kids’ performances. Third-grade art show one month. Fifth-grade music performance the next. Rinse. Repeat. And now raise your other hand if any of these solutions worked so well that you’re now searching for an extra room for all the parents who just can’t get enough of your meetings. I suspect there may be a lot of people with just one hand up. And if you’re like a lot of parent group leaders I run into, this never-ending quest to get parents to your meetings is a source of consternation. You discuss it. You strategize over it. You commiserate and throw up your hands. My advice: Stop worrying about it. Too many groups measure their success by measuring attendance at their meetings. If that’s you, then you’re meas...