It Was a Great 2018-19 School Year. Thank You!

It’s been a wonderful year at Dan Mills, and we want to thank YOU for your part in that! Whether you volunteered, signed your Dragon up for the Dragon Dash, read with your child, attended Dragon Jubilee, thanked a teacher, bought a school t-shirt, baked some treats for the happy cart or bake sale, or won an auction item, you were an integral part of that success. Plans are already being made for a fantastic 2019-2020 school year. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your amazing support!

Sincerely,
The Dan Mills PTO Board

Items of note that the PTO was able to provide or support:

  • Library Redesign, Phase I

  • Picnic Tables for the front field

  • 10 New computers for the Computer Lab

  • Over $4,500 in Professional Development for teachers

  • Over $10,000 allocated to teachers to use in their classrooms

  • Educational programs to support curriculum

  • Monthly Happy Cart for teachers

  • Over $12,000 in Classroom supplies, equipment, and literacy supplies

  • Mindfulness Supplies for teachers and classrooms

  • $3900 for field trips and achievement incentives (including the in-school Adventure Science Center event)

Here are just a few pictures from the school year:

We want to share some of the sentiments from the teachers because these kind words are meant for ALL of the Dan Mills parents:

I’m very appreciative of the support shown toward my classroom from the Dan Mills PTO this school year! PTO provided us a classroom rug! This rug is the staple of our classroom and serves as our meeting place for morning meeting and mini lessons. Students enjoy getting cozy on the rug to read books.

With Dragon Dash funds, I was able to purchase six wobble stools. These stools help promote flexible seating in the classroom by giving students choice and a chance to “wiggle” while they work. Thank you Dan Mills PTO for your support! I greatly appreciate it!
— Ms. Jones
I am so thankful for the intentionality and immense efforts our PTO gives toward helping our staff and students. Whether it’s a smiling friendly face, a happy cart of morning pick-me-ups, or financial support, the PTO’s investment in teachers and in our school at large have been so wonderful and impactful.

Thanks to funds from the PTO, my classroom received several new high-quality nonfiction texts (the National Geographic Kids series…which my students cannot get enough of). These nonfiction books supported our reading and writing units on understanding informational texts, navigating their various features, and creating our own nonfiction texts about animals we were passionate to study. Having so many mentor books for my students to research in and aspire to imitate has been huge. Now every single one of my students can have a rich text like this for him/herself, for reading and rereading. My students don’t just love books, but dive in eagerly to these nonfiction texts to grow their brains and uncover facts they delightedly share with others. There is such a pride and joy they experience in this—and for many students, these books present a thrilling challenge. Similarly, I feel great joy watching their reading opportunities flourish with the addition of these books to my classroom library. Thank you PTO! This is just one of the ways my students have benefitted from your work and generosity.
— Ms. Whitmore, 1st Grade Teacher
What an incredible PTO Dan Mills has! We want for nothing.... and we appreciate it more than you all could ever know. We are supported incessantly. The Post Its that were bought for me make it so much more positive for the kids (and me) to give and receive feedback as well as making Anchor Charts much more memorable for students. There are not enough nice words to say about our awesome parents.
— Mrs. Jo, 4th Grade Teacher
Thank you for your support of music education at Dan Mills! This year, through the Dragon Dash funds, all 3rd grade students received a Yamaha recorder! I was also able to attend a spectacular professional development, sponsored by the CMA Foundation and TNMEA (Tennessee Music Educators Association) and learned a wealth of knowledge/techniques that I could immediately bring back to the classroom. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! I love you guys and am so thankful for you!!
— Mrs. Folsom, Music Teacher
I am so grateful for all of the activities provided to our students by our PTO. My class still talks about the Dragon Dash and how much fun it was. We are using new math materials and a light board that were provided to us by the PTO. I am so grateful to be a part of the Dan Mills family. We have the best PTO anywhere!
— Ms. Wilson, Pre-K Teacher
Thank you for all your support during the 2018-2019 school year. From lunches and teacher appreciation week, to monthly “happy cart” visits and purchasing items for our classroom, we can always count on you to help and support us. Thank you for all you do for our community school!
— Mrs. Ashford, Kindergarten Teacher
Ive been able to use my Dragon Dash funds to purchase new books for my classroom during school book fairs. As we walk around and take a sneak peek of the book fair, I like to notice which books they get excited about so that I can get them for our class. Once the kids see the books in class that they were hoping for they immediately want to find a cozy spot to read! I feel grateful for all of the support we have here at Dan Mills. Without you all, those magical moments wouldn’t always happen. On top of the phenomenal fundraising, the parent support is outstanding. Because of the support from volunteers, I was able to get a new phonics curriculum in my classroom which has helped so many of my students! Thank you for your constant support and hard work!
— Ms. Roeder, 1st Grade Teacher

Library Design Update Kicks Off!

Last Saturday we hosted our first parent work day to kick-off the library design update project. And oh boy did we get a lot done! A lot of painting that is.

Parent volunteers and Mrs. Criswell spent several hours during two shifts on Saturday painting the walls in the library, as well as transforming the walls in the lobby. The entryway to the library and some interior walls in the library were painted a deep blue color to simulate a kind of camping under a night sky atmosphere, which will be a part of the theme in the story time area of the library.

Four walls in the lobby - the ones where the house dragon posters hang - were also painted. These walls were transformed to represent the four house colors of Dan Mills. And what an impression they make! Students were so excited on Monday morning to see the fun house colors now adorning their lobby walls. These house colors will also be incorporated in the library design update, so stay tuned for some more fun things happening in that space.

The painting was just the first part of our library design update - the project we’ve been talking about for months - so it’s so exciting to have this project underway! A BIG THANK YOU to Mrs. Criswell, Michelle Godby and all the parents who came out to help make the work day a success. You’ll have to take a visit inside the school to see what the fuss is all about. Or, better yet, sign up to help during our next parent work day on Saturday, April 13!

Shipt and Planet Fundraiser Offer New Fundraising Opportunity for Dan Mills

Do you use Shipt grocery delivery service?? If so, there is a very easy way to give back 3% of what you spend to our PTO!

In your cell phone App Store, search for and download the free Planet Fundraiser app.

 
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Then follow the in-app instructions to register and sign in. Once signed in, select “Add Campaign” and search for and select “Dan Mills Elementary PTO.”

 
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Finally, in order to obtain the 3% reward from Shipt to PTO, go into your email and find the receipt email from Shipt. (This email will have the subject line: “Your Shipt grocery order receipt”. ) Forward this email to submit@planetfundraiser.com

 
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Repeat every time you order Shipt!

How's This for a Family Service Project?

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Is your family looking for a fun service project that has you working together to better something in your community? Well we have just the thing for you!

We’re working to schedule two “parent work days” at Dan Mills Elementary in the coming weeks. These will be scheduled on a Saturday and will be a great opportunity for the entire family to get involved in getting some work done at our beloved school. Primarily, the days scheduled will involve installing the new library update, designed with the help of Dan Mills’ parent, Michelle Godby. These plans are being finalized with Michelle’s, Ms. Criswell’s and MNPS employees’ help, but in order to bring it to fruition we need help! Listed below are the kinds of tasks you could expect on a parent work day:

  • Moving and/or assembling furniture

  • Installing carpet tiles (trust us, this is easy!)

  • Painting

  • Light outdoor work

This opportunity is a great way for families to give back to our community AND be involved in the updates at our school. If you want to be notified when parent work days are scheduled, submit your email below.

Navigating Screen Time in your Family

On Tuesday night we had a thought-provoking and stimulating discussion with Parents Who Fight on how to begin navigating screen time within our families. For those who could not attend, here are some highlights:

Some statistics:

  • 65% of parents say their kids have too much time on devices (2018 survey)

  • 1/3 of parents say they argue daily with their children about screen time (Common Sense Media survey)

What technology is doing to our kids:

  • Studies came out in 2018 showing a correlation between ADD/ADHD and screen time

  • Richard Bromley, clinical psychologist at Harvard Medical School - Excessive screen time can affect academic performance, attention, social interactions, sleep, etc.

  • Recent research suggests extended screen time is affecting the way the brain grows.

  • Nicholas Cardaras, author of “Glow Kids,” suggests the best thing you can do as a parent is to delay access for your kids.

Kids need: (1) Boundaries, (2) Balance, and (3) Accountability

  • Boundaries - In the elementary school years, you must be thinking a few years ahead - “what’s our plan?” What are your boundaries in regards to smartphones, social media and video games?

    • Wait Until 8th organization - parents pledging to wait until 8th grade to give their kid a smartphone in order to reverse the peer pressure.

    • The law for social media is you must be 13 or older.

    • Delay the use of video games if you can - specifically, video games that are not age appropriate. Pay attention to ratings of video games. Biggest example of this is Fortnite - rated “T” for Teen.

  • Balance - How do we balance screen time? How much time should we spend? What kind of content should kids be consuming?

    • Instead of starting with how much time should kids have on a screen, start with how much sleep are they getting (9-11 hours recommended), how much exercise are they getting (60 minutes recommended), etc.? Identify all the priorities and then determine how much time is left.

    • Monitor your child’s screen time - know how much time they’re spending - and use that data to determine how much is too much.

    • Look at the nature of screen time - Is it just consumptive? Is it creative? Is it productive?

    • How else is your child spending his/her time? As they age, it will be become increasingly important for them to have outlets other than screens.

    • Sit down and make a plan with your kids about what balance looks like in your home. For each new device that comes into the home, have a family meeting about the guidelines for that device.

  • Accountability - Be empowered to monitor how much time your kids are spending on screens and what they’re doing on them.

    • Hold your children accountable for the boundaries you have set up.

    • Be completely transparent in your relationship to your kids and technology - meaning you know every password, you will keep track of everywhere your child goes online.

    • Screens should be used in common areas - open space and the screen visible to parents. Use of screens in the bedroom, at bedtime, is not a precedent you want to set as your children get older.

    • If your child goes online and watches YouTube, don't use headphones so you can hear what your child is watching.

Parents need: (1) Tools, (2) Endurance, and (3) Community

  • Tools - There are a plethora of tools available to help parents navigate the issue of screen time with their kids - offering alternatives to screen time and solutions for managing and monitoring screen time.

    • Drive Along - cards to stimulate conversation while in the car instead of using screens. Kids want to be engaged by parents in conversation.

    • “Good Pictures, Bad Pictures” - Book geared to young kids to explain what pornography is, why it's dangerous, and how to reject it.

    • Four layer strategy to help parents manage and monitor online activity:
      (1) Wifi - i.e., Circle by Disney,
      (2) Devices - i.e., iOS 12 “Screentime”
      (3) Apps
      (4) Search - Google & YouTube the worst!
      Parents Who Fight have a 20-minute video on their 4-Point Technology Strategy on Vimeo. Watch it here - password PWF.

    • Set the precedent very early that everything your kid uses is going to have boundaries.

    • Protect Young Minds website has device-specific instructions on parental controls.

    • Google Activity - myactivity.google.com shows you what websites have been visited, how much time has been spent, and other history even if it has been deleted.

  • Endurance - Goes hand-in-hand with delaying certain technology-use for kids. As parents, we are working to train our kids well to eventually be able to use devices wisely and safely, and this means we’ll need to go at a much slower pace with technology than we think.

  • Community - Parents need partners in the technology journey. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with other parents about how they’re navigating devices within their homes. Find like-minded people to partner up with.

We also recorded the presentation on Facebook Live. Unfortunately due to signal issues the picture is not clear and audio is a little glitchy, but the majority of the content is there. You may watch/listen on our Facebook page.

Jesse and Sarah Siegand from  Parents Who Fight

Jesse and Sarah Siegand from Parents Who Fight

A Few Driving Tips For Drop-Off and Pick-Up

If you’ve ever experienced a back-up in the car riders lane, a traffic jam on Greenland Ave or any other drop-off/pick-up issues, the PTO has written up the following reminders.

  1. PLEASE be mindful about the neighbors and their driveways on Kennedy and Greenland Avenues. The school and Metro Police are getting angry calls weekly from neighbors that are blocked in and cannot get out of their driveway.

  2. Car Drop-Off: Teachers should be out to help around 7:45am. If they aren’t, the cones should be in place – Drop-Off starts at the cone (see picture below). If you are the first car to drop off (the car in front of you was the last in the coned area), please pull to the last cone to ensure that the maximum number of cars fall in behind you.

  3. Greenland Avenue: This is still a school zone so please watch your speed. Traffic jams have been happening lately between Addine and Kennedy on Greenland - a way to avoid that is to go in sets of three. After three cars go in one direction, pause and let three cars go in the opposite. It will take much longer if you cause a traffic jam than if you just wait for three cars. If by chance there is a traffic jam, please remember there are little ears around so refrain from yelling obscenities.

  4. Parking on the Street: Please remember that cars are only supposed to park on the side of the road facing the direction you are driving. Meaning, don’t park facing opposite traffic. And please make sure you are not parking in “No Parking” zones.

**If you are interested in participating in a “walker drop zone” on Cardinal Avenue, please email the PTO (ptodanmills@gmail.com) and let us know. The idea would be to have a meet spot on Cardinal Avenue where a group of kids would meet to walk to the school together. This would only work if there’s a group of them and if they leave at the same time each morning, not waiting for anyone running late.

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Need Holiday Shopping Ideas? Check Out Our New Online Spirit Shop!

Did you know the PTO spirit wear committee also has tote bags, coffee mugs and more available for purchase? Did you also know that these items are available in our new online spirit shop? Purchase these items and some other clearance apparel items online! You can buy with a credit card or PayPal account and have it delivered via your child. It’s as simple as that!

Another Mega-Successful Dragon Dash

Our Dragon Dash fundraising officially ended and it far exceeded our expectations! Our school goal was $30,000, but thanks to all the students, parents, teachers, volunteers and administration we more than surpassed that goal, we crushed it! Coming in at $46,000!!

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After expenses, we netted just over $36,000, making this year’s Dragon Dash the highest earning fundraiser yet. We mentioned in an earlier blogpost how we were going to use the money raised - library design update, basketball court, etc. - and now we can safely say we WILL be able to do all those things!

The money raised also allowed the PTO to allocate almost a third to every faculty member in the school - this includes specials, exceptional ed teachers, the literacy coach, guidance counselor and EL teacher. Each of these faculty members received at least $225 to spend on their classroom, and some received more based on their classroom and individual fundraising goals. It is but a small token of our appreciation for all the teachers who do so much for our students.

The day of the Dash was no small event either. Our students showed such spirit and determination in running their laps. We are so proud of our Dan Mills Dragons! And thank you to the teachers, staff and parents who all supported the students in this event. The PTO is honored to be able to put on such a healthy event and fundraiser.

And The New Spirit Wear Design Is ...

A design by Dan Mills’ parent, Craig Allen!

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We had 15 design submissions overall, so thank you to everyone who submitted a design. We had so many great submissions! Once designs were gathered, they were taken around to each classroom and voted on by the students. The kids had so much fun voting and it was a great uniting exercise for them to have a hand in their next t-shirt design.

New house shirts are now being sold with the winning design. Order forms went home yesterday (Friday, October 5). Make sure to send those back in by the deadline to get your new spirit wear.

Congratulations again to Craig Allen for having the winning design!

House Shirts with the New Design

Elaborating on our Plans for Dragon Dash Fundraising Money

Our fundraising goal for the Dragon Dash is $30,000. I know we’ve shared that the money raised will go towards updating the school library, adding a basketball court and giving funds to teachers, but maybe you’re wondering why exactly we are wanting to do those things. Let’s go into a little more detail:

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1. Library Redesign ($12,000+) - Our current school building was designed and built around 2001-02. The library was provided with standard furniture and it hasn’t been replaced or updated since. The vision is to take the current library space and make it a little more welcoming and versatile. We want to include some more flexible seating spaces so kids can grab a book, get comfortable and read. Wooden chairs just aren’t quite as inviting as a soft chair or comfortable couch! Some teachers also have book clubs that meet regularly, and we would like to include an area where these students could meet as a group in a creative space so they can delve in and explore the texts in a group discussion. Ms. Criswell, the administration and the PTO are excited with the prospect of transforming the library into a fun, inviting, cozy and comfortable space for inspire reading for all ages!

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2. Financial Support for Teachers ($8,000+) - As you likely know, teachers spend a lot of their own money on special classroom projects or on classroom supplies. It’s also no secret that teachers are underpaid. So we can help them by providing them with the funds and resources they need to help their students. They can purchase those items that will make a lesson come to life or they can buy that bookshelf and fill it with books. Whatever they choose, it will ultimately benefit all of the students at Dan Mills!

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3. Basketball Court (approx. $3,000) - This project has been on the wish list for a while. The playground out front is fantastic, but it’s really designed with the younger students in mind. We would love to build a small half court in the front field to provide an area where all students can play four square or basketball. It’ll offer more options to all our students and teachers, and foster more physical activity!

4. Picnic Tables (approx. $1000) - Students enjoy being outside, and we would love to add some tables near the front playground so teachers can take their students outside for a lesson or a special lunch. These tables would also provide seating after school for parents who enjoy bringing their children to the playground before or after school, as well as to the larger community who use the front playground in the evenings and on weekends.

Now, obviously, if you’ve done the math, that doesn’t all add up to $30,000. The additional money will allow us to increase the budget on the school library redesign as well as add to our general PTO budget. As a PTO we are continuously funding curriculum requests for the teachers, paying for the house parties at Sky High, buying needed equipment for the classrooms and entire school, supplementing field trips so all students can attend and paying for many other things that impact our school. Your donations are not wasted and are always much appreciated!

It's Dragon Dash Time!

Dragon Dash fundraising kicked off on Friday, September 14. Race packets were sent home with every student, an email was sent, posts were made on Facebook and Instagram and Principal Yates did a call out. We hope you got the information. ;) Make sure to check out the Dragon Dash section of our website for how to get started.

Our total school goal for this year is $30,000. If every student raises just $60 we can meet that. Better yet, we can surpass our goal if you raise more! To make it fun we are offering all kinds of individual goal incentives, bi-weekly raffle prizes for students who register and team rewards. The very TOP earner in the school will even win an Amazon Kindle! And meeting our school goal earns all students ONE WEEK of NO SSA! Check out more of our awesome incentives here.

Just look at some of these cool prizes!  Click here  to see how to earn these and more.

Just look at some of these cool prizes! Click here to see how to earn these and more.

Now, you might be wondering why such a large fundraising goal? Where is the money going? Well, we at the Dan Mills PTO are committed to supporting our teachers at this school. And they need our support! A portion of the proceeds from Dragon Dash will go directly to all teachers for them to use in their classrooms. This helps supplement their limited budgets. The rest of the money raised will go towards funding a design update in the school library, installing a basketball court and adding picnic tables to the front lawn. What’s even better is we get to raise the money all while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Everybody can win! 

Last year we raised more than $35,000, so we’re optimistic we can do it again this year. And look at all the fun had at the race last year. How can you resist such an amazing event?!

Special thanks to all our 2018 Dragon Dash sponsors - Cumberland Cooling, 10:10 Creative, The Foundry Chiropractic & Upper Cervical and East Nasty.

Where Do We Spend Your PTO Dollars?

We had an awesome first PTO Live! meeting on Tuesday - more than 60 people attended. Including some watching our very first Facebook Live broadcast!

At our meeting, we shared how some of your PTO dollars have been spent so far this year and what other plans we have for the budget. Here's a quick rundown:

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  • "Mindfulness kits" were purchased as requested by our school counselor Mrs. Hoge. These kits are available in every classroom in a "Peace Corner" and contain items that students can use to help calm themselves down when necessary.
  • We are working on plans to put in a half basketball court in the front lawn (if approved by MNPS). Yeah!
  • The back playground will be getting mats to place under the swings. These will keep the mulch from being pushed out of the way and help the younger students be able to reach the swings.
  • We are working on a plan to update and "bedazzle" the school library.
  • Picnic tables are also planned to be added to the front lawn. The idea is that teachers can use them for outdoor picnics if wanted, especially during end-of-year picnics, AND parents can have a place to sit during after-school playground time. A nice added bonus would be if anyone wants to start a coffee cart! <wink, wink>
  • Curriculum used by various grade levels was purchased for the school year - IXL, Star Math, Study Island, phonics curriculum, Accelerated Reader and more!
  • We will continue to fund the House field trips - these trips are awarded to the winning house per semester.
  • As always, we continue to fill teacher funding requests for various items and teaching tools that help our amazing teachers educate our students.

Thank you to all our awesome parents that care so much about our school and help to make it great.

If you missed it and want to watch, you can find our Facebook Live broadcast here.

For all our PTO Live! meetings we will raffle off two days of NO SSA for your student(s). Two names will be drawn for anyone in attendance - either in person or online. Hope to see you at our next meeting on Tuesday, September 11, 5:30 pm at the Berkley Hill Apartments playground.

Do You Have What It Takes To Design Our Next Dan Mills T-Shirt?

Parents! If you're a graphic designer or artist, your design could be the next spirit wear shirt! Send us your best Dan Mills Dragons design. All parent-submitted designs will be considered by the PTO and voted on by students. How cool is that?!?

Email your artwork (preferably in a vector file) to ptodanmills@gmail.com by September 1st!

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Thank You For An Awesome 2017-18 School Year!

Now that the dust has settled after end-of-school madness, we at the Dan Mills Elementary PTO want to say a big THANK YOU to the parents and community who have supported our school this past year. It has been an amazing one!

With your help and support we achieved every goal we had in fundraising this year, and then some! We hosted four fundraisers this year - Songwriters in the Round, Dragon Dash, Dragon Jubilee and Spring Auction - raising a net of more than $50,000!! Wow.

This is because of YOU, and your school thanks you.

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If you wonder what we did with some of that money, take a look below and see the things YOU helped fund.

Item Amount
Student Achievement Incentives
Includes House field trips to Sky High
~$1,500
Capital Improvements
Includes Closed Circuit TV System, Security door
~$4,500
Curriculum
Includes IXL, Study Island and Southern Word
~$7,300
Dragon Dash Teacher Funds
Money given to all teachers to use for their classroom
~$3,600
Literacy
Includes literacy kits and books for library
~$20,500
Philanthropy
Includes donation to Inglewood Elementary
~$1,000
Professional Development
By teacher request
~$1,500
Supplies/Equipment
Includes P.E. equipment and copy paper for school
~$3,500
Teacher Appreciation
Because we love our teachers!
~$4,200

Tips for A Successful Auction Night

The annual Dan Mills' Spring Auction and Art Show night is upon us this week! We thought we'd share a few tips with you so you can have an easy and enjoyable evening.

1. Pre-Register for a Bidder Number.

You can register at the event the evening of the auction, but there will also be a line.  Take less than a minute to pre-register for your bidder number now, and you’ll have everything you need to walk into the auction and start bidding on the items you want! 

2. Volunteer!

Lots of volunteers are needed to help run a successful auction. So please consider signing up for just a short shift. Volunteering is a way to give back to Dan Mills, and your time is greatly appreciated. Sign up to volunteer here!

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3. Come Hungry!

D’s & J BBQ, Steaming Goat and That’s My Dawg food trucks will be open in the front drive starting at 4:30.  The bake sale team will also have goodies for sale in the cafeteria.

4. Pay for your item and take it home when the auction ends.

Checkout tables will be set up to make checkout easy and quick! By paying for and taking home your winnings at the close of the auction, it will prevent you from having to come in later to claim your item.

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5. Sign up for Venmo if you haven’t already.

Winners will be able to pay with cash, check, Venmo, or credit card. Cash, check and Venmo will be the fastest ways to pay.  There are no fees that are charged through Venmo…so that’ll ultimately be more money that goes back to Dan Mills.

6. Have fun!

There will be lots of great items at this year’s auction!  Know that your money will be used to help fund enhanced school safety and to compensate for budget cuts, so bid enthusiastically on something that you’ll enjoy!

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What Is It About All This Spring Auction Talk?

No doubt you're aware that our annual Dan Mills' Spring Auction and Art Show is coming up NEXT WEEK, Thursday, April 19. (And if you don't know what I'm talking about, let me help you out and direct you to our webpage on it here.) So the question to answer for you now is "why should you care?" 

My answer is two-fold: (1) The spring auction portion is a BIG fundraiser for the PTO and our school and, with the MNPS budget cuts and recent security concerns, the money we earn is of great importance. And, (2) We have some awesome items up for auction this year in all kinds of categories - health & fitness, jewelry & art, food & dining, music & entertainment, home services, fashion & beauty, teacher experiences and more! You just never know what you'll stumble across at the auction that you have yet to find the right opportunity to purchase. <wink, wink>

Check out the gallery below for a preview of some of the items to be auctioned.

And don't forget! We're using bidder numbers this year to streamline the bidding and checkout process. Bidder numbers can be obtained by getting a FREE ticket. You only need one ticket per family. Pre-register today to get your FREE ticket!

You can make an entire evening out of this event ... there'll be food trucks for dinner (starting at 4:30pm), 1st & 2nd grade musical performances and the annual art show where all the students' artwork from the year will be on display throughout the school.

More details on the event, including the schedule and volunteer opportunities, can be found on our Spring Auction webpage.

Showing Appreciation For Our Crossing Guard

Ms. Sonya with her handmade card

Ms. Sonya with her handmade card

Here at Dan Mills we feel strongly about honoring ALL the people who help our school run smoothly ... and our crossing guard, Ms. Sonya, is no exception! Dan Mills' parent, Elizabeth Sullivan, spearheaded an effort to collect money from parents and gift something to our steadfast crossing guard for Crossing Guard Appreciation. And boy did you all come through! We were able to raise more than $500!!

Families gifted Ms. Sonya with a beautiful, homemade card and a gift card in the amount raised. She was very grateful for the surprise gift. And we are so glad we could show a tiny bit of appreciation for all that our crossing guard does every school morning and afternoon.

Thank you to all the parents who contributed money, the students who signed the card and Ms. Holt and the art department for designing the card.

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Ways To Help Our School Amidst Budget Cuts and Spending Freezes

As most of you have probably already heard, MNPS has proposed an adjustment in the budget and allocation of funds to individual schools for the 2018-19 school year. The district has also immediately instituted a hiring, travel and purchasing freeze at schools in light of a $7.5 million shortfall for the year.

I'm not here to discuss the ins and outs of MNPS budgeting, though you may read about it on The Tennessean here: "How the upcoming Nashville public schools budget proposal will impact your child's school" and "Nashville school board members call for a review of expenditures in light of $7.5 million shortfall."

Dan Mills' PTO is dedicated to supporting our school in whatever way possible so that our students, teachers and administration can thrive. So here are some things you, the parents of Dan Mills, can do to help our school.

  • Reach out to your child's teacher and ask if there's anything they need in the classroom to get through to the end of the year.
  • Attend our Spring Auction fundraiser on April 19. And bring your wallet! ;)
  • Volunteer in the classroom. Talk to your child's teacher and see if they have tasks they need help completing.
  • Get involved with the PTO.
  • Gift your child's teacher with an Amazon gift card or another gift card to a school supply store.
  • Attend our PTO Live! meetings to see where else you can plug in.
  • Tell your teachers "thank you."
  • Donate to the PTO - contact us if you'd like to. The funds collected by the PTO directly go back to the school to fund such things as increased security measures, computers, teacher supplies, literacy kits, teacher requests, and all kinds of other things.

Have more ideas? Share them in the comments!

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You Got It? We'll Take It!! A Call For Auction Items.

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Do you own a business? Do you provide a service? Do you have a talent? Do you know someone else who has any of these? Do you have access to cool people - artists, musicians, etc.? Do you not have any inhibitions and can ask people for anything?

If you answered yes to any of the the above, then by golly tell us! The PTO is still collecting auction items for our Annual Spring Auction. It can be a gift card to a restaurant, teaching guitar lessons, providing electrical work, really cool memorabilia (you know, for anyone who is tied to the music business ... wink, wink), babysitting services, or anything you can think of that people might want. We also need volunteers who can go door to door to local businesses and ask for donations.

We're determined to make this auction the best one yet! Proceeds from this fundraiser will hopefully go towards security measures AND help offset yet more budget cuts at Dan Mills.

If you have items to donate to the auction or want to help solicit more auction items, contact Jen McCarter.

East Nashville Chiropractic Donates to Dan Mills PTO!

In December East Nashville Chiropractic, owned by Dan Mills' parent Kathleen Inman, set a goal of raising $1,000 for Dan Mills Elementary. Well, they met that goal!! At Tuesday's PTO Live! meeting Kathleen presented us with a check for $1,000. 

Thank you East Nashville Chiropractic! It is because of local businesses like you and the great parents we have that we've been able to build a fantastic PTO to support our wonderful school!

Adults (left to right):&nbsp;Kathleen Inman, Dr. Sanders, Paula Howell

Adults (left to right): Kathleen Inman, Dr. Sanders, Paula Howell