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:


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!


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.

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.


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
Capital Improvements
Includes Closed Circuit TV System, Security door
Includes IXL, Study Island and Southern Word
Dragon Dash Teacher Funds
Money given to all teachers to use for their classroom
Includes literacy kits and books for library
Includes donation to Inglewood Elementary
Professional Development
By teacher request
Includes P.E. equipment and copy paper for school
Teacher Appreciation
Because we love our teachers!

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.


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.

A few clarifications on fundraisers

There quite a few fundraisers going on right now at Dan Mills. We know! And while none of these current fundraisers are "PTO fundraisers," we know there have been a lot of questions about them and wanted to get some answers for you parents. So here are details on the school staff contact who is responsible and the deadline for each of the three fundraisers going on right now:

  1. Snackin' USA Fundraiser - Principal Yates sent a letter home about this one. It was a fundraiser secured at the beginning of the school year by the main office to help offset budget cuts. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Dan Mills Elementary. Deadline for orders is TOMORROW, February 7. 
  2. St. Jude Math-A-Thon - This is a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Hospital. School contact is Mr. Edwards and deadline for donations is this Friday, February 9.
  3. Jump Rope for Heart - This is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. School contact is Ms. Willliams. There will be a school-wide event on Valentine's Day, February 14, and fundraising ends on Friday, February 16.

Hope this helps clear some things up for everyone.

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