Much of the work done by the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) flies under the radar and goes unseen. However, the impact of their work is felt throughout our entire St. Francis Solanus School community. It is the diligent planning and fundraising of the PTO that results in fun extracurricular events like the February Family Dance and the ability to provide additional learning resources to the students and teachers.
Kati Kuhn serves as the current PTO president. Having been at the forefront of the group’s fundraising efforts, Kati has witnessed the positive impact that the PTO’s work has had on the school’s budget and culture.
“We are a small, but mighty crew made up of five
members,” Kati says. “We work closely with Principal Julie Radel and Fr. Arisman to provide financial support to our school and faculty.”
To raise money benefiting the school, the PTO has embraced its new motto of “putting the ‘fun’ back into ‘fundraising.’” Historically, PTO fundraisers have consisted of various types of sales and door-knocking campaigns. Although these campaigns offered fun and creative goods to those who participated in them, they did not achieve the sort of community building that Kati and the PTO members wanted to incorporate into their fundraising efforts.
“We wanted to find unique ways to raise money,” Kati says. “We partnered with Scotties FunSpot to host a sponsorship night each month, where part of the proceeds is donated to us. With the participation of our families on these nights, we raise about $100 a month — which, by the end of the school year, accumulates to a good amount of money.”
The PTO has also hosted other fun trivia events and dances that double as an opportunity for
St. Francis Solanus families to get together and raise money to benefit the school.
“Our Family Dance, hosted right after Valentine’s Day, was a great success,” Kati says. “We had about 40 families come and cut loose on the dance floor. We hired a DJ for the event and provided snacks and cookies. By the end of the night, we received such positive feedback that we hope to make it an annual event.”
The money that the PTO raises directly benefits the teachers and students at St. Francis Solanus School. To give a few examples of how this money is spent, this past year, the PTO was able to replace the learning rug for the kindergarten class. They also provided top-of-the-line software to help students learn math and covered the cost of the bus for the sixth-grade field trip.
“Our hope is that the financial support we are able to provide can help expand the school’s budget and provide the students and teachers with some of their ‘wants’ rather than just their needs,” Kati says.
The PTO’s success is dependent on volunteers’ stewardship and familial support of the fundraisers and events. The small group is always looking for more volunteers. There are many ways for you to help the PTO raise money for the school and build the school community. You can join the group as an active member or help the PTO organize a single event.
If you would like more information on joining or assisting with the PTO, please contact Kati Kuhn at PTO@stfrancissolanus.com.