May 4, 2009
You might have noticed that our posts have become somewhat sporadic, and, if you’re really paying attention, you might have also noticed that Julie hasn’t posted in over a month. It’s not that she hasn’t had time to sit down in front the computer. Actually, she’s spent a lot of time in front of the computer:
Julie volunteered to co-run the Glacier Ridge Elementary Supply Sale for the PTO this year. There are some structural changes the PTO wanted to implement this year, and Julie has been creating the overall process at the same time she’s implementing it, including:
Working with the teachers from each grade to get their supply lists nailed down
Working with multiple wholesalers to get samples and pricing for different options (and making recommendations back to the teachers as to how they could improve their supply lists)
Comparison shopping at three local retail stores to be able to compare the overall kit prices sold through the supply sale to what the same kits would cost if a parent wanted to go out and buy each of the items on their own
- Creating order forms from scratch that are both clear and offer parents a lot of options
Color-coding the forms — one color per grade — so that it’s easy to identify which grade each order is for
Promoting the supply sale with the teachers, the parents, and the kids (one big change is that it’s running in the spring this year to allow for more flexibility)
Swinging by the school virtually every day either to drop something off or to pick something up
Doing the data entry on a nightly basis into a database we set up for the sale (which allows her to also send out personalized confirmation emails as she enters the forms, as well as to get a range of reports that both cross-check the data entry and report back to the teachers who in their class has turned in a form and what their overall participation rate has been to date)
She’s really in her element, and she’s expecting to clear several thousand dollars for the PTO — it’s a fundraiser first, but parents benefit both from the convenience of not having to track down supplies and by still paying an overall lower price than if they’d gone out and done all the legwork themselves.
I think she’s planned a 3-day lull somewhere in between now and when the supplies start rolling in in mid-August and needed to be kitted and delivered, but I’m not sure.