Archive for the ‘PTO’ Category

PTO raising money with two events

Posted: February 13, 2016 in Fundraisers, PTO


By Abraham Viscardi
Cougar News Blog

     The PTO is hosting a bunco night on Saturday and a clothes drive in the office, accepting clothes and household items. Bunco is played in groups with three dice.
     Bunco night will be at 10153 E. Hampton Ave. #104 in Mesa and run from 6-9 p.m.
     The event will be a night of games, prizes, and raffle. Light snacks and drinks will be served.
     “Bunko is February 20 and the and clothing drive is over the day of the dance, February 11,” said teacher and PTO member Lydia Henry.
     “Tickets are $25 dollars per person and will be sold in the office,” said Jada Tina.
     During the group’s second clothing drive of the year, people will be allowed to drop of clothes during office hours and during the Valentine’s Day dance. The PTO is looking for used clothes and household items. Items are weighed and the organization is paid for every pound. Cactus Canyon will be using the raised money to provide instructional materials and support extracurricular activities.
     A cash prize goes to whoever brings in the most pounds of items.



By Gracie Lentz
Cougar News Blog

     The CCJH PTO donated money to yearbook, art, physical education and the life skills program at its meeting in December..
     The group decided to donate $1,500 to Gail McFarland’s art class, Brad Rumple’s P.E. class, Jason Davis’ yearbook and Desirae Bickle’s Life Skills. This money is going to be used to pay for things the class needs or is using for a project of some sort.
     The art class was donated $500, P.E. and yearbook each received $400, and the Life Skills program was donated $200.
     Mr. Davis said he appreciated the donation and will use some to buy better camera equipment.
     “Some of the money went toward the purchase of five yearbooks,” Davis said. “We will be using rest of the the money to buy a new lens or two. They are very expensive, so we may have to save up a little bit.”
     Some of the money will be used to improve older equipment that is no longer useful. It will be used to buy new equipment for the class and new materials that needed to be replaced. Coach Rumple says he appreciates what the PTO has done and will use the money to buy new dodge balls. McFarland is using some of the money to buy ceramic clay for her clay unit.
     “The PTO has helped my classroom in need they have bought weight training equipment and have helped to improve our PE equipment,” he said. “They always come through.”
     The classes having better equipment and materials will benefit students who take the classes.
     “It helps students in class by giving them access to better equipment, which helps everyone produce better images,” Davis said. “Ultimately, that makes our book better, and that benefits everyone who buys one. The nice thing about buying nice equipment is that we can use it for many years so it is a gift that keeps on giving.”

By Skylar Sosa
Cougar News Blog

     Dodgeballs, colored paper, whiteboard markers and more; these are all things different teachers are constantly needing in classrooms. To fix this problem, the PTO is going to be having different fundraisers throughout the school year. The most recent fundraiser being a clothing drive.
     PTO is a parent-teacher organization to help the school in all areas. Last year, SMART projectors were bought for classrooms from fundraising and they want to accomplish a goal such as this once again.
     “We want to see if there is anything teachers need extra in their classes to make their job easier,” Mrs. Henry, a member of the PTO, said.
     The clothing drive drop off took place at the Halloween dance, and according to teachers, was very successful. Due to this, PTO plans to have another clothing drive in the spring.
     “We chose the Halloween dance for the pick up day thinking when parents dropped off their students, they could also drop off clothes or other items,” said Henry.
     The drive was helped by Clothing Cycle, a company that collects donations and pays the school according to the number of pounds received. It then sells the clothes in secondhand shops.
     Not only is the fundraising for teachers, but it overall is for students. Without the fundraising last year, most of the SMART projectors at CCJH wouldn’t be there. PTO wants students to recognize that without events like the clothing drive, there wouldn’t be what there is today.
     “I want to see people in nice clothing,” said Nikki Hall, member of Student Council. “I think school programs like this helps make this happen.”
     The most recent PTO meeting took place on Nov. 9 and they are constantly looking for new member to be apart of the team.
     “We are looking for more members so would like any other parents to feel welcome to join,” Henry said.

By Pauline Harner
Cougar News Blog

     Eighth-graders at Cactus Canyon will be having a promotional dance on Friday, May 15. It will be from 7-9 p.m. at the Multi-Generational Center. The purpose of this dance is to show recognition to students for their achievement.
     The PTO believes in all of the eighth-graders, and all of their successes. They also believe that all of their hard work should be rewarded.
     “I hope that students will therefore bring this concept into the future with them,” said PTO president, Dena Kimble. “Working hard pays off and does not go unnoticed.”
     This is a “formal” dance, meaning girls should wear a dress and boys should wear slacks and a nice shirt. It’s prom. No ripped jeans or jean shorts, but girls can wear dressy shorts.
     “I think that it’s more formal than the other usual dances the school has had,” said eighth-grader Stephany Gomez.
     PTO has been planning this celebration for a couple of months. There will be food, drinks, cupcakes, a DJ, and decorations. Tickets will be available the night of the dance as well as up in the office with Ms. Jodi for $10.
     PTO hopes students will purchase tickets by Wednesday because it would really help have a head count for food purchase.
     “I expect to see people having a good time and dancing,” said eighth-grader Ravyn Fairchild. “I don’t think there will be anything different about the dance.”
     This event is not a fundraiser and should be cost-neutral, meaning the PTO won’t be making any money nor losing any money.

PTO to host year’s final events

Posted: May 7, 2015 in PTO

By Jessie J.
Cougar News Blog

     Cactus Canyon’s PTO is holding an end-of-the-year dance from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, to celebrate the end of the school year.
     Tickets will be $6, but the dance is not a major fundraiser for the group.
     “PTO believes in celebrating a successful year and likes to do something special and fun for our students,” said president Dena Kimble. “We don’t expect to raise a lot of money, the event is all about the kids.”
     PTO is going to be selling all sorts of things from food to games, pizza, drinks, glow items, and is going to have glow face painting and games.
     “Our theme is (a) black light dance, so we will have black lights and glow-in-the-dark neon things,” said Kimble.
     Since this is the last dance at CCJH for eighth graders, it is bittersweet for some students.
     PTO also plans on having a promotion celebration event next week.
     “PTO will be having a special eighth-grade promotion dance from 6-9 p.m. Friday, May 15, at the Multi-Generational Center. It will be formal,” says Kimble.

PTO to hold clothing drive

Posted: October 17, 2014 in Fundraisers, PTO, Technology
By Hannah Wolfe
Cougar News Blog
     Cactus Canyon Junior High’s Parent Teacher Organization is holding a clothing drive fundraiser on Oct. 25 to help purchase new learning equipment for classrooms.
     A company called the Clothing Cycle will weigh and pick up clothes that have been donated. They accept used clothing, backpacks, fabric, bedding, hats, curtains, stuffed animals, belts, towels, etc. They pay 15 cents per pound.
     Dena Kimble, the president of the PTO, decided to do this type of fundraiser for two particular reasons. Number one, there’s no cost to the parents or the PTO, and the PTO is paid for every pound collected. Number two, it’s a green fundraiser, which makes it good for the environment.
     Items that cannot be reused will be recycled, like the rubber on the bottom of shoes.
     The money raised will go to the school for technology to help students in the classroom.
     “The money raised will go towards purchasing Interactive Smart Projectors for classrooms to improve classroom learning, instruction and participation,” said Kimble.
Anyone who brings in over 50 pounds of clothing gets a chance at having a pizza party with some Arizona Cardinals football players, and whoever brings in the most pounds of clothing gets a cash prize.
     Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, in the CCJH parking lot.

By Alysa Rippee
Cougar News Blog

Cactus Canyon is drawing in a new resource to help enhance the learning experience in the classrooms. A way where multiple students can use the wall as a lesson. With this technology, writing on the wall is not only acceptable, but encouraged.
CCJH has just given a home to a new use of technology that will be used in multiple classes to help students enjoy learning. Thanks to fundraising efforts by the Cactus Canyon PTO, SMART Tech projectors have been put into the science and language art classrooms around the school. Seventh grade teacher Candice Wyatt was one of the first teachers to try out the SMART projectors before they began putting them into other classrooms at CCJH.
The SMART projectors allow teachers to project images on any flat surface and use the interactive pen to write on the surface. The high definition projector also has speakers and a microphone for listening to videos or doing voice recordings.
“I’m excited about having the new technology. Hopefully my students will help me find new and fun ways to learn science using the SMART projector,” eighth grade teacher Candice Wyatt said.
So far, the only challenges with the projectors include the teachers having to use and figuring out how to integrate them into the students’ learning.
“My challenge is having enough time to learn the new programs and implementing them into my classroom,” Wyatt said.
Eighth grader Jessica Sigler explained how it is entertaining to watch the teachers try to figure out how to use the SMART projectors.
“The adjustment to having SMART (projectors) in classrooms is going to be hard for the teachers,” she said. “This is new technology to them and trying to teach and learn at the same time must be challenging.”
The projectors were funded by the Parent Teacher Organization. Wyatt said that the SMART projectors will provide more student centered work that helps student be more comfortable with sharing their work with the class.
“SMART projectors are less expensive than SMART Boards but just as interactive,” eighth grade teacher Tammy Howard said. “They are an excellent way of integrating technology into curriculum and are a great way to engage students.”
Some students have expressed that they have previously worked with SMART boards, another technology by SMART Tech company. For most, this is their first time experiencing the technology.
“It’s very interactive which is fun and will have more kids paying attention,” eighth grader Evan Quiroz said, “It’s good because I’m a visual learner; it keeps me focused.”

By Paige Mace
Staff writer

For Cactus Canyon eighth graders, promotion is just around the corner. This year the PTO will be hosting a party after the ceremony as a way of rewarding students for their hard work and accomplishments.
The promotion will be at 8 a.m., Wednesday, May 23, at Davis Field. The after-party is right after at The Views at Superstition in Gold Canyon. Students should dress nicely for each event.
Promotion is very difficult to plan; there are a lot of things that must be done.
“I have to start checking on grades early in the year, usually after second quarter,” said assistant principal Joyce Gingrich. “As it gets closer, I get a list of eighth graders and cross off any who won’t be promoting. Then I write the names on a chart in the order students will walk up to get their certificates. I have to arrange for teachers to help, teachers to help cover classes for teachers helping, plan the time schedules of practice.”
The Views at Superstition, 6900 E. U.S. Highway 60, Suite 204, is located east of the Bashas’ shopping plaza in Gold Canyon. The party will be open immediately following the ceremony until 1:30 p.m.
“We wanted a special place for the students to meet and celebrate immediately following the ceremony, so they can stay in their fancy attire and have some quality time together,” said Terri Hensen, president of the PTO.
Admission to the party is $10 per student and includes food and beverage.
Visit for more information.

PTO organizes laser tag event

Posted: May 18, 2012 in PTO

By Sammi Sobel
Staff writer

The PTO at Cactus Canyon is holding an end-of-the year event for the students at Stratum Laser Tag.
The event will be from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, at Stratum, which is just north of U.S. Highway 60 on Stapley Road. Students, teachers, and families are invited to attend.
PTO member Paula Koszarek said the group chose to hold a laser tag event at the of the year, because they were thinking of things the students, parents, and teachers could do together to celebrate the end of the school year. The event is being held in order for everyone to blow off some steam and enjoy hanging out and having fun together.
“We’re always looking for fundraising events that are also “fun” for the kids. To offer opportunities for parents, teachers and students to connect outside of the classroom can only be beneficial,” she said. “(PTO president) Terri Hensen contacted Stratum Laser to inquire about their school events. They were happy to accommodate us.”
The PTO exists to help the school be a better place with better opportunities, awareness and programs. The PTO is an integral part in school life and helps fund activities, purchase needed items for the school, enhance the campus, and many other things. In these times of shrinking school budgets, the PTO has taken on increased importance in our community. When parents get involved in their children’s education, Koszarek said, the children do better in school and the school as a whole becomes more successful.
“We do not have specific goals for this (activity). You come if you want to have fun,” said Koszarek. “But I heard some of the teachers (are) boasting on their Laser Tag abilities. Are the students up for the challenge?”
Stratum will donate a percentage of its proceeds to Cactus Canyon, but a flyer is required. Fliers can be picked up in the school office or printed by clicking the photo.

By Samantha Collins
Staff writer

On May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., the PTO is holding an end of the year dance. The theme of the dance will be beach/Hawaiian.
Students at CCJH will be able to participate in hula hoop and limbo contests, wrestle in sumo suits, play free games and get free prizes, take a group photo, or just hang out.
“They’ll be celebrating the end of the year, the beginning of a new adventure and the accomplishments they’ve made,” said Paula Koszarek, PTO vice president of communications. “My famous saying is, ‘Fun is what you bring with you!’ So if you show up, bring your fun with you.”
Not just this one, but all dances involve a lot of planning, purchasing, organizing and volunteers. The PTO members all enjoy pulling these events together for the students, and the students appreciate it.
“Of course it’s worth it,” said PTO President Terri Hensen. “(We) love to organize activities when we can for the kids.”
A way a student would prepare for this dance would be to “go all out” and dress up in a Hawaiian or beach theme, or they might come as they are. This dance is a place where students can just hang out, play games, and plain have fun. They will be celebrating the end of the school year and the hard work and a start to kicking back and having fun.
“The dance is just a way of celebrating accomplishments for the year, blowing off some steam and just to hang out with friends,” Koszarek said. “Kids today don’t have many opportunities to ‘get together’ so what better way to allow just that?”
This dance is a time for Cactus Canyon students, as well as teachers and others who participate, to forget about all of the distractions and just kick back and have fun. Bahama Buck’s will also be selling four different flavors of drinks that students can buy, along with the usual snack bar they have at the dances.
“We’re hoping they dress up funny or quirky for the Hawaiian theme. Anything goes except bikinis,” Hensen said. “Also, practice your hula hoop and do some back bends for the limbo. Oh, and you just might get to see Ms. Aehlert perform some of her fancy dance moves.”