Funds Requests

Educational Resources and Enhancements represent the largest allocation of the Hillside PTO's 2023-2024 Budget.

The 2023-2024 PTO Budget maintains a "Discretionary Funds Request" line item. Funds Requests allow our excellent Staff to submit proposals for impactful and supplemental resources, activities, or programs that enhance the quality of education and extend learning for students and staff.  

Programs and educational materials that contribute to a richer academic environment take precedent. The PTO desires to fund activities and materials that impact either a large group of students or staff, and/or impact a group that has a particular need that is not or cannot be adequately met through resources provided by LCPS.

Funds Requests are due by 9/30 in the Fall and by 2/15 in the Spring, to ensure that funds raised this year are allocated to resources utilized this year. The Funds Requests workflow also ensures that the PTO does not exceed its yearly startup budget. By allocating approximately 50% of expected Educational Resources expenses to "Discretionary Funds Requests" to be distributed after the first Annual Fundraiser, the PTO is able to determine how much can be funded, contingent upon how much was raised. 

Here are some of the 2023-2024 Educational Resources and Enhancements we've funded thus far:

Collapsible content

Educational Resources We've Funded This Year (2023-2024):

  • Classroom Stipends ($6,000 total = $200 per every grade-level classroom)
  • Meet the Author visits and assemblies
  • Dr. Recess Program: an on-site assembly and games program that promotes the importance of being active and living a healthy life by using developmentally appropriate games to teach social/emotional skills, thinking skills, and motor skills to elementary school children and staff.
  • Scholastic Magazines to requested grade levels
  • January 2024 World Culture Fair
  • May 2024 STEAM Showcase
  • Hawk Cafe: New cart and consumables for the year (the Hawk Cafe program gives SPED students the opportunity to increase their communication and money skills in a project based learning environment. The proceeds are donated to a charity of the students' choice).
  • Sponsoring Odyssey of the Mind

2023-2024 Pending Spring Funds Requests

Ancients Day (additional funding) - The 3rd Grade Team

Purpose: The 3rd Grade Team requests additional funding to support the 3rd Grade's Ancients Day ($500 was approved during the Fall Funds Request period). Includes reusables and consumables.

Requested Amount: $500.00

Career Day Presenter Luncheon - Summer Cali (Counseling)

Purpose: Provide lunch and refreshments to approximately 35 career day volunteer presenters.

Requested Amount: ~ $400.00

The Classroom Nook Licenses - The 3rd Grade Team

Purpose: The 3rd Grade Team is requesting annual licenses for LINKTIVITY to provide fun student interactive learning opportunities for the students across the curriculum.

Requested Amount: $285.00

Field Day Obstacle Bounce House & Popsicle - Hope Booth (PE)

Purpose: 60' obstacle course bounce house for all students on Field Day, plus 700 popsicles.

Requested Amount: $675.00

4th & 5th Grade Book Club - Jennie Monkelien (Gifted Resource)

Purpose: I would like to start a book club with fourth and fifth grade gifted education students. These books would provide students with the exposure of more challenging reading material and deepen their reading comprehension skills. The books selected will help to foster an appreciation of multiple genres and provide students with a variety of books that they can choose from during the reading unit.

If accepted, this request only involves a one-time purchase, and the books would remain at Hillside to be used by students each year. The books selected include:

  • Book Scavenger (5 copies)
  • The Detective's Assistant (5 copies)
  • A Tangle of Knots (5 copies)
  • Chasing Vermeer (4 copies)

Requested Amount: $160.41

National Art Education Association's National Conference - Melissa Mandak (Art)

Purpose: Presenting at the National Art Education Association's National Conference in Minneapolis. Ms. Mandak is requesting airfare reimbursement.

Requested Amount: $318.00

Odyssey of the Mind State Competition Registration - Rachel Mann (Odyssey of the Mind Chair)

Purpose: Two teams are advancing to the Virginia Odyssey of the Mind state tournament. The fee to registers is $90 per team. There is $70 remaining in the Odyssey of the Mind PTO Budget, and I am requesting an additional $110.

Requested Amount: $110.00

Potato Olympics & End of Year Activities - The 5th Grade Team

Purpose: End-of-year activities for 5th Grade: Potato Olympics and playing cards, decorations, and supplies.

Requested Amount: $250.00

STEAM and Celebration Materials & Supplies - The Kindergarten Team

Purpose: The Kindergarten Team is requesting funds to purchase the following:

  • Spring Planting (soil, seeds, containers)
  • Caterpillars
  • Mother's Day Gift Supplies
  • End-of-year Celebration Supplies

Requested Amount: $300.00

World Cultures Escape Room - The 3rd Grade Team

Purpose: The 3rd Grade Team is requesting 5 teacher licenses for a bulk purchase of World Cultures Escape Rooms to support student learning and review in a fun and engaging way.

Requested Amount: $92.00

2023-2024 Approved Fall Funds Requests

3D Printer - Deborah Haynie (Technology)

Purpose: I am looking to purchase a 3D printer for our school. The current one we have is a smaller, cheaper model that encounters a number of issues which hinders the ability to do a true rollout of 3D modeling and printing.

My goal for Hillside is to use the printer with meaningful purpose connected to CS standards and content.

Examples of this might be:

  • Designing models of the ocean floor.
  • 3D-print braille shelf markers for the Library.
  • Print a set of teeth to help teach.
  • Design/Print artifacts for students to see 3D examples when learning about other cultures.
  • Design/Print atom or cell models.
  • Fossil replication.
  • PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) items for student connection.
  • Print school-specific manipulatives for the younger grades to use.
  • Create the phases of the moon.
  • and so much more!

3D Herndon has a partnership with LCPS to provide 3D printers at a discount and also provide help maintaining and training staff for its use. The model I am requested is used by a number of LCPS schools and has been found to be an extremely reliable 3D Printer.

Model: UM2+C 3D Printer, Ultimaker 2+ Connected 3D Printer includes: A USB stick and USB cables, Swappable 0.4 nozzle, A 0.75kg spool of Ultimaker PLA, Cura print preparation software, Ultimaker Essentials/Personal software, Comprehensive 12 month warranty, Lifetime expert support.

Thank you for your consideration of this purchase.

Requested Amount: $2612.50

9 Square in the Air - Hope Booth (PE)

Purpose: 9 Square in the Air is an interactive game that all students can enjoy. It focuses on hand-eye coordination and striking skills.

Requested Amount: $963.64

Ancients Day - The 3rd Grade Team

Purpose: The 3rd Grade Team requests supplies for each classroom (5) to study a different country. There are 5 countries.

As part of the 3rd Grade Social Sciences standards, students will be learning about five different ancient civilizations--ancient China, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and ancient Mali. The focus of our studies are the geography of each civilization, the contributions of each civilization, and how people in ancient world cultures adapted to their environment.

As part of our end of unit studies, the 3rd Grade Team is planning a grade level “Ancients Day” event “Ancients Day” will occur throughout most of the day (outside of lunch and recess). As part of “Ancients Day,” each classroom will be transformed into one of the five ancient civilizations studied. Each classroom will then sponsor a variety of learning stations related to their civilization.

Learning stations may include coding activities, STEAM/child engineering activities, and/or interactive tasks. Individual classes will then “travel” from civilization to civilization as they apply learned Social Science skills and concepts. To provide further
enrichment to students as part of this event, the Third Grade Team will collaborate with Music, P.E.and Computer Science/Technology.

Requested Amount: $500.00

Early Childhood Special Education Materials - Oskeola Coniku & Elizabeth Tao (ECSE)


  • Sensory toys and materials
  • Literacy materials
  • Light covers
  • Kids rocking chair
  • Cause & effect toys
  • Popup tent for sensory

Requested Amount: $300

Incubators for Chick Hatching - Kathy Dailey & Sara Breitzmann (Kindergarten)

Purpose: We need 2 new Brinsea Products Mini II Advance Automatic 7-Egg Incubators so we can hatch new chicks. Our current ones have not worked the last 2 years.

Requested Amount: $423.98

Lego League Robotics Program - Tom Hallett & Bhaven Pandya (Hillside Robotics)

Purpose: Hillside Robotics is seeking funds to implement the Lego League Educational Program by purchasing three 'Lego SPIKE Prime' Kits. These kits will accommodate two teams of 5th graders and one team of 4th graders for this year's program and for years to come since the materials are meant to be reused.

Transitioning to the Lego League from SeaPerch (used last year) aligns with Hillside Elementary's existing program: Deborah Haynie, the Technology Instructional Facilitator, utilizes Lego Education at Hillside. She is excited that Lego League has challenges which are open-ended and exploratory, so that students have to use trial-and-error to come up with their own solutions.

Additionally, Eagle Ridge Middle School uses "Lego League" for their robotics program, so it creates a cohesive path for our Hillside students to progress. Lego League has elements of computer programming, which is a skillset requested by both parents and students.

This is a one-time materials investment to be used by the Hillside Robotics program for multiple years. Each Lego Education SPIKE Prime Kit includes:

  • 1,100 building elements
  • hardware such as a distance sensor, force sensor, wheels, gears, gyro sensor
  • the ability to code python in the SPIKE app

With a maximum of three 4th-5th grade teams:

  • 3 x Lego Education SPIKE Prime Kits (1 per team) = $533.90 each
  • Shipping & Handling

Requested Amount: $1,761 at maximum

Paul Revere Lantern Project - Melissa Mandak and Nicka Pretorius (Art)

Purpose: Fourth-grade students will learn about Jamestown's various artists and artisans. They will explore the art of tin smithing and craft tin lanterns, drawing inspiration from the Paul Revere lantern design. These lanterns work well when illuminated with battery-operated tea lights.

I am seeking funding to obtain 150 tea lights for our students.

Requested Amount: $58

Red Carpet Day - The 3rd Grade Team

Purpose: The 3rd Grade Team requests funding for a grade-level nonfiction writing celebration.

As part of the 3rd Grade Informational Writing Unit in Quarter 2, students will be writing and publishing their own nonfiction book.

In addition, the Third Grade Team will be collaborating with Specials Teachers (i.e., Library and Art) to provide further enrichment opportunities that support the students’ writing.

To encourage our student authors and provide parents with a unique
opportunity to celebrate their child’s success, the Third Grade Team is
planning a Red Carpet Day/Publishing Party. The Red Carpet Day/Publishing Party will begin in each classroom, where the students will present their nonfiction books to classmates and parents. In true Hollywood style, students will walk down the red carpet with their books & get their “paparazzi photo” taken with their published book.

Individual classroom celebrations will be followed by a grade level celebration in the library with students, parents, teachers, &
administrators. The grade level celebration will include an
assortment of treats and “swag bags” for each of our published
authors. Students and families will get the opportunity to socialize and
celebrate their hard work.

Following the Red Carpet Publishing Party, student books and artwork
will be on display in the library.

Requested Amount: $500.00

Scholastic Magazines - Hillside Staff

Purpose: The Hillside PTO's approved 2023-2024 budget allocates $3,000 to Scholastic magazines as curriculum support for teachers who have requested it.

The final cost was $3,616.89, so the request is for PTO to fund the balance.

Requested Amount: $616.89

Squishy Circuit Sculptures - Melissa Mandak and Nicka Pretorius (Art)

Purpose: Third-grade students will craft Squishy Circuit Sculptures, which they will showcase at the PTO STEAM event. During this activity, students will engage with conductive and insulating Playdoh to learn knowledge of how electrical circuits work.

This process of creating a three-dimensional sculpture that lights up requires problem-solving skills and introduces engineering concepts to the students.

We are requesting funds for the Playdoh that is needed for this project for all Third Grade Students.

Requested Amount: $290