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What the PTO Funds and Supports

The PTO funds and supports several exciting initiatives in District 29.

Click below to see more about how we’re making a difference.

PTO Gifts Program

The majority of the funds we raise go toward the PTO Gifts Grant Funding Program. Teachers, students, parents and members of the community can submit proposals for school enhancements outside of the district budget.

Fall Event - Movie in the Park

Pack a blanket and head to Clarkson Park to enjoy some snacks, entertainment from a live DJ, and a great movie!

School Supplies

The PTO works with a school supply vendor to pre-order all school supply lists for students in the district. By offering this service to parents, the district creates ease of preparing for a new school year. Orders can be made on the PTO website in the spring and then kits are delivered to the classroom, and ready on the first day of school.

Mentor Family Program & Ice Cream Social

The PTO is dedicated to making every new family feel welcome, and in doing so, we match them with a mentor family to answer any questions they have as they navigate the schools during their first year. Within the first few weeks of school, the PTO organizes a New Family Ice Cream Social to bring mentor families and new families together to enjoy and to continue to provide guidance. This has become a wonderful tradition within District 29.

Bike Safety Week (3rd Grade)

PTO assists Mrs. Kasper in bringing a fun and educational experience to third graders regarding Bike Safety. They review rules of bike safety, have bikes registered with the village, and learn the best and safest route from their home to school. It is a worthwhile and fun week that gets third graders prepared to head to school soon after on “their wheels.”

AM Recreation Program at SRS (4th & 5th Grade)

The PTO fully funds the SRS AM Recreation Program for the 4th and 5th grade. Should a parent need to drop their child off early at SRS, the AM Rec program allows kids to come in before school starts and have fun in the gym. The program is available every week during the school year, and is supervised by SRS PE teachers.

Social Dance (6th Grade)

Get on your dancing shoes! All 6th graders are invited to this grade specific opportunity in which students work with professional dance instructors that lead them through a variety of dances.
Dances are held on specific Fridays in October through December. The fun ends with a student and parent dance which is fun for all!

8th Grade Events

8th Grade is a big year that brings great excitement and many additional activities for those soon to be graduates. Events include: school year kick-off party; midwinter party; beach potluck party; yearbook signing party; 8th grade graduation ceremony, reception, and after party. Makes us all want to go back to 8th Grade to join in the FUN!

Coding Program at Middlefork

As many parents know, computer coding has become necessary knowledge in our ever-changing technology world. Funds raised through the PTO have been able to fully fund this great program at Middlefork, where kids can learn to code before, during or after school, at no cost to the parent.

Teacher Appreciation

To convey our gratitude and appreciation for faculty, staff and administration, the PTO organizes special events and treats during Teacher Appreciation Week.

  • Responsible for organizing a special week for District 29 employees.

  • Create a project for the students to express their appreciation for District 29 faculty and staff.

  • Provide daily treats and catered luncheon.

  • Decorate the teacher lounge

Author Visits

Provides interesting speakers and author visits for both schools and searches for and funds engaging assemblies for both schools.


PTO publishes an online school directory to assist parents with contact information for families within the District 29 Community. 

Library Materials

Each school year the PTO grants both Sunset Ridge and Middlefork School libraries funds towards the purchase of new materials for the libraries. Through this effort, children are able to enjoy the latest and greatest titles in literature each year.

Book Fair

Every Fall, the PTO holds a Book Fair for District 29 families. It is a great venue to find age-appropriate books for the entire family and an opportunity to purchase books for District 29 based on the librarians’ and teachers’ Wish Lists. Whether browsing books, listening to an administrator read a special picture book, or enjoying a staff Reader’s Theater production it is always a fun event!

Family Fun Fair

Hosted in partnership with the Northfield Park District, the Family Fun Fair is an afternoon for our community to enjoy, relax, laugh and celebrate another completed school year and beginning of summer with staff, family and friends. Farmer’s Market + Face Painter + Airbrushed Tattoos + Bounce Houses + Gaga Ball + Bingo + DJ + Family Races + Food Trucks + Beer & Wine Tent + Live Entertainment = A FABULOUS kick off to summer!

Junior Great Books Program

With the help of PTO parent volunteers, the Junior Great Books program is led by a teacher for students at Middlefork School.  It provides an opportunity for children to read selections, reflect, share their ideas and opinions in a group setting. Literature has been chosen that challenges children, sparks ideas, and promotes thoughtful discussions. 

Holiday Gift Giving Projects

Every year, parents, teachers, children and administrators work together to sponsor a comprehensive donation effort towards the Northwestern Settlement House.  The PTO coordinates a food and gift donation effort in November and December.  Administration educates the children about the Settlement house in anticipation of the drive through school presentations. The PTO coordinates shopping trips for 5th-8th grader’s, and the parents and teachers accompany 4th grade students and the student ambassador members to the Settlement House to stuff pinatas and stockings. Student Ambassadors at Sunset Ridge work with PTO chairs to load the trucks while the Dedicated Dolphins (2-3 grade Student Council) make labels for the gifts.

PTO Gifts Grant Program

Every fall the PTO  Gifts Grant Committee  collects funding requests made by teachers, staff, parents, or students that fall outside of the line item PTO or school budgets.  The PTO Gifts program allows the PTO to donate funds to provide further opportunities for District 29 students. The purpose of the PTO Gifts should be the following:

  1. To provide one-time start up “seed money”

Grants or contributions used to start a new project or club/organization.

  1. To fund requests that were not in the PTO/school approved budget (unexpected or extraordinary).

Something new comes up in the course of the school year and can’t be paid for at that time.

  1. To fund programs that extend or enhance the core instructional program.

Items that will enhance or improve the core curriculum within the school/classroom.

  1. To fund programs that benefit as many students as possible.

Either at the time of funding or long term.

The PTO encourages all teachers, staff, parents, and students to submit proposals for the PTO Gifts Grant Funding Program. Upon submission, all proposals will be vetted by the administration to determine if they can be or are already covered by the approved yearly budget. The vetted proposals will then be made available to all PTO members in order to solicit feedback. This feedback will be shared at the PTO Gifts Committee meeting, at which the Committee will review the proposals and funding will be determined. The PTO Gifts Grant Funding Committee is made up of Administrators, PTO Executive Board members, a School Board member, and teachers. Approved proposals will be announced by the following PTO meeting.

Additional Programs funded by the PTO

Back to School Luncheon, Gifts to celebrate staff anniversaries, Staff Conference Meals, and the Winter Benefit. 

Click below to see the PTO budget per school year.




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