A limousine ride to lunch, scooters, squish toys, and reusable water bottles. These were a few of the incentives available to students at The Heights Elementary School who were called on to help raise funds for the school’s PTO by selling cookie dough this fall.

“This is a popular fundraiser, because who doesn’t love cookies?” said Sarah Spalding, the PTO member who organizes the fundraiser.

Throughout the month of October, the entire student body was asked to participate by selling at least 15 boxes of cookie dough, produced by Best Maid Simply Goodness. Any students who went above and beyond and sold 25 boxes were given a special ride in a Hummer limousine for lunch at McDonald’s on Nov. 22. The big prize this year, for students who sold at least 50 items, was a Mongoose scooter – a goal which two of the elementary students reached.

Funding school needs

This is the third year the PTO has done the cookie dough fundraiser. Along with the school discount cards, it is one of few fundraisers put on by the PTO that relies on direct participation from the students. So fair, Spalding said, the fundraiser has been profitable.

“The amount of money we earn for the overall work that we have to do is very good,” she said.

Last year, profits from the fundraiser were used to purchase additional Chromebooks for the classrooms. This year, Spalding said, some of the money will go toward purchasing a new set of large foam blocks that can be used indoors or outdoors during recess. Additionally, part of the money will go toward funding field trips.

As for the cookie dough, it is available in a variety of flavors, including peanut butter, double chocolate chip, sugar, and white chocolate macadamia nut. The dough arrives already divided into individual cookies in the box, which is “super handy,” said Jessica Rainey, a PTO member who helped orchestrate cookie dough delivery at the school Nov. 14. People have the option of cooking one or two at night without having to make an entire batch of dough, she added.

Prizes and pride

Everyone who participates is encouraged to sell at least one box of cookie dough, but at three boxes, they start to earn prizes, Spalding said.

Of The Heights’ approximately 430 students, 128 participated in the fundraiser this year. Of those participants, roughly 25% sold the requested 15 or more items, while 19 students sold 25 or more items and earned the limo ride to lunch.

Rainey’s son Logan, a fourth-grade student, said he “always enjoys” doing the cookie dough fundraiser and trying to reach a new goal. His selling strategy includes going around his block and asking his neighbors to purchase boxes, as well as approaching teachers. He also takes order forms with him to ballet classes and other activities.

This year, he sold about 20 boxes, which was enough to get him the water bottle prize he desired. In the past, he’s earned the limo ride to lunch and other prizes.

According to Jessica Rainey, the incentives for the students change slightly each year, and students earn more prizes the more boxes they sell.

Other than the prizes, Spalding said, “the kids do enjoy earning money for their school.”

“They take pride in that,” she added.

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