How Does the PTO Spend Its Money?

The DLS PTO supports a wide range of projects and activities to benefit the school community and our students. 

For May 12 we highlight Teacher Mini Grants.

All teachers at DLS have $200 each year to use as they see fit to support their classrooms. These grants are spent in a variety of ways depending on the needs of the class. For example, the 3rd-grade Spanish program classes joined forces at the beginning of the year to purchase butterfly kits for their students. Recently, Ms. Fatima purchased new books and dictionaries with her mini grant to support her 4th-grade Spanish students.

For April 14 we highlight two DLS events that benefit from PTO support:  Chinese New Year and Fiesta Hispanica.

DLS’s take on Chinese New Year, the biggest Chinese holiday of the year, is enough to wow even native Chinese audience members and bring them back to their childhoods.  Fiesta Hispanica’s energy, excitement, and brilliant colors embrace both Spanish and Latin American cultures.
The pageantry, song, and dance are made possible, in part, by the 
PTO.  The PTO uses its funds to rent the performance spaces and purchase some of the decorations.  PTO volunteers oversee ticket sales, decoration of the stage, feeding teachers and students during the performances, and chaperoning students while not performing.
Gwen, Eva, our wonderful teachers, and our group of talented kids impress us every year with their language, dancing, and singing skills!

For October 21 we highlight Kindles for classrooms.

In the spring, the PTO purchased 6 Kindles for each K-5 classroom. All sorts of apps have been loaded on them for math & science instruction as well as chapter books in Spanish as well as iChinese readers for the Mandarin classes. 

For October 14 we highlight Destination Imagination.

Destination Imagination is a non-profit organization primarily run by volunteers, whose mission is to prepare kids to be the innovators of the future. Destination Imagination teams are comprised of 2-7 members. Each team finds solutions to two separate types of challenges: team challenges and instant challenges. They present their solutions to appraisers in tournament-style settings. Students combine the arts, sciences and technology to develop solutions while learning 21st century skills (creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, citizenship and courage), stepping outside of their comfort zones to pursue ideas and make presentations, and building on their unique strengths. 

Last year, the DLS PTO contributed towards the cost of travel for our team that qualified for the Global Finals in Knoxville, TN. There were 17,000 attendees from 21 countries. DLS placed 5th out of 98 teams in the Instant Challenge and tied for 28th in the Team Challenge. 

We need more parent volunteers to grow our program to allow more students to participate.  Over the last 4 years, DLS has had 1-2 teams, but we would like to expand this great opportunity. If you are interested in becoming a Team Manager, please contact Dawn at or Amy at

For September 30 we highlight Middle School Sports.

In 2015, the PTO contributed $13,000 to support middle school sports. These funds went to pay coaches, league fees, referee fees, transportation fees and some uniforms that will be reused in future years. Fall sports that were supported include flag football, volleyball & cross country.

The DLS Cross Country team ran its first race of the year last Friday in northwest Denver. Both the girls and boys teams ran well and will be back on the starting line again this Friday for another race!

For September 23 we highlight Middle School Robotics.
Last year, the PTO supported the middle school Robotic electives by funding robotics kits for the school. Both courses, Robotics I and II have been very popular with the students. Students work hands-on in teams to design, build, program and document their progress. Topics may include motor control, gear ratios, torque, friction, sensors, timing, program loops, logic gates, decision-making, timing sequences, propulsion systems, and binary number systems.

For September 16 we highlight Chess Club.

Chess Club
About 120 DLS kids of every skill level play on the DLS Chess Team each year, coached by 20 parents, in perhaps the largest team in the Denver region. Each Wednesday, the kids learn the royal game, share chess lore and develop good sportsmanship as members of a team. Many students compete at regional and state tournaments in individual and team events. Last year, the DLS chess team took first place in all divisions in which it competed in 8 regional Colorado Masters Scholastic Chess tournaments and second place in both its divisions in the Colorado State Scholastic Chess Tournament.  

Fifteen of our most dedicated chess players qualified for, and attended, the International Youth Chess Festival and Tournament in Las Vegas this past summer. Financial support from the DLS PTO enabled two outstanding children to compete in this tournament who otherwise would not have been able to do so. With their important contributions, the DLS Chess Team took home a fifth place trophy in the K-3 division on an international stage and made fond memories to last a lifetime. Our deepest heartfelt thanks go out to the PTA for making this trip possible for these youths and for helping make DLS the wonderful community it is. GO DLS DOLPHINS!

For September 9, we highlight mathematics teacher Luis Rodriguez. In 2015, the PTO contributed $5000 towards the Learning and Leadership program which awarded Luis a scholarship to further his studies as an educator. Luis writes:

Luis Rodriguez

I'm so grateful to DLS and the 
PTO for helping support me financially as I get my master's in math education from the University of La Rioja (Spain), and improve my knowledge. This program has been engaging and challenging me, and I'm learning a lot about how to engage the students in learning math and how to support the students. I am graduating in January and it is my hope that I can use this to make DLS students engage, love and be successful in math. Thanks a lot, DLS Community!!!

The September 1 spotlight is on visual arts teacher Robin Bresnahan. In 2015, the PTO contributed $5,000 towards the Learning and Leadership program which awarded Robin a scholarship to further her studies as an educator. 

Robin writes:

I'm so grateful to DLS and the PTO for helping support me financially as I get my master's in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies as well as a principal license through CU Denver. This program has been engaging and challenging and I'm learning a lot about what good teaching looks like, how to create systems and protocols to support student achievement, and how to get a school to run like a well-oiled machine that has a vibrant and thriving culture. I graduate in December and it is my hope that I can use these skills to make DLS an even better place to work and to attend school!

Page last updated 21 May 2018