Martinson Elementary students were on their feet this morning, dancing and celebrating their school at a pep rally to kick off Miles for Martinson, the Parent Teacher Organization’s largest fundraiser of the year.

“This is where we get them psyched,” said PTO Co-President Sue Coyne. “Today’s the time that we’re trying to get them riled up so they can go home and tell their parents about this.”

For the first time, the Martinson PTO is working with an outside company, Boosterthon, to organize their fundraiser. Martinson’s new principal, Jill Cotreau, previously worked at schools that worked with Boosterthon, and Eames Way Elementary used the company successfully last year as well.

Over the 8 day program, students will experience a curriculum based around positive character traits, all with a Wild West theme. Staff from Boosterthon will be on site throughout the program, running special recess programs, presenting in classrooms and providing breaks and coffee for teachers.

At the Friday, Sept. 27 pep rally, students were greeted by members of the PTO, dressed in western garb before learning about the fundraising program with a interactive themed video

“We hire this company to help out, do all the heavy lifting, and they do a great job,” Coyne said. “The people they hire are very energetic, enthusiastic and really friendly.”

Miles for Martinson will culminate with a fun run on Tuesday, Oct. 8; students are asked to gather pledges for each lap they complete during the run.

The PTO is hoping to raise $25,000 to be used for a new digital learning lab, enrichment programs and educational tools and technology.

Coyne said working with Boosterthon allows the PTO to offer a more comprehensive, professional fundraising program.

“It’s so hard for us to get parents to volunteer; most of us are working parents,” Coyne said. “We can’t put in all these hours, so we decided to partner with this company because they do all the heavy lifting. We’re trying to do new things. We’ve had great boards in the past, but we’re trying to mix it up a little bit.”

Follow James Kukstis on Twitter at @MarinerJamesK.