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August $5,000 Facebook Merchandise Giveaway Winners!

FB Cover August 2014We have winners in our August $5,000 Facebook Merchandise Giveaway for Schools YOU NOMINATED!

Congratulations winners! You will be receiving an email soon with details on how you can redeem your shopping spree! We are so happy to be able to help schools around the country. Here’s to a GREAT school year and thanks so much to all of you who nominated schools.

Be sure to nominate a non-profit in our September $5,000 Merchandise Giveaway for a non-profit you nominate!

NAME OF SCHOOL  CITY & STATE AWARD
Gloversville Schools Gloversville, NY $2,000
Battle Creek Middle School Battle Creek, Mi $1,000
Greenwood Elementary Florence, SC $500
Parkside Intermediate San Bruno, CA $100
Sunset Park Elementary School Windermere, FL $100
Madison Academy Flint, MI $100
Smith Magnet Elementary Raleigh, NC $100
Level Cross Elementary Randleman, NC $100
Battlecreek Elementary School Salem, OR $100
Woodrow Wilson Elementary Gridley, CA $100
East Elementary Dillon, SC $100
LaMora Park Elementary Battle Creek $100
McKinley Leadership Acadamy St. Louis, MO $100
Classical Christian School for the Arts Pinellas Park, FL $100
Humboldt Park School Milwaukee, WI $100
Rockingham Middle School Rockingham, NC $100
Lighthouse Community School Cincinnati, OH $100
La Presa Elementary School Spring Valley, CA $100

 

August 31, 2014   No Comments

Goodbye to Austin the Intern!

austin the internGreetings!

Today is my last day at DollarDays. I am excited to return to school but will greatly miss being the intern here at DollarDays. I have had lots of fun working here and will miss everyone in the office. DollarDays has a unique office atmosphere that I have never experienced at any other company I have worked for. Everyone is friendly and upbeat. This office atmosphere definitely contributes to the great success this company has had and will continue to have in the future.

I have also learned a lot in the time I have been an intern. I learned about search engine optimization and how deep search engines dig for their results and how they order and filter results. I also had the amazing opportunity to witness the launch of a new website design here! I learned about all of the work that goes into a new website and how to have a successful launch. I also learned lots about marketing in several different aspects, especially in relation to social media. I cannot wait to share all I have learned with my classmates.

This last week has been very busy for me. I have been finishing up projects here in the office and packing up to get ready to drive back to Northern Illinois for a couple weeks to spend time with friends and family. A teammate of mine flew out here to Arizona on Thursday to drive back with me so I won’t be bored on the drive. I am excited to drive back because of all of the beautiful scenery here in the Southwest. There are some amazing views on the drive.

I know that anytime I am in Arizona I will be stopping at DollarDays to say hello. I could not have asked for a better experience as an intern. The future looks bright for DollarDays and I can’t wait to see how the company grows in the coming years. I would like to thank everyone here at DollarDollar days for everything that they have done for me and taught me. I will remember my summer as an intern here forever.

 Regards,

Austin

 

August 29, 2014   No Comments

July Facebook Contest Winners are Here! Congrats, teachers!!

july14 FB winners

August 15, 2014   No Comments

Teachers spend $500+ on school supplies annually

Why must teachers have to spend out of pocket each year to keep their classrooms stocked with supplies and instructional materials?

A June 2014 survey conducted by Agile Education Marketing and SheerId, the leading teacher verification provider, delved into how much teachers are spending of their own money and what they’re spending it on.  Take a look at the information to see exactly how much our underpaid teachers spend to help our country’s children learn!

DollarDays.com continues to provide wholesale discounts to teachers 365 days a year. Many teachers pool their dollars and place a large bulk order to maximize their money. Take a look at all the back to school supplies DollarDays carries. We save you time and money!

Be sure to nominate your favorite school to win in our $5,000 merchandise giveaway on Facebook! Let’s do what we can for these teachers, our heroes, who are building and shaping the minds of our future generation.

teacher spending

August 15, 2014   No Comments

DollarDays employee volunteers at Phoenix Rescue Mission

 

by Chris Steagall, DollarDays’ Senior Account Representative

I wanted to share the wonderful experience Lynda (my wife) and I had this past weekend. We both volunteered at the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Back to School event. Around 600 families were provided filled backpacks, school uniforms, a free Thrift store with clothes, toys and bedding. Plus a nice box of food and a case of water.

Lynda and I were responsible for the last stop. Our first hour, while the first families were in a prayer service, Lynda and I packed 300+ boxes of food and staged all the cases of water. For the next 3 hours we passed out 600+ boxes of food!

I invite everyone to volunteer next year, it was a wonderful heartwarming experience. Here are a few pictures:

PRM

August 5, 2014   No Comments

Dropouts Are Putting a Major Strain on Our Economy

marc blog july 14by Marc Joseph, reprinted from The Huffington Post

Despite all the efforts of every president from Kennedy to Obama, kids not completing their high school education are a blight on our society. According to DoSomething.org, every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. This comes to 7,000 kids a day dropping out. Twenty five percent of high school freshmen fail to graduate on time. The U.S., which in 1970 had had the world’s highest graduation rates of any developed country, now ranks 22 out of 27 countries in the developed world. Two thousand high schools across this country graduate fewer than 60% of their students. In the U.S., high school dropouts commit 75% of our crimes.

The unemployment rate for dropouts is 9.1%, for those with high school diplomas it’s 5.8% and with college degrees, 3.3%. The average high school dropout earns $20,240 annually versus $30,600 for a high school graduate. According to The New York Times, if we could reduce the number of dropouts by a little over half, this would yield close to 700,000 new high school graduates each year. These 700,000 new graduates a year would obtain a higher rate of employment and earnings and would be less likely to draw on public money for health care and welfare and less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. And because of the increase in income, these 700,000 graduates each year would contribute more in tax revenues. Each of these graduates over their lifetime produces a net benefit to taxpayers of $127,000 in government savings. This would benefit the public close to $90 billion each year, which turns into $1 trillion after 11 years. That is serious money and an easy issue that both Democrats and Republicans can rally behind to reduce our deficit while supporting funding for education.

Throughout the years, all of our leaders have made attempts to reduce the dropout rate through improving our educational system. Kennedy hastened school desegregation to integrate public schools to give all kids the hope of a better education. Johnson established Head Start so all kids would have a chance to start on equal footing. Carter upgraded the Department of Education to cabinet level status. Clinton passed the “Goals 2000 Educate America Act,” which gave resources to states and communities to enact outcomes-based education with the theory that students will reach higher levels of achievement when more is expected of them. George W. Bush passed the “No Child Left behind Act,” which worked to close the gap between rich and poor students by targeting more federal funding to low-income schools. And Obama passed the $4.35 Billion “Race to the Top” legislation which has competitive grants supporting education reform and innovations in classrooms. Yet, we still have 1.2 million students dropping out of high school each year…

In my own state, from a new report by our mayors, according to the Arizona Republic, the 18,000 high-school dropouts this year will cost Arizona $7.6 billion over their lifetime. Phoenix, the country’s sixth largest city, in 2012 had the highest rate of youth disconnection among the country’s 25 largest metro areas with 24% of its students dropping out of high school. Our mayors say this year’s dropouts will cost Arizona $4.9 billion in lost income, $869 million in health costs, $1.7 billion in crime-related expenses and $26 million in welfare over their lifetime. On top of all this, statewide, 22% of youth 16-24 years old are not working or not in school, which is 182,000 young people.

The societal impact of our kids dropping out of school is devastating. Our schools know early on when many of these kids are in trouble. Key indicators include poor grades in core subjects, low attendance rates, failure to be promoted to the next grade and disengagement in the classrooms which would also include behavioral problems. So to save these kids, we have to start early. Our government needs to invest in early childhood education. When students enter school without the needed knowledge and skills, they begin behind and just never catch up. Early childhood programs need to support the emotional, cognitive and social development of kids.

So what should our schools do to curb this enormous economic problem? Because many dropouts feel alienated from others and disconnected from the school experience, schools must ensure that all students have meaningful relationships with adults while at school. This obviously includes teachers and administrators, but should include counselors, volunteers and more paid and unpaid mentors. Schools must have individualized learning sessions and non-traditional options. These options may include online learning and intensive tutoring programs. Also, students with disabilities, who are twice as likely to dropout as students with no disabilities, must be offered greater personalization programs from k-12.

This is truly a grassroots effort in each community to lower our dropout rates. There are national programs to help on the local level. Communities in Schools is an organization that has been around for 30 years that helps bring community resources inside public schools, providing resources for at risk kids to succeed in the classroom and in life. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America provide programs, services and a safe place to learn and grow and connect with adults. And at DollarDays through our Facebook page, we are giving away $5,000 worth of products schools can use, so please nominate a school that deserves our help.

Dropouts cause our society emotional pain, because we all feel sorry for those less fortunate and struggling to survive. But the cold hard facts are they cause us economic pain that could be avoided once we admit, like the mayors of Arizona, that our dropout rate has an economic impact that we can’t ignore any longer. We have got to get our schools the resources to go at this problem head on. Maybe if we approach our current Congressional leaders that this is an economics problem, not a school funding issue, we can finally get their attention…

August 5, 2014   No Comments

DollarDays in Times Square Digital Rotation

Our home page “hero” banner was featured in Times Square last week! The banner below is the actual artwork that appeared on the digital billboard of PRNewswire. The three shots of the flatiron shaped building are of DollarDays‘ home page hero! We are so proud to have our website viewed by people in one of the world’s busiest locations! We couldn’t have done this without our amazing designer, Pharaoh Laboa.  Just had to brag a little!  See the press release here.
DD Hero PRDDTS image

August 5, 2014   No Comments

Austin the intern still having fun at DollarDays

Greetings!,

This week at DollarDays has been especially exhilarating! The effects of the new website and everyone working hard here has created a great atmosphere. The future is looking bright for DollarDays! Everyone is charged up and ready for the weeks to come. I’ve continued to maintain the social media accounts especially our Pintrest. I’ve recently started pinning Halloween items for the fall. Check it out for all of your wholesale Halloween needs!

While most of the times I’m reaching for a good book to read this week I have been more focused on another hobby of mine which is video games. I recently picked up a copy of the new game Watch

My boss posted this pic, not me. She calls it Lil Austin.

My boss posted this pic, not me. She calls it Lil Austin.

Dogs. I have closely followed the development of this game from the time it was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2012. I have been playing a lot and have so far enjoyed the game.

I am very excited for the coming weekend. Two of my cousins are flying in from Wisconsin for vacation! Unfortunately I do not get to see my cousin very much because I am usually at school in Southern Indiana. I cherish the time I get to spend with them and can’t wait for what adventures the next few days will bring.

I am elated to be returning to school soon but am also dreading leaving DollarDays. I have enjoyed being the summer intern and all of the new knowledge I have gained from the great people here. I can’t wait to share all the new knowledge I’ve gained with my peers.

Regards,

Austin

August 5, 2014   No Comments

Austin, the well-rounded Intern in AZ, IL, IN and Korea

Hello!

I have just completed another lovely week here at DollarDays. It is amazing how my time here is flying by and I only have two weeks left. At the end of this month I will be returning back to Illinois for a brief period and then returning to school (Hanover) blog option 2 - Copyin Indiana for my senior year. Although I am excited to get back to school I am very sad to be leaving DollarDays. I will miss being in the office every day. Everyone here has been working hard during this busy back to school season. I have continued maintaining social media here as well as data entry and other tasks.

Recently I have been following the Federation of International Lacrosse World Lacrosse Championships. Team USA has so far been undefeated and is playing tomorrow against major rival Canada. Team USA has already beaten Canada once in round robin play and have never lost an international game played on US soil. I have also been active myself playing three or four times a week here.

I am currently reading the book, Escape From Camp 14, By Blaine Harden. The book is about a man named Shin who is from North Korea. The book details Shin’s life growing up in a North Korean prison camp, how he escaped, and how he has had issues adapting to life outside of North Korea. The book is extremely eye opening to the human rights violations happening in North Korea.

I’m highly excited for the next two weeks and any projects or challenges they bring. I am still learning new things everyday.

Regards,

Austin

P.S. My boss asked me for a photo to go with this post, so this is the one I gave her. Movie night at the fraternity—can you guess which movie I’m in? And you’ll never guess how I got the baby!

July 21, 2014   No Comments

How to Survive the Peak Seasons as a Retailer

Marc Josephby Marc Joseph, President and CEO of DollarDays

Running a retail business is like getting your report card every single day. It is a business of “thanks for what you did for me yesterday, but what can you do for me today?” It has to be one of the most stressful occupations in this country, yet if you do well, it can be the most exhilarating and fun businesses to live and breathe every day. What causes this stress versus reward cycle in retailing?

Good retailers balance looking into the future and planning for the next season with what is happening in my business today. The future plays to the heart of retailers because you analyze what went well last year and where there are opportunities to improve. Optimism abounds about the future because retailers are a confident and hopeful bunch…otherwise they would be in a profession that looks to the past rather than looking ahead. So planning ahead is the enjoyable part of retailing, because no mistakes have been made, yet.

Living in your business today is a different story. Most businesses measure themselves against what happened last year in sales. Sure there are mitigating circumstances that could alter the numbers you are up against, like more or less competition, change in customers’ taste preferences or suppliers of your key products going in or out of business. But every retailer has last year’s numbers recorded by day and look at these numbers three or four times a day during their peak seasons to see if they are going to beat them. Take my business as an example. Our two peak seasons are Back to School and Christmas. Currently we are in our Back to School season. Our staff meets quickly throughout the day to gauge where we are against last year each day. When we had the biggest day in our company’s history last week, it was the greatest feeling I have had since the day my son was born. When we only did half of what we did last year three days later, I felt like an old man who was on his way to retirement… so living each day in business to its fullest during peak seasons is like riding a roller coaster all day long. You are exhausted at the end of the day on bad days and exhilarated and can’t wait to wake up and start again on the good days.

We will get through the Back to School season, so now I am worried about the Christmas season. Do we have enough products to offer our customers and as important, are they the right products? Have we been watching the trends of the last few months to help give us an indication of what will be successful this fall? Do we have the most sophisticated methods to market to our customers efficiently and effectively during the holiday season? Do I have the right sales staff in place that will be able to relate to our customers? All of these are questions that will keep my staff and me up at night, because they are the unknowns…and then November hits and we are right back into the cycle of living day to day with our numbers much like we are in today for Back to School.

But I would not have it any other way. The ebb and flow of providing customers what they need when they need it at the right price is part of a true retailer’s heart and soul. The highs and lows that go with it are just part of the game of life.

July 18, 2014   No Comments

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