December 1, 2014
Teachers Talk - Creative Community Outreach
Martha Boehner & Gina Walker, Teachers, Sandy Lake Academy, Bedford, NS

Here are a couple of quick and simple ideas to get your students involved in community outreach. As teachers, we want to foster in our students an excitement for serving and caring for others. It is not always easy to find the time to plan for this with the many different “hats” we have to wear. If only we could squeeze just a few more hours out of each day! Hopefully, you will find these ideas useful and easy to do.
Lunch Box Social - This is mainly a fundraiser, but it does bring our community and school together. Simply run this as you would an old-fashioned lunch box social.
  • Each student packs a special lunchbox with enough food to share for themselves and one guest. They bring this lunch to school on the day of the event.
  • They place their lunches in special boxes or paper bags which they have decorated in their own special way. This decorating is done at school so that the identity of each lunch’s owner can remain a secret.
  • Invite all of your parents, grandparents, and constituent church members to join you for your special event! They must pre-register so you know how many lunches to prepare.
  • Students can greet guests at the door, give them their bidding paddle, and escort them to your designated event area. This could be an outdoor picnic setting or just have colourfully covered tables in your classroom.
  • Now the fun begins. Your auctioneer will now begin auctioning off each special lunch. Your guests will not know who created the lunches as they are bidding on them. It will be a surprise at the end once all the lunches have been purchased!
  • We chose a minimum bid of $10.00 per lunch, but some sold for as high $40.00!
Soup ‘R Bowl of Love - This event should be planned to align with the NFL Superbowl. It is a creative play on words to breathe life into the standard food drive. Students will collect “soup cans” to get a chance to bowl at a local bowling alley. These cans of food are then donated to a local food bank.
  • First, contact a local bowling alley and see if they are willing to donate an hour of bowling and shoe rentals for each of your students who participate.
  • Set an achievable goal for the number of food items each student needs to collect. Decide a start and end date for your collection time.
  • Have students bring in their cans as they are collected.
  • Create a bulletin board display with a large trophy that can be filled with small paper cans to track student progress.
  • At the end of your event, each student that achieved their goal in collecting cans get to go bowling as a fun reward!
  • Don’t forget to take a picture and write an article to share with your local newspaper!
These are just a couple of things that we have had success with this year. We hope that you will be able to use these to enhance your students’ experience at school!