OUR SERVICE LEARNING PROJECTS:
1. Kid Craft Festival: The children use craft supplies in creative ways, preparing for sale. The sale is held in a neighborhood, and 100% of the money collected is donated to a pre-selected charity. Crafts are not marked a specific price, they are simply displayed. After making an anonymous donation, people may choose a hand crafted item to take home. The sale is announced a couple of weeks prior via a flier distributed to neighbors, friends, family and local businesses. ages 3-14.
2. Run for the Planet: Run for the Planet: Very often, kid’s magazines will announce global initiatives to raise environmental awareness. We did this in conjunction with a huge community picnic at a local park. We distributed fliers and made a large sign. We also had a sign in sheet on the day of the event. This was attended by 67 people. 5 children participated in planning, ages 4-15.
3. Bookmarks for Reading Awareness: Using sturdy scrapbook paper, we cut out 100s of book marks, hole punched the top, and finished with satin ribbons. These were sold in our neighborhood and the money was donated to reading-gap groups in the area, .The leftover bookmarks have also served as nice “thank you” gifts for people who participated in service projects. participated, ages 4-12.
4. Braided Bracelets: This is truly a favorite. This can be done for any charity, but we’ve done it for hospice and All Children’s Hospital. Using yarn (or any other bracelet items) create a pair of matching bracelets. The bracelet pairs are given to recipients (for example: a hospice patient) the patient keeps one bracelet and the other is given to a loved one. We’ve used this project four times, and it’s always a meaningful experience. 10+ kids participated, ages 7-adult (or younger if able to braid or cut yarn).
5. Neighborhood Monster Project: The purpose of this project was to improve neighborhood relations and promote positive social space. The children created cute colorful monsters using sculpey clay. The monsters were put into cute little bags, with an anonymous note that indicated the gift was from a “neighborhood kid’s group”, and the bags were left on door steps. 5 kids participated, ages 4-10.
6. Neighborhood Canned Food Drive: Make a flier announcing the canned food drive, and when your "pickup date" is. This allows neighbors to place the goods in a grocery bag and leave them on their doorstep, without feeling pressured. We stapled the flier to grocery bags and delivered the bags to neighbor’s doorsteps. On the morning of pickup, we drove through the neighborhood and kids ran to doors to collect bags. Approximately 80% of the neighborhood participated in this project. It was an incredibly encouraging project. 3 kids participated, ages 3-8.
7. Interfaith Winter Ornaments: To promote religious unity, we created interfaith ornaments with both Jewish and Christian symbols and distributed to neighbors. 8 kids participated, ages 3-16.
8. Weeding and Planting for Elderly Neighbors: Identify and build relationship with elderly neighbors, provide yard work assistance with kids. 6 kids participated ages 4-15.
9. Athletic Equipment Collection for local sports groups: We made a flier and asked for donations. We set up a tent in my front yard and provided lawn chairs and lemonade for the people who came to donate.This was very successful and we collected over 30 pieces of equipment including, balls, bats, gloves and more. 9 kids participated, ages 3-16 to assist with local charitably operated sports teams for children and youth.
10. Volunteering at Local Organic Farm: We were able to get extra parent participation for this. We gathered early in the morning and drove to the farm, where we weeded an educational garden (used for school tours) 14 kids participated; ages 2-16 and 6 adults.
11. Volunteered at a Local Horse Rescue: Extra parent participation for this one. We identified a local Horse Rescue, and offered our assistance. We gathered at the Rescue Location and weeded horse stalls. The kids had a lot of fun and the family who oversees the rescue was grateful for our assistance. 20+ kids participated ages 3-17, 10 adults.
12. Kid’s Presentation at meeting about our service projects. Word of the kid’s service projects spread throughout the community, and they were asked to do a presentation about their projects. 15 kids participated, ages 4-15.
13. Petition for Neighborhood Speed Bumps: We identified a need in our community and petitioned the county for speed bumps. We made a signature sheet and went door to door collecting signatures. 7 kids participated, ages 4-10.
14. Tie Dye Pillow Cases for Juvenile Hospice: We spoke with a nurse from a local Hospice for kids. We identified the need for pillowcases. We obtained 100 white pillowcases, and got a ton of tie dye liquid. We distributed fliers and set up a big event a local park. Community members came to tie dye the pillowcases. They were then washed and given to the local hospice. Very large turn-out. 8 kids participated in the planning, ages 4-16
15. Local Nature Preserve Cleanups: I connected with a representative from our local Lands Dept. She allows me to set up clean-ups in a local nature preserve whenever we like. The kids were (for the most part) too young to participate in the Great American Cleanup, which took place along the roadways and waterways. When I contacted her about another possible location, we quickly built this relationship. We’ve held over 8 cleanups in the past 2 years. Typically, more than 12 kids participate along with many adult community members, friends and family. We advertise with fliers. These are also very successful.
This is a general list. Many of these projects have been repeated with different groups of kids or for different charities, they a tried and true and always successful.
16. Vase collection for local charity organization "Random acts of flowers": We collect vases for an organization that delivers flowers to hospital patients who don't have local loved ones.
17. BASTAS (Be a Santa to a senior): We work with local organization for senior citizens to provide personal holiday gifts to senior home residents who do not have attentive family. We choose this cause over sponsoring children for the holidays in recognition that supporting a life long tradition of senior citizens for the holidays is important to their wellbeing.
18. Local initiative to preserve wildlife and native land: We get involved with the local Sierra Club to assist with rallies, sign holding and petitioning local leaders for the preservation of wildlife and nature. (see video below for our most recent project).
19. Care packages: We regularly assemble care packages of items for local homeless population. School families keep care packages in their cars to hand out to people in need throughout our community.
20. P.B&J for Tampa Bay: We use our lunch hour twice a month to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a local shelter, they feed on average 200 people per day at lunch time. Providing this ongoing service is easy to do at the school and ensures longevity in service lifestyle and sustained community involvement.
21. Disaster Relief: We hand out evacuation zone maps and readiness plans to neighborhoods annually (Florida-hurricane season) and when a natural disaster has occurred (like the recent Bahamas in 2019) we collect and mobilize items to our local marine families and captains in Tampa Bay.
We serve when and where there is a need! We also have a few long term projects we complete regularly at our school. We hope this list can provide you with some ideas, we are so happy to share!