5 ways to bring your school’s community together for the greater good (American Family Insurance)
It might not be obvious to those working through mountains of homework each night, but the years spent throughout the K-12 school system are some of the most important years in life.
Not only are kids accruing skills necessary for adulthood, but they’re forging the kinds of friendships that will turn into the type of meaningful relationships that last forever.
School is also the perfect way for kids to participate in the types of extracurricular activities everyone looks forward to after that last bell rings: Sports, theatre, book clubs, crew, and community service. Yep, that’s right — community service. Whether they’re the first grade or a senior in high school, helping the community is a perfect way for kids to flex those newly-accrued adult skills while giving back. Here’s how parents and students alike can bring their school community together.
Host a bake sale
One of the most obvious (and delicious) ways to help the community is through a good ol’ fashioned bake sale. Cookies, brownies, pie, or cake — it doesn’t matter what is made as long as it gets into the hands of hungry patrons. Regardless of the treats made, a bake sale is a great to raise money and put it towards a charity. Best part of all? Anything that doesn’t get sold at the end of the day has to be eaten.
Organize a backpack drive
Every kid in school needs a backpack. Similarly, every kid will go through a number of backpacks throughout their school career. So, why not put those extra backpacks to good use by giving them to someone in need? There are those kids out there who simply do not have the means to afford school supplies and consider backpacks a luxury item. With a backpack drive, kids are giving back to the community by helping those less fortunate with a necessary item many people take for granted.
Put together a food drive
When it comes to helping the homeless, giving back through food donation is an easy way to support those in need. When setting up a food drive, one of the most vital ways to take charge is by spreading the word about the best (and worst) types of food to bring. Always go for canned fruits and vegetables, a canned protein like chili or tuna, non-perishable whole grains, and dried or evaporated milk. Parents will be overjoyed to see their kids raiding their pantry for a good cause for once.
Clean up the town
By spending year after year with the same people, kids are automatically placed in a built-in community with like-minded kids. Since it’s so easy to accrue a crew, they might as well put their friends to work by organizing a cleanup effort around town. While it may not sound as fun to some kids as going to the mall or playing video games, a group cleanup allows kids to spend time out in the open while making their town brighter, better, and cleaner. Alongside the obvious of cleaning up garbage, these kinds of events are perfect for planting trees, raking leaves, and generally making the community look as good as possible.
Run a charity race
Since so many schools have tracks, a charity race is key for kids looking for ways to give back to the community for cheap. A great go-to race is a 5K; at just over three miles, it’s not a difficult distance for most people to run and doesn’t take up too much time. Setting it up is easy — kids can post flyers in local businesses or start an online registration form, then pick the charity, find a spot, and run!