Schoolwide Service Learning for the Whole Year!

Looking for fun, engaging ways to get your students involved in serving their community? Tired of the same old donation drives and fundraisers? I have created a yearlong service learning bundle with a different community service project for each month of the school year. 

That's right! ALL of the work has been done for you! There are so many options, that you can pick and choose the ones that work for you. You don't have to do a project EVERY month. Use some this year, use others next year to keep it fresh. And, the best part? I have changed my terms of use on this resource to allow school-wide use with a single license purchase! (So, hint...hint...get your school to purchase it, instead of digging into your own pocket!)

I was intentional about making sure that there is a good combination of projects that asked for donations of purchased items and those that do not. Here's an overview of all of the service learning projects:

January - A Souper Bowl

For January, it just seemed natural to do a canned food drive that tied in with The Super Bowl since it's always coming up soon. This is not just a regular canned food drive though, classes earn points with each can donated and the class (team) with the most points at the end will be crowned SOUPER BOWL CHAMPS. However, there is a special "Fumble Day" twist that can be used where cans donated can take a point away from any other team. Classes will need good strategy to be crowned champions!

February - Senior Valentines

For February, students will make cards to be delivered to seniors in local assisted living facilities. This community service project shows students that you don't always have to purchase items to make a difference. Sometimes, using your talent and giving your time makes an even greater impact. This project comes with a school-wide goal poster so the school can set a goal for the number of Valentines created. There's also a special "Crush It" day that can be used near the end of the project to give one more push for Valentine cards. Any student making 5 more cards to be delivered will earn 15 minutes of  FREE time with their classroom bestie.

March - Mutt Madness

For March, I played off of the basketball "March Madness" theme but with a pet drive. Students will be donating pet food, toys, and treats for local animal shelters. But, again, this is not a common collection drive. Classes will be competing in an elimination-style competition. Here's how it works: All classes compete in round one to bring in pet food. The 8 classes that bring in the most pounds of pet food in this round will move on to the Elite 8 (round two). In roud two, these 8 classes will compete to bring in the most toys. However, all eliminated classes may still bring in donations to help their favorite Elite 8 class win. The top 4 classes from this round will move on to The Final Four (round three). In round three, the top four classes will compete to bring in the most pounds of treats. Again, eliminated teams can help their favorite classes out by bringing in donations to help them. The winning class from this round will become the Mutt Madness Champions, with a certificate to prove it!

April - Litter Patrol

For April, students will focus on giving their time to help make sure their school is litter free - just in time for Earth Day! Litter Patrol comes with several different posters to hang around the school and also a competitive challenge if your students need a little more motivation. Classes can compete to see who can collect the most sacks of litter this month - the only exception is that the litter can't come from their own class! Recycling posters are included if schools want to get students involved in sorting the litter for recyclables as well.

May - Penny Wars

For May, I've included Penny Wars, a fundraising activity. This is one project that can be used any time of the year. It's perfect for raising money for a special school project or a worthy cause. Instead of just asking students to bring in money to donate, make it fun by declaring a PENNY WAR! If you've never done Penny Wars, it's a super fun way to engage students in bringing in those spare coins. Basically, each team has a collection container and there are ways to earn positive points (pennies and bills make positive points for their team) and to give negative points (silver coins take away from (sabotage) other teams). Strategy is extremely important in this friendly game of war, so it's important for students to know how all teams are doing on a daily basis. I've included a wall display for updating totals, as well as a link to a spreadsheet I've used to keep track of totals.

June - Cereal Box Domino Challenge

For June, I included a two-week Cereal Box Challenge. This project is another one that could be used any time of the year, but June seemed nice so that, if needed, cereal can be given to school families in need for summer breakfasts. In this challenge, students will bring in cereal to donate to local shelters or food banks. However, before donating the boxes, students will get to use the cereal boxes as large dominos as they build a domino track down the halls of the school (or in another large open space). The more boxes of cereal donated, the longer the domino train will be! Classes (or teams) will want to be the one with the most donations because they will be the ones who get to setup and start the domino train! A school count poster is included that can be posted in a central location and updated daily to keep student excitement up! There's also a one day "Hi-Ho-Cheerio Challenge" that can be used during week two that will make all cereal box donations for ONE DAY count double!

July - Art from the Heart

For July, I included another creative fundraising activity called "Art from the Heart." This can be used any time of the year. In this activity, students will make their own original artwork to be donated to be used in a silent auction. There are 10 different themed flyers with guidelines that can be used - perhaps each grade level will create art with a different theme to make sure there is a variety of art. Once art is collected, a Silent Auction night will be held where parents and community members will be able to come bid on student artwork (starting bids of $10).  This is a creative way to raise money for a special school project or a worthy cause. Students will see that their work is valued, the community will receive original student artwork to display, and funds will be raised for a great cause - everyone wins! There are also 4 unique ideas for using any leftover artwork to bless communities even more. All of the artwork will have a special purpose, whether taken home from the auction or not.

August - Secret Mission: Operation Kindess

For August, I thought Operation Kindness was a perfect mission. This could be used at the beginning of the school year to show the importance of random acts of kindness and help build classroom community. In this project, students receive a letter asking them if they're up for a challenge of completing a few tasks to become Special Agents of Kindness. The first task: complete a secret act of kindness as a class. There's a sign for brainstorming of class ideas for this mission. Once this class mission is completed successfully, students will be asked to complete one small secret act of kindness each day for one whole week. Students are only able to reveal these tasks to their teacher, who will send in the top secret data so that succesful students can receive their Special Agent of Kindness ID.

September - Free Little Library

For September, students will bring in any old books they have at home that they no longer read. These books will be collected for a school "free little library." Free Little Libraries have been popping up all over communities around the world. They are little boxes where people can leave books and take books - a spot to share the love of reading. Having a Free Little Library at your school will ensure all students have at-home reading. If a volunteer wants to take on the job of building a Free Little Library to go outside of your school for the community to use, that is wonderful, but not needed for this project. Cardboard boxes can be used - put one in a central location inside the school, or put one on each grade level hallway. Just turn a large cardboard box sideways (opening to the front) and fill with books! Make it even more special by letting students decorate it. This will give them a sense of ownership over the box, too. 

October - Socktober

For October, students will be collecting socks for local shelters before the cold winter months hit. Did you know socks are reported to be the least donated item, but greatly needed, for shelters? To make this a fun, engaging collection there will be a challenge for the final three weeks of this month long collection. Week 2 - SILLY SOCKS - the class in each grade that donates the most socks in week two will win a silly sock day! Week 3 - STRUT YOUR SOCKS - everyone who donates at least one pair of socks in week three will be invited to participate in a "strut your socks" fashion show parade down the hallway! Make sure students wear their favorite socks and play some fun music for this reward! Week 4 - Sock It To 'Em - the class that brings in the most socks this final week will have the chance to "sock it" to the principal by hitting them in the face with pie!!

November - Candy for a Cause

For November, Candy for a Cause is the perfect project. Many households have leftover Halloween candy that no one wants, or can find candy deeply discounted at stores. And, it's the month of THANKFULNESS. The school will be collecting candy this month. For a motivational piece, classes can color and hang large candy pieces around thier rooms for every 20 pieces of candy donated! Candy will be donated along with thank you notes (written by students) to first responders in their local community - think police officers, fire fighters, and medical emergency responders.  Thank you note templates are included. This is just a little thank you for those who do so much in our community. 

December - Teddy Bear Toss

For December, students will collect stuffed animals to donate to children in local hospitals for the holidays. To make this collection more fun and engaging, students will be invited to a Teddy Bear Toss before handing over their donations. Classes will head to a large open space (think gym, cafeteria, or hallway) one at a time and students will toss their donations toward targets (think hula hoops or taped-off targets). If their stuffed animals land in a target, students will win a prize (no-cost coupon rewards are included for Teddy Bear Toss Winners). After each class, stuffed animals will be removed from the targets, but left on the floor so that at the end of all tosses, a visual will remain of all stuffed animals donated so that students can see the impact they are making on their community.

I hope these monthly service learning projects bring some new ideas to your school and help your students engage with community service. By purchasing the entire bundle, you save 25% - and you'll have everything you need for the entire year!

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