Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Peer Collaboration Clubs-- Part 3

This year we started up the program a little late again, as I was waiting and hoping to see if anyone would co-chair the club with me.  Part of the problem is that there is no stipend for the club, and many teachers can't commit to that much outside work without compensation.  So this year I'm heading it myself, but getting lots of help along the way from staff helping with various events.  To get us started this year, I put an announcement on our morning video announcements asking for previous members or lunch club members who would be interested in becoming "Celtic Connection Ambassadors".  I was contacted by about 10 students, and we set up a meeting but only 5 of them were able to attend.  At this first meeting, just like last year, we had the students decide how often we should meet (2x per month again), what day of the week (Mondays), and what activities we wanted to do.  The group decided we should do one activity per month at the school, and one out in the community.  So far this year, we have done the following:

    * 1st meeting the Monday of Thanksgiving Week: Thanksgiving themed video scavenger hunt around the school building, making Celtic Connection signs to hang around the building, chips and pop snacks.
    * 2nd meeting: shopping at local mall for secret santa gifts-- we met right after school and took a bus to the mall; I broke students into groups of 3-5 by grade level, each with a teacher chaperone and they had to go buy a gift worth $5 for our holiday gift exchange.
    * 3rd meeting: holiday party: we did a white elephant gift exchange (which was a huge success!), watched the movie Elf, did a 'winter clothing' relay race, and each student brought a dessert to share for a potluck.

My Celtic Connection Ambassadors will be meeting this week to plan out our next few events, but we've already created a large list (with input from the entire club) of activities we want to do this year.

As you can tell by our activities so far, some of these activities cost money, even if it is just for some of the snacks.  We did our first Celtic Connection fundraiser this year, that we called 'Winter Wishes'.  Some of you may do this in your schools, I actually got the idea because they had this at my high school when I was growing up.  During the last week of school before break, we had a table set up during lunch periods where we sold cute 1/4 page tags that said 'winter wishes' on the front with snowflakes, and on the back had a space for "To", "From", "Homebase", and a large space for a message.  The cost was $1 each, and students would fill them out to a friend-- we would then attach a candy cane with a ribbon, and deliver them during 1st period on the last day before break.  I was really nervous about this going successfully, but it went very well for our first fundraiser.  I had kids from Celtic Connection and my students sign up to help sell during their lunch periods, and we made signs and put on announcements to advertise.  The members all helped deliver the winter wishes on Friday morning, and they were a big hit around the building-- I think we made at least $150!  We plan on continuing to do this activity to raise money for our club, and hopefully it will continue to be a success.

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