Creativity Plus Philanthropy Yields Fun and Funds

Brockman Elementary is an urban, all-Montessori public school in Columbia, SC. Brockman has joined other schools in the South Carolina Montessori Alliance dedicated to bringing water to the Azawak. Upper Elementary Teacher M. Ansley Brown sent in this story: 

Advertising the up-coming 
“Give from the Heart” event; 
When the Upper Elementary students in the community here at Brockman Elementary became aware this February of the 35-mile daily trek that some children must make to obtain water for their families, they wanted to do something to make a difference for the families of the Azawak.  

They started by walking heart-embellished buckets through the morning car line on Valentine’s Day. Asking Brockman families to “Give from the Heart,” students enthusiastically encouraged everyone to donate generously to this worthy cause.

Additional brainstorming yielded several inspired possibilities, and the 4th and 5th graders decided to create original artwork to be used for note card covers. They generated a number of drawings from which 8 designs were chosen to make into card sets. They also decorated over one hundred “Amman Imman: Water is Life” bookmarks. 

Decorating bookmarks
On a “Learning at the Hands of Your Child” parent night in late February, when a large turnout of parents was expected, students planned a big fundraising event. They sold the student-created and –packaged note card sets and bookmarks, as well as home-made baked goods, to scores of children and parents in attendance. Two large tri-fold displays provided information and photographs about the need for water in the Azawak and the tremendous benefits of Amman Imman’s work there. In addition, mini-flyers were placed in the bookmark and note card sets to remind purchasers of the reason for their giving. 
Stuffing sets of bookmarks

Braiding bookmark cords
Selling baked goods 

Over $750 was raised through these events, and students began talking about ideas for fundraising next year, including designing new sets of cards annually. 

Shortly after this, the president and CEO of the Central Carolina Community Foundation was on the Brockman campus to read with third graders. This organization is committed, among other things, to helping children become engaged in the culture of philanthropy. After hearing about what the students had been doing, she spoke with members of her group, who then pledged funds to help the students reach $1,000 in their fundraiser. 

Brockman students presented all funds raised for Amman Imman (a little over $1,000) on February 29, 2012 at the South Carolina Montessori Alliance’s annual meeting, which takes place during Montessori Education Week.

Here are the eight note card designs that were selected for the covers of the Amman Imman note card sets:



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