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Principal Ideas: Fundraising, Student Shadowing, and More

Just think of Principal Ideas as a virtual show-and-tell for principals. Each week in the coming school year we'll present five new principal-tested ideas. Send in your idea today! See the sidebar to learn how to be part of Principal Ideas.

Join the Fun --
Share an Idea!

The ideas presented in this article come from the Education World archive and from principals just like you. Since these principals have been kind enough to "show and tell" an idea, now it's your turn! Share an idea you've used to
- Celebrate Students
- Plan a Special Event
- Welcome Students Back to School
- Make Graduation Day Special
- Liven Up Your A.M. Announcements
- Motivate Teachers
- Involve Parents
- Raise Money
- Plan an Effective Staff Meeting
- Get Some Good PR for Your School
or any other topic of interest to principals.

Send your idea today to principalideas@
Be sure to include your name, your school name, and your school address because if we post your idea in Principal Ideas, we'll send you an Education World mug!

"Goat Insurance" Fund Raiser

This fun activity might not work in schools as well as in other community organizations, but it is so much fun that we just had to share it. In this fundraiser, a goat is the bait. The goat is to be raffled off. For $10, a community member can send in three names. Letters are mailed to those three people. The letter explains that the goat will be raffled off to one person who receives the letter. Those who receive the letter can opt to buy "goat insurance" for $10. That $10 donation ensures the donator that he or she will not end up with the goat. Names of those who do not buy insurance are entered into the drawing. Of course, the "winner" is awarded the goat, which -- because this event is all about fun and community spirit -- can then be returned to its original owner.
Source: Fifteen More Ideas for Fund Raising Fun

Shadow Day

We began Parent Day last year to provide another avenue for middle school parents to remain involved at school. On that day, parents "shadow" their children as they move through a typical school day. It is hard to tell whether the day is more enjoyable for the parents or the students. The students enjoy having their parents at school, and it's really an enriching time for parents to be able to see what a typical day is like for their child. Teachers adjust their lesson plans a little for this day, but typically they try to offer a glimpse of a regular day's activities rather than administering a test. Parent Day is not a disruption to the educational process. In fact, this collaboration enhances the feeling that we are a team doing the best we can for each and every child.
Source: Jan Jewell, Parents On Board: Persuading Parents to Join the Team

Copy Cats

Provide copying services for teachers. Arrange for parents and others to do the mundane task of copying so long as teachers provide three days' advance notice and instructions about how many copies will be needed and any special requests (for example, requests for copying on colored paper or two-sided printing).
Source: "Sixty-Five Ways to Recognize Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week -- and All Year Long" ( -- April 22, 2003)

Gearing Up for Opening Day

We begin our effort to draw in parents even before the opening bell of the school year. Our teachers either call or drop postcards to their students before the first day of school. The day before school opens, parents and students are free to come to school between 1:30 and 3:00 in the afternoon to find their classrooms and meet their teachers. During the opening weeks of school, we host an ice-cream social for families new to the school and parents of kindergarten children.
Source: Mary Ellen Imbo, "Principals Share Parent Involvement ideas " (, February 28, 2000)

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