Projects That Support the NYC Outward Bound Schools Network
Support learners in your school by helping your teachers make additional materials
Read books out loud and record them for those who need reading support. Remember to speak at a pace slower than regular conversation and add dramatic flair!
- There are lots of free books in PDF form online. Check in with your teacher first to determine the most useful titles.
Lead Fitness Classes for your Peers
Work alone or in groups to make up fun, workout routines and invite other students to join through a video chat. If audio is a challenge, you can make a mix on Spotify and send it to the group ahead of time to play in the background while you instruct! Fun way to stay active and connect with others while staying home.
- Example of a simple intervals workout here.
Plan online meet-ups
Create opportunities for students to meet up online to talk, play games together or engage in more structured activities like online team building activities. Make groups as inclusive and random as possible.
Honor your teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8
Consider sending gratitude and organizing your classmates to do so. Your teachers are also working incredibly hard to learn new technologies and ensure you stay connected and engaged.
- Here are some ideas
Projects That Provide Needed Resources or Improvements to the Community
Contribute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Check out your local health care provider’s website for instructions on the types of homemade masks that may be useful in their setting and how to donate them.
- Guide to making masks for healthcare and other essential workers, from Joann Fabrics
- Volunteers across the country have made more than 10 million masks, from TODAY
Show gratitude through electronic or paper cards
Select a local hospital or other places that that employ essential workers (grocery, pharmacy, restaurant, delivery, utilities workers, EMTs etc).
- Determine the format of the card
- Create models to share with others
- Designate how you will collect submissions (via email, regular mail, etc.)
- Galvanize your community to make as many as they can! Consider using some of the awareness raising strategies in box above.
Work with Parent Coordinator and/or administration to find out what members of the school community are nurses that you can thank.
- Join EL Education’s Better World Day effort! This year’s event is dedicated to the appreciation of essential workers.
- Honor nurses — May 4-8 is Nurse Appreciation Week!
Connect with seniors and others who may have limited contact due to their risk factors
Identify a community based residential center for elderly people, email or call and ask how you can send greetings or make contact with residents. Some ideas you can offer are:
- Mailing letters/cards
- Have phone call/video chat, or send video greetings
- Holding performances on video that residents can enjoy (sing-a-long, playing an instrument, dramatic reading, student talent show, etc.).
Donate food and supplies to animal shelters and pet owners in need
For people living in poverty and underserved communities, pet support services are more important than ever. Now and in the coming months, there will be additional financial struggles and difficulty in accessing resources and affordable care and supplies for pets, and therefore a huge demand on these service agencies.
Check with your local shelter or rescue to see how you can support them during this crisis. Consider donating supplies, both through your local animal shelter and agencies like human food banks. DO NOT leave your home to deliver goods yourself.
Publicize food and supplies drives
Identify local programs seeking donations. You’ll need to read websites carefully; most are seeking financial donations and obtaining goods themselves (to keep people home).
Once you’ve identified an organization, what they need and where it’s located, publicize their specifications. Only ask for what is needed, as organizations do not have storage space or staff to manage goods that do not meet current needs.
DO NOT leave your home to deliver goods yourself. Should your guardians decide to do this and invite you along, make sure everyone is wearing masks and gloves, and keeping social distance while traveling.
- Salvation Army
- Convoy of Hope – hygiene kits
- Encourage students to utilize the neighborhood Free Meals program (destigmatize school lunch!), from Gothamist
- Feeding essential workers and putting restaurants back to work, from The New York Times
Publish your point of view and make a call for action
Submit your opinion to a major news source or record a podcast.
- The New York Times Learning Network has daily prompts that students aged 13+ are encouraged to comment on.
- EL Education’s Coronavirus Creative Response Project
- Share your Story with Young Invincibles
Show support on social media
Hot topics have hashtags that you can share and build upon with your own photos, quotes, etc use to raise awareness in your social media.
Create or share petitions
Suggested steps for your petition campaign:
- Pick your cause and research the issue.
- Pick your platform and format for your petition.
- Identify the source of change (Government representative? Media outlet? Company or organization leader?) who you can influence with your petition.
- Phrase what you are asking for with accuracy and clarity and get feedback from peers and a teacher.
- Share your petition online on your chosen platform.
- Step by step directions on creating a petition, from Change.org
Write to your local representatives
Suggested steps in writing your letter:
- Research decisions currently facing either local, state, or federal representatives about spending related to the pandemic.
- Identify the relevant representatives to contact.
- Research different organizations advocating on behalf of decisions that you agree with. Read their positions and arguments, and look at models of online letters that these organizations provide.
- Write a draft and send to peers and teachers for feedback and editing suggestions.
- Send your letter and encourage others to do the same through social media or email!
- Protect Voters’ Rights (letter to senators), from ACLU
- Letter on Phase 4 COVID-19 Stimulus Package to US House of Representatives members, from Young Invincibles
- Creative responses, from EL Education
Host a teach-in related to an existing campaign to get your peers aware and involved.
Decide what topic you want to organize around and if you will you conduct this teach-in alone or with others. Steps:
- Determine your platform. You can work with a teacher and conduct the teach-in within your crew, you can run your own live session on video, or make an instructional video and share.
- Make the teach-in simple and short, the event should not exceed an hour. Have a clear message and repeat it throughout and be sure to think about engaging the heart just as much as the brain.
- Create one powerful text to share that will change hearts and minds. The text can be a reading, quote, image, or video.
- Offer a chance to discuss and collaborate
- Determine one specific way people can get involved. If possible, give participants the chance to act during your teach-in.
- Tips for hosting virtual events, from Hootsuite
Create a Fundraiser
Ideas for raising funds:
- Organize virtual “thons” (walk, skate, bowl, swim, bike, rock, read, dance) to raise money for a cause.
- Make cards, artwork, jewelry, or other handcrafted items to sell virtually to raise money.