Schoola Blog

School Fundraising Tips & Success Stories from Schoola

Month: March 2015

Hunt for Easter Eggs and Get a $5 Code!

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The Easter Bunny stopped by Schoola and left lots of ‘eggs’ filled with $5 codes. To find $5 hidden on Schoola, here’s your clue:

“Put a spring in their step by finding Easter Best for less! Shopping items in this collection will result in an egg fest!”

Start time is April 1. Keep hunting until Easter, 4/5. Easter egg codes expire 4/30/15. Limited one code per household.

Extra Credit Week: Challenge Your School to Shop and Get a 10% Pop!

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This week only (3/30/15-4/5/15) we’re offering a new way to raise funds for your school. Your community can raise money for your school by shopping the pre-loved kids’ and women’s clothes available at Schoola! During Extra Credit week, everyone wins: Schoola pays 40% of proceeds to the donor school as always, and now another 10% or “extra credit” donation goes directly to the school of your choice. Simply choose the school you’d like to donate to at check out.

The school with the highest number of shoppers this week gets our extra credit prize – an extra $500 toward their fundraising goal. Remember, anyone can shop and do good on Schoola.com: parents, grandparents, friends and family, just have them enter your school name at checkout.

Good luck and let us know if you have any questions!

A Conversation With Children’s Book Author and Illustrator Jesse Gidcumb

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Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

Author and illustrator Jesse Gidcumb grew up in Southern Illinois with a pencil in hand. He now lives in San Francisco, where he graduated in 2008 with a degree in 3D animation from the Academy of Art University. He spent 10 years developing his eye while working in SF art galleries, practicing as a painter himself. He is now focused on bringing to life his own unique story ideas. He is the illustrator of A Trapeze with Cheese Please, a story of circus mishaps. Our Electric World is his first self-authored and illustrated book. We took a minute to sit down with Jesse to learn more about the inspiration behind his creative kids’ books. You can check out more of Jesse’s work and purchase his book on his website.

Tell us a little bit about your two books!
A Trapeze with Cheese Please, the first book that I worked on, was a really fun project that I did with Bradley James. She had the start of the story written and then I kind of jumped in on it, showing her some drawings that I did of the main character. It just kept evolving from there. She was hugely helpful on the layouts and everything, which I’ve heard isn’t that common in the creation of children’s books. Often, the author will write the story and give it to the publisher. Then the publisher will hand it over the illustrator, with the author having very little input on the visuals. Bradley and I worked together the whole way through. She was writing while I worked on the illustrations. We were communicating constantly and we had a great time collaborating on the book.  
A Trapeze with Cheese Please, illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

A Trapeze with Cheese Please, illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

What inspired you to write your new book, Our Electric World?
Our Electric World
came to me while I was standing on a San Francisco street corner one night waiting for the lights to change. I was captivated by the bright haze of the traffic lights and began tracing the electrical wires streaming down the city streets. It made me think of the large network that connects us all.
Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

It is also a very personal book that captures many of the memories of my childhood, from evening walks to the local cinema with my parents, to the bedroom chaos I experienced as one of three boys sharing a single room, my Siamese cat peering out the window, my sister ever-so-diligently reading in her room and one of my favorite games as a kid in rural Illinois: flashlight tag. The book is a blend of my rural upbringing with the city atmosphere that surrounds me now.
Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

What was your favorite book when you were a kid? 
Dr. Suess’s Green Eggs and Ham. I love all of his books, but that is the one that helped me learn to read and I have read it hundreds of times. His illustrations and stories are just so imaginative and fun. To this day, I still really enjoy reading his books and looking at his illustrations. 
Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists? What do you wish a grownup had told you when you were a kid? 
Stay dedicated to your craft. Regardless of what some people think, being an artist requires a lot of hard work, focus, dedication and determination. There isn’t someone standing over your shoulder telling you how to be creative, so trust your instincts. There will always be distractions and times that you don’t feel super motivated too, but try to see the long road. Know that most of the fulfillment comes from finishing what you started and giving it your best shot.
Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb

What childhood idol would you want to have dinner with as an adult? 
My biggest idol growing up was Michael Jordan. I have always been a huge basketball fan. He always amazed me with his singular focus and determination. Hearing about his everyday training and work ethic made an impression on me.
But If he were still alive, I would like to have dinner with Dr. Suess. I went to an exhibit a few years ago in San Francisco and saw his personal artwork on display. They had a collection of his unique hats and there were all sort of wacky things going on. So I think he would be a fun guy to hang out with. Of course, I would like to pick his brain and see what inspired all the fantastic characters and wonderful worlds that are in his books.
Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb.

Our Electric World, written and illustrated by Jesse Gidcumb.

Any other words of wisdom?
I’ve been lucky to have many supportive people in my life that have encouraged me along the way and made my life easier. So I would say, encourage others as much as you can. I think it’s important that we motivate each other.

Three Reasons to Buy Used Clothing

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Why buy used clothing? For us, the answer is simple, and boils down to 3 main reasons:

1. It’s affordable: We sell gently used kids’ clothing for up to 70% off the retail prices. Not only is buying used clothing an amazing way to get big savings on top clothing brands like Nike, Tea Collection, Hanna Andersson, and more, but we also share the proceeds of every item sold on our site with donor schools, putting money back into the hands of those who need it most.

2. It’s adorable: The preloved clothing we sell at Schoola is anything but shabby. Thousands of items are even in brand new condition (check our New With Tags (NWT) section for the best of the best). We also curate our inventory to help you find items that match your kids’ personal style – you can shop by nine different style options: Athletic, Bohemian, Casual, Outdoorsy, Preppy, Sparkle, Rocker, Skate, or Surf.

3. It’s easier on the environment: Experts estimate that 1,800 gallons of water are used in the production of a single pair of new blue jeans*! By buying used clothing, you save energy, materials, and production resources and give previously manufactured items a longer life.

We love what we do, so we’d also argue that if you’re buying used clothing from Schoola, it’s a lot of fun. Add to that the fact that our unique model helps every dollar you spend extend the life of endangered school programs like art, music, and P.E., and you can’t really go wrong. Its a win for your wallet, your style, the planet, and our kids. Smiles all around.

*Source

Featured School: Brooklyn Child Care in Brooklyn, NY

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Healthy eating habits are formed early in life. At Brooklyn Child Care Inc. (BCCI), children aged 2 to 6 are exposed to a variety of fruits and vegetables in the outdoor garden and on their lunch plates. Growing, cooking, and eating fruits and vegetables is part of the curriculum at Brooklyn Child Care. Children at the center learn how vegetables grow and are involved in the gardening process. They learn about the different shapes and colors of fruits and vegetables. BCCI will use the money they raise from Schoola to buy soil, seeds, and vegetables to grow in their outdoor garden. You can shop their school page to support their goals.

Parents are extremely satisfied with the healthy choices that their children are exposed to. Natallia Yelina says, “The food is extremely diverse and includes many fruit and vegetable options. The teachers always encourage children to try new food. My youngest child, who is currently in pre-K class of BCCI, says that her favorite food is broccoli. I attribute this to BCCI’s healthy food – healthy body campaign where junk food and sweets are not promoted.”

Doctor Linda Che, whose child attends Brooklyn Child Care says, “It is important to introduce fruits and vegetables to children. BCCI compares fruits and vegetables to musical instruments – it’s a fun way for children to learn about their healthfulness. As a mother of two young children, practicing healthy eating habits is an important part of my children’s daily routine thanks to BCCI.”

Pre-K parent Abby states, “As a preschooler my son’s eating habits have grown through the diverse foods that are prepared and served, and staff are wonderful in engaging him to try new things. He also thoroughly enjoys the hands-on aspect of helping to “cook” various foods that are served, exploring new foods and the creative manner they are displayed.”

BCCI sets good examples for children, offers a variety of foods, teaches children about portion size, helps children know when they have had enough, follows a meal and snack schedule, makes meal and snack times special, assists picky eaters, encourages youngsters to try new foods and makes food fun! Fruits and vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C so BCCI makes sure that parents are aware of the benefits and provides many fruit and vegetable options daily.

BCCI is NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited and has an outstanding reputation for helping children develop healthy eating habits and know the importance of exercise. Research shows that healthy eating can stabilize children’s energy, sharpen their minds, and even out their moods. So, at BCCI children eat healthy, run around in the huge outdoor playground while learning to be school ready. The message, “You are what you eat” is shared with students so that they learn at a very young age the importance of good nutrition.

Children flourish in a warm, nurturing environment in which math, science, health, nutrition, and physical activity are valued. In addition, students are provided with music, dance, art and foreign language classes.

Have your own story to share? Tag us on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #SchoolaSuccess so we can share your story.

Your Favorite Kids’ Clothing Brands at 70% Off!

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Whether your kiddo’s a Gap girl or a Gymboree guy, we’ve got you covered. We have oodles of name-brand gently-used kids’ clothes at prices up to 70% off retail. The best part? For every $5 you spend, $2 goes back to schools.

Above is a sneak peek at our assortments of some of our fave brands:

1) Shop Gymboree

2) Shop Ralph Lauren

3) Shop OshKosh B’Gosh

4) Shop Gap

What are your favorite kids’ clothing brands?

Featured School: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque School in St. Louis, MO

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St. Margaret Mary Alacoque School in St. Louis, Missouri has raised more than $2,600 to date via Schoola. With these funds they’ve purchased an automated children’s defibrillator, which was necessary for one child in need, but can potentially benefit many children. Beyond this, they have goals to promote the health and wellness of all their students. They’ve formed a walking club and are raising money for new playground equipment.

The walking club has about 100 students who are actively participating. It’s also a great way for parents to get involved and help supervise. Students get points and prizes (usually a “dress down pass,” which means they can ditch their uniform for a day). And when they’ve walked 25 miles, at the end of the year they are eligible to enter a drawing to win baseball tickets.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque is a private Catholic school that serves children preschool through eighth grade (three years to 14 years). They have 441 students, and are located in the suburbs of St. Louis. If you’d like to support their fundraising goals, you can shop their Schoola shop here.

Have your own Schoola story to share? Tag us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #SchoolaSuccess.

Schoola’s Giving Report: Our Best Fundraising Period Yet!

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Together with our more than 8,000 partner schools nationwide, we reached some amazing milestones in the most recent fundraising period. Since last year, we’ve seen a 10x increase in giving.

A few more fun facts:

  • Over 150,000 items have been put to work raising money for schools.
  • Our featured school, Kipp Academy in NYC, raised more than $20,000!
  • We sold 5,040 t-shirts in 3 months, offsetting 3.5M gallons of water by selling pre-loved rather than producing new.

Let’s keep this momentum going for our kids! Here’s what you can do:

  • Set up a clothing drive at your own school by contacting coach@schoola.com.
  • This might sound too easy, but you can simply shop our site and 40% of sales go right back to schools.
  • Share your school’s custom shop: search for your school here. You can grab your school’s custom link and share it on social media to encourage your community to shop and support your school.

Do you have a great fundraising success story to share? Tag us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #SchoolaSuccess. We’d love to feature your school on our blog.

Thanks for helping us close out 2014 in such a good place for schools. Here’s to many more wonderful benchmarks for schools to come.

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