Schoola Blog

School Fundraising Tips & Success Stories from Schoola

Month: March 2016

Crafty Fun With Austin Bloggers and Schoola

Schoola Mason Jars

The Schoola team traveled to Austin, TX to participate in SXSWedu. Along with attending the conference, we also spent time with some of the great Austin bloggers we work with.

As many of you know, our #WhyISchoola campaign is going full force and we wanted to get creative with Austin bloggers and harness their artistic talents. The #WhyISchoola campaign brings focus to those extracurricular programs such as art and music that are disappearing from our schools due to budget cuts. These programs are such a big part of the favorite school memories of adults today and we wouldn’t want our children to miss out on these enriching experiences. Schoola is working hard with schools to raise money to save these programs. Every time you shop our site, 40% of the sales go back to the school.

We decided to host an event at the DIY art studio Craft in Austin. This innovative space gives anyone the ability to make incredible pieces of art, no matter their level of artistic talent. With the guidance of the Craft ladies, the Austin bloggers created custom Schoola postcards that express their favorite school memory.

Ashley of DTK Austin Styling is all smiles and ready for the fun to start alongside gal pal and radio personality Anne Hudson.

Austin bloggers

Jane of A Taste of Koko used her artistic eye to capture this shot at Craft.

Craft Austin

Schoola Postcards

Nycia of She Inspires is hard at work on her creative project alongside blogger BFF Krystle of By Love n Grace.

Schoola Austin Bloggers

Stamps Austin Bloggers

Mary of MaryMakesGood has a good laugh with fellow blogger Linda of Curious Notions.

Austin Bloggers

Each blogger was equipped with a mason jar photo kit and a backpack of Schoola swag.

Craft Austin

Our guests also got to shop our rack of fashion finds from Schoola. We had a mix of dresses from ModCloth, J.Crew, Zara and more!

Fashion Clothing Rack

Check out some of the masterpieces our guests created.

Schoola Postcards

These hand drawn illustrations were created by Becky of Chipper Things.

Schoola Post Cards

We had so much fun with the ladies in Austin and we look forward to more collaborations in the future!

GenniferRose-Biocard

Gennifer’s favorite school memories were doing art and craft projects at her bilingual elementary school. The school subjects were taught in both English and Spanish and the class celebrated many hispanic cultural events. She enjoyed crafting paper mache piñatas for Cinco de Mayo, making sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos and creating Mexican fiesta lanterns with colorful tissue paper. Her love of handmade goods continues to this day and remains one of her favorite pastimes.

Celebrating Music in Our Schools Month

Laurel Elementary Music in Our Schools Month

Laurel Elementary students celebrate music.

March is Music in Our Schools Month – a celebration of school music and its impact on students’ lives that dates back to 1973. The movement engages music educators, students, and communities from around the country to promote the benefits of high quality music education programs in schools.

The benefits of music in schools are well documented. Music has been proven to: engage students, improve cognitive development, improve math and reading skills, increase graduation rates and more. Read more about music’s impact on the brain.

At Schoola, preserving music in schools despite budget cuts is core to our mission and that’s why we’re celebrating Music in our Schools Month. There is so much evidence that #MusicMatters, but none that is more powerful than seeing firsthand, the kids that are affected by it. Let’s take this opportunity to celebrate several of our partner schools’ success in supporting their music programs by giving clothing new life.

KIPP Academy's Music in Our Schools Month

KIPP Academy’s rhythm and string orchestra.

KIPP Academy Middle School Raises $90K for Music

We salute our long-term partners KIPP Academy Middle School in Bronx, NY, where every 5th-8th grader plays an instrument in the schoolwide rhythm and string orchestra. KIPP has been able to raise over $92,000 with Schoola to refurbish and replace instruments. Davon, a 7th grader at KIPP, said that playing in the orchestra is his way of “showing people that kids from the Bronx aren’t just kids that they have stereotypes about, but students that can actually work hard…”

Laurel Elementary Raises Funds for Choir

Music helps foster self esteem and boost confidence, something Laurel Elementary has discovered with their English as a second language (ESL) learners. Laurel Elementary is $3,000 away from reaching their $10,000 goal to provide choir uniforms and fund the first musical that Laurel has hosted on its own school grounds. You can help them reach their goal by requesting a donation bag.

“Our school has a very high ESL population, and many students are struggling academically due to the language barrier. Music has helped our students achieve better grades in their core subjects and has acted as a universal language to bridge cultural gaps, boost confidence and gives students a positive outlet to express themselves,” says Laurel’s choir director, Shannon Day.

Pam & Gela Music in Our Schools Month

Shop the Pam & Gela to help.

Clinton School for Writers and Artists Raises $8K With Pam & Gela Collection

Music engages both the left and right brain, which in turn helps students in their other studies. Something The Clinton School for Writers and Artists in New York understands. They are currently building out their music program and have tapped their community, including garnering donations from clothing brand Pam & Gela who has donated thousands of new-with-tags clothing on their behalf, raising over $8,000 to date.

Save Music in Our Schools Month

Take Action & Celebrate Music in our Schools Month!

If you agree that music is worth saving, you can help by:

SXSWedu: Innovation for and by Students!

SXSWEdu Team Photo

The Schoola team just returned from a whirlwind trip to the SXSWedu Conference & Festival. Our goal was to meet and partner with education innovators as they work to better their schools with new learning apps, maker spaces, and cutting-edge curriculum. With thousands of attendees, SXSWedu is the perfect place to find like-minded leaders and engaged community members working to improve education. In their own words, SXSWedu “fosters innovation in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds in education.” The conference runs for four days with a myriad of speakers and workshops focused on optimizing schools for 21st-century challenges and opportunities.

Temple Grandon SXSW Keynote Speaker

Photo Source: Maker Boulder

The keynote presentation of the conference was given by Temple Grandin, an accomplished professional in the field of Animal Sciences who has been hugely influential in education thanks to her research into how different types of minds learn, and how different gifts are necessary to solve problems of modern society. Her message of inclusiveness and diversity was a key theme in the conference at large.

Temple Grandon SXSW Keynote Speaker

Professor Grandin grew up during a time when there was little known about autism. She faced tremendous obstacles as a child on the spectrum, and talked about how extracurricular classes were what led her to her successful career. “Art class was my salvation in elementary school. Carpentry and horses saved me in high school.” We couldn’t agree more that hands-on learning is hugely important to all types of learners, which is why we work with so many schools to fund field trips, art programs, garden projects and more. Watch Temple Grandin’s inspiring speech and learn about her work.

SXSWEdu Handouts

Another big theme from SXSWedu was the rising trend of entrepreneurialism in schools. From teacher-driven curriculum, to student-led fundraising, there has been a shift away from the old top-down, standardized paradigm to a more community-driven, customized approach. There were so many inspiring examples of children and young adults designing their own futures. Here are just a few examples:

  • Student-designed schools: Project XQ is a nationwide effort to #ReThinkHighSchool by amplifying student voices. Over 8,000 students have submitted detailed designs for “reinventing” their high schools from a student perspective.
  • Student-led learning was everywhere! We loved watching students use open-ended building tools like LittleBits.cc and the SteamTruck.org to learn problem-solving beyond lesson plans and text books.
  • Student-powered funding: Our presentation at the conference shared stories of how student groups have leveraged Schoola to pay for programs that were otherwise at risk. The Associated Student Body at Joaquin Miller Middle in San Jose, CA raised money for their student-appointed Green Commissioner. Students at Grandview Elementary in Indiana wrote and produced a video to promote their clothing drive because they wanted the drive proceeds to fund several field trips.

Megan Walsh of Schoola Speaks at SXSWEdu

Schoola at SXSWEdu

It never ceases to amaze us what kids will do when they feel invested in the outcome. Dozens of students stopped by our photo booth to share what they felt was worth fighting for in their school, and we hope you will join too to by taking our #WhyISchoola challenge.

SXSWEdu Expo

Students also provided entertainment throughout SXSWedu. We loved hearing musicians from all over central Texas share their talents, from traditional jazz ensembles to alternative rock. 

SXSWEdu Student Musicians

After dark, the SXSWedu offered many film screenings, including an evening hosted by our partners at the Malala Fund. The film He Named Me Malala was shown to hundreds of attendees, followed by a lively discussion of Malala’s impact on girls across the globe. 

Malala Fund SXSWEdu

Malala Fund at SXSWEdu

Anyone eager to support their mission to ensure all students can access a safe, quality education can request a donation bag.

 

Megan-Walsh Schoola VP Marketing

Megan’s favorite school memory is discovering a Peer Counseling program that helped her become a leader in her toughest year of grade-school – when she grew 11 inches in 12mos, and moved / changed schools as a 5’8” fifth-grader. Now she is a mom of two Bay Area babes, and spends the workweek helping more parents find and leverage Schoola to fund their school programs.

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