Schoola Blog

School Fundraising Tips & Success Stories from Schoola

Month: May 2016

Road Tripping With Kids: the Soundtrack of Summer!

road tripping with kids

By Megan Walsh

It’s very common for me to spend my weekends road tripping with kids—mine are 2 and 6—down the scenic 280 highway from my home in San Francisco to Santa Cruz, where my family often gathers. There’s nothing I love more than passing the journey as one long sing-along dance party in the car with my kids.

Whether you’re taking a local jaunt or going on a larger adventure, the time is well-spent watching the scenery go by and connecting over great music rather than plugged into screens.

Road Tripping With Kids Summer Playlist

Here are my top song picks for road tripping with kids aged 18 months to 18 years. It’s hard to choose because there are so many genres to pick from, but hopefully clicking through to some of these will get you started on your own musical adventure.

1. Sheppard – Geronimo. Play this as you start out on the open road and set the tone for adventure!

2. Okee Dokee Brothers – Can You Canoe? Also great for a campfire if that’s where your travels take you.

3. Ozomatli Kids – Moose on the Loose. Way more spunky and fun to sing along to, even for the youngest family members.

4. Talking Heads – Naive Melody. The Talking Heads have cross-generational appeal.

5. B52’s Rock Lobster. I’ve found it to be a universal truthall toddlers instinctively love psychedelic surf rock. Beware: inspires silliness.

6. Yakety Yak by the Coasters. Excellent saxophone solos to be had by all. From one of the best soundtracks of all time: Stand by Me. Get the whole thing; it never gets old.

7. My Morning Jacket – Black Metal. I know, sounds a little “heavy” for kids. But actually my kids love this whole album, and it includes several sweet lullabies that we often rely on to put them to sleep when an in-car nap is necessary.

8. Cake – You Part the Waters. Another song not explicitly written for kids, but totally kid-approved.

9. Jackson 5 – Rockin’ Robin. Classic! Also includes an opportunity to inspire the budding naturalist to look out for various different types of birds while out and about. Wish there were a similar song about all the different types of trucks, which is my son’s personal favorite thing to catalog.

10. Dolly Parton – Little Sparrow. Love this whole album for kids — she reprises today’s hits in her signature bluegrassy sound.

11. John Prine – Big Old Goofy Man. This song has such a sweet sentiment and pairs well with family memories.

12. Elvis Presley – Little Sister. Isn’t it also our job as older people to introduce our kids to the King?

13. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Bored Is A Bad Word. “The King of Kid-Hop” is definitely cooler than me. I love his message, especially while road tripping!

Wherever your summer travels take you, I hope these songs keep you upbeat when you’re road tripping with kids. What are your favorite songs for summer?


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 12 months and 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.

DIY Teepee Ideas for Summer Fun!

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Summer is the perfect time for adventure, the days are long leaving endless hours for outdoor play. Many of our favorite memories come from actives like playing outside and running barefoot on the grass. It’s important to limit the couch potato TV time for kids and encourage playing outdoors to stimulate their mind and creativity. One great idea to get the kids involved in fun projects is to make a DIY teepee.  We’ve compiled a list of top 10 DIY teepees to kick-start an adventure filled summer full of backyard fun.

Top 10 DIY Teepee Ideas


DIY-No-Sew-Kids-TeePee-2-21.  Project Nursery crafted this adorable DIY teepee with no-sew instructions for easy assemble. Summer is the perfect time to grab a good book and lounge in your handcrafted DIY teepee (via Project Nursery).

diy teepee 32.   For those occasional summer rainy days bring the fun indoors and campout in the living room in your DIY teepee (via Nalle’s House).

Cotton-Curls-Porch-teepee3.   This budget friendly DIY teepee can be put together for only $22! (via Cotton + Curls)


4.  The Mills family at The Handmade Home show you how to add some color and pattern to your DIY teepee (via The Handmade Home).

DIY Teepee

5.  Create some story time magic with this canvas DIY teepee and let their imaginations soar (via Julie Blanner).

DIY Teepee

6.  Enjoy some outdoor family fun with this DIY teepee along with a handmade dream catcher (via Fawn Over Baby).

Polka dot DIY teepee

7.  Don’t be afraid to add a little pizzazz to your teepee with fun polka dots (via My Poppet).

DIY teepee

8.  Spruce up your child’s nursery and add a touch of whimsy with a this DIY project (via Bower Power).


9.  The more the merrier! Invite the stuffed animal crew into your DIY teepee for an afternoon story time (via The-Thud)


10.  Coordinate your theme and match your DIY masterpiece to the rest of nursery decor (via Dress This Nest).



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.

Summer Essentials: Keep 10, Donate the Rest

summer essentials

Let’s face it, your dresser and closet are overflowing with last year’s clothes—sweaters, jeans, you name it, but are they all faves? Handpick a capsule collection of 10 summer essentials, then donate the rest and transform clothes into playgrounds, pencils, and field trips for your child’s school. Why pare down to a capsule wardrobe? Bloggers like Un-Fancy tout the emotional benefits of reducing to what’s really essential. And nothing says summer like reducing stress and experiencing more joy in the everyday. Try it and let us know if you feel happier when you pare down.

10 Summer Essentials to Keep

We’ll get you started with a visual checklist of everything you need for your summer adventure,whether at home or abroad, from basic button-downs to preppy polos, statement skirts to staple shorts, you’ll still have plenty of mix-and-match options to get you through summer in style. Take a peek, and follow the links below to fill in the gaps in your sun-loving wardrobe.

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Here are the summer essentials you need: 1) A statement skirt; 2) A basic button-up; 3) Staple shorts; 4) A graphic tee; 5) A summery sundress 6) Comfy sandals; 7) A preppy polo; 8) A boho Tunic; 9) Classic denim; 10) A solid tee or tank.

Donate the Rest:

Clear your closet of clutter and enjoy your summer without all the extra weight! Remember that you’ll restock come back-to-school season when the kids are another summer bigger. Donate adult clothing too and put it to work for your school. That way you’ll be ready to shop all the exciting fall fashion next season, guilt-free! Request a donation bag today. Fill it up and drop it in the mail to start turning your clothes into cash for your school.

School Fundraising: Our Top 10 Schools of the Year

School Fundraising Success Stories

From “most school spirit” to “most well-rounded,” the 2015-2016 year has been a knockout for school fundraising at Schoola. With more than $175,000 earned by our top-10 schools alone (averaging $17,000 each!), these schools are the heart of Schoola’s mission. Peruse their unique success stories and take a cue from them in the new year by launching your own school fundraising program with a clothing drive or requesting a donation bag to use over the summer.

Top 10 School Fundraising Successes of 2015-2016:

  1.  Most Likely to Follow Their Dreams: P.S. 9 Teunis G. Bergen Raised $36,923

P.S. 9 collected enough clothes to send every student on a field trip, something they didn’t have a budget for in the past. Field trips and hands-on learning not only help bring lessons to life but engage students overall. These experiences inspired students to become firefighters, artists and more!

Help keep field trips for P.S. 9 by requesting a donation bag.

  1. Most Likely to Win a Grammy: KIPP Academy Middle School Raised $50,633

KIPP Academy Middle School has a phenomenal orchestra program, which is expensive to maintain. However, the benefits of a music program are worth the cost–students have better focus and more confidence in the classroom.

Help keep their orchestra playing by requesting a donation bag.

  1. Most Likely to be Mistaken for Picasso: Yick Wo Elementary Raised $28,842

Yick Wo became a featured school last year when they had a $1 budget for their art program. With generous clothing donations from their community, Yick Wo has been able to keep their art program alive, and foster creativity inside and outside the classroom.

Help keep these Picassos painting by requesting a donation bag for Yick Wo.

  1. Most Likely to Medal in the Olympics: Abyssinian Benefit School Raised $22,714

Abyssinian Benefit School needed funds to build a play area for older students. Last year, donations came in from across the U.S. Not only have they built a playground with the Schoola funds, they’ve been able to purchase additional athletic equipment for the students!

Help keep these students active by requesting a donation bag.

School Fundraising Success Stories

  1. Most Likely to Go Places: Granada Elementary Has Raised $14,133

The PTA at Granada Elementary works hard to fund programs like music, drama and physical education, and they make their clothes work even harder. Everyone came together to donate and make sure electives were funded so students could get the most out of their school experience. With this supportive community these students are going places!

Help these students by requesting a donation bag.

School Fundraising Success Stories

  1. Most Likely to Inspire: Laurel Elementary Raised $4,969

Laurel Elementary has a large English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) student population. Their choral program helps students bridge language and cultural gaps, boost their confidence and achieve better grades, and they put their Schoola funds toward growing this program.

Help keep these students singing by requesting a donation bag for Laurel Elementary.

  1. Most Likely to Save the World: St. Stephen Protomartyr School Raised $4,174

With hundreds of donation bags collected, St. Stephen is using Schoola as a learning opportunity in two ways: to show students the impact recycling clothes has on the environment, and to fund their Spanish program.

Help support these global citizens by requesting a donation bag for St. Stephen’s.

  1. Most Well-Rounded: St. Justin the Martyr School Has Raised $4,838

The St. Justin community has donated more than 350 bags to date. The funds from these donations have gone to integrate technology into the classroom, create a teaching garden and improve their playground.

Help support these multi-disciplinary initiatives by requesting a donation bag.

School Fundraising Success Stories

  1. Most School Spirit: Second Friends Preschool Has Raised $6,116

This crafty school has been a pioneer in marketing their clothing drives and spreading the word throughout their community. They have had local churches and more donate on their behalf.  Their school spirit is paying off, with over 200 bags donated to date.

Show your spirit for these student by requesting a donation bag to benefit Second Friends.

  1. Most Likely to Nap in Class: Lucky Lane Nursery School Has Raised $3,479

They may still have nap time, but Lucky Lane students are poised for growth. They’re taking their outgrown clothes and using them as a school fundraising tool. 

Help support these students growth by requesting a donation bag.

Congratulations to the class of 2016—we can’t wait to see what the next school year brings. Give your school a head start by donating clothing from your Lost & Found before school’s out, or request a donation bag and clean out your closet over the summer.

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