Marie Miarka is an ACIS Group Leader and French teacher from Flushing, Michigan. Marie is leading her second ACIS trip to Paris, Lyon and the Riveria this upcoming summer.
Tell us about the success of your Bowlathon fundraising event.
We sold tickets for $20 per person and had 5 people on each team. Our group received $10 and the bowling alley received $10. Each team received 2 games of bowling, shoes, a large pizza, and a pitcher of pop. At the event we also had a 50/50 raffle, a prize raffle, and a bake sale.
All of the workers were parents and traveling students. We had 78 bowlers at the event and we made over $1300.
Typically, I’m the main “driver” of the fundraisers—including this one—but I like to delegate tasks to students, parents and other chaperones as well. I like to try to spread the responsibilities among all parties involved.
Besides the obvious, why do you make fundraising a central part of the months leading up to a trip?
I think it’s important for groups to fundraise because it gives the students the opportunity to show their parents and families that they are willing to help offset the cost of the trip. The students are taking the initiative to get creative and get involved with their classmates to earn money for their own trip. They enjoy the fundraising events and activities as well.
It gives them a chance to mix and mingle with their future travel buddies as well. Many of the students begin to realize the value of money and how challenging it can be to earn their desired goal amount. Some of the kids have even taken it upon themselves to fundraise on their own.
How do you approach your participants about fundraising initiatives?
For our trip this summer, I started registering students back in December of 2012. Planning a trip that far in advance gave us plenty of time to come up with fundraising ideas.
At our first group meeting I told the parents and students that we would have fundraising opportunities and if they wanted to participate then they were encouraged to, but not pressured to. I understand that not all students want to fundraise. As for organizing specific fundraisers, we organize most of them via e-mail with parents or students.
In what ways do you encourage participation?
I started a Facebook group for the trip and encouraged parents and students to join. I’ve been posting fundraising ideas to the page for students to do on their own, as a small group, or to lead for the entire group.
The Facebook page has been a great place for students to engage in conversation with all travelers to figure out who is interested in participating and in what fundraisers.
As if that wasn’t enough, Marie was kind enough to share even more ways she and her students work together to fundraise:
A teacher volunteers as a Guest Griller at Mongolian BBQ.
Students admire the cellphones they collected for www.recyclefundraiser.com
Students volunteer as gift wrappers at Barnes & Noble before Christmas.
Student and future traveler, Sabrina, shows off the Thirty-One bags she sold to help raise money for her tour.
We’re so grateful to Marie for sharing her fundraising ideas and experiences with us. If you’re a teacher and you’re interested in more ways to help your group offset the cost of educational travel, visit our Fundraising page for more ideas and inspiration.
[Image source, top photo: Heisenberg Media via Flickr]