Rich and I were out with our friends about two weeks ago when I received an e-mail from Sweetopia, one of the food blogs I follow. Marion came up with the most brilliant idea! She titled her post, "Baking for Haiti." The idea of “Baking for Haiti” with my own students whirled around in my mind for hours that weekend. I just couldn't stop thinking about it!
It wasn't until I started the work week on Monday that I approached my administration with this idea. The rest is history!
Planning and Organizing
Baking for Haiti is a project that my grade 6 students and I worked on as a class for the past two weeks. And what a success it was!
After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, my class had many discussions about what occurred and how lucky and fortunate my students are to live the lives that they do. To better understand the lives of the survivours and those still struggling to survive, the students were required to research an article of their choice relating to what happened. The students summarized their chosen article and shared their ideas with the rest of the class.
It was at that point that I wanted to do more and I knew that the students would learn so much by working together with one another on a class project to raise money for Haiti. The class brainstormed many ideas of how we could raise more money to help the survivours. Finally, the idea of a bake sale came to life!
As a class, we discussed all of the steps involved in planning and organizing such a large scale event. I wanted the students to have ownership over this task. I wanted them not only to sell baked goods, but rather, I wanted them to be involved in the entire process of planning an event. This would include the making, baking, decorating, and the final sale of the products which were prepared at school.
To begin with, the students worked in pairs to create posters and announcements. Announcements were made each day and posters were hung up around the entire school.
Initially, the class and I thought that each student could contribute specific ingredients like eggs, flour, sugar etc. to bake cupcakes and brownies, until I spoke to my principal. She suggested partnering with grocery stores in the neighbourhood who might donate products or gift cards for our fundraiser. What a great idea!
It didn't take much time for me to compose a letter asking for donations! Our community grocery stores, specifically, John's No Frills, Concord Foods, and Cedarcroft Price Chopper, kindly donated 90% of the products used to bake the goods for the sale. Additional products like decorations for cupcakes were donated by the students' families.
The students were so excited to begin the fun part of our project!
To my surprise, many of the boys volunteered to bake. They each chose a role and proceeded to complete their task.
One student learned how to crack an egg for the first time, while others learned how to measure and mix ingredients together and pour the batter into paper liners!
In total, the students decorated over 400 cupcakes!The Bake Sale
Four stations were set up around the school. This idea worked out quite well, (thanks Ghada), since each station was made up of a team of about seven students and one parent volunteer. Everyone knew their role and worked very well together. Aside from cupcakes, parent volunteers helped prepare brownies and rice crispy squares and cookies were also prepared.
The students did such a great job decorating even the simplest cupcakes.
Counting all of the Money Raised
The cashiers were responsible for counting all of the money raised from each of their cash boxes. We reviewed a procedure to count the money and each pair worked together to add up all of the money that their station raised. Finally, I added all of the totals together....
Our class raised a total of $655.00!
I am so proud of all of the students in my class. They did a wonderful job working together to make this fundraiser a huge success. After the event, each student reflected on their experience relating to this event. All reflections were posted on the bulletin board outside my classroom (pictured above). Many of the students commented on how much planning went into such a big scale event, and how time consuming an event like this was. Another student wrote that they learned how to make a cupcake look good so that people would want to buy it and eat it! Great job grade 6R!
There was one final step left to complete this project.
Thanking those who helped...
We received an overwhelming number of donations from grocery stores. However, there was a lack of ovens in the school. As a result, I invited my teacher colleagues to volunteer to bake cupcakes at home. The response was tremendously positive! To thank those who baked, the students prepared adorable thank you cards in the shape of cupcakes! Thank you cards were also sent out to all parents who helped out in any way and to the grocery stores who donated products to this very important bake sale.
To my surprise, just the other day, my students made me the biggest "Thank You Cupcake" of all! It was a very appreciative gesture from my extremely thoughtful students.
Overall, this was a fantastic experience for the students and for the school. Thanks to everyone who helped out in any way. Finally, I have to thank Marion from Sweetopia, for without her idea, this huge success would not have taken place.