Teacher's P.E.T

The Problem

Teachers don't always get the encouragement and support from the students that they need!

The Solution

Your students can create a publication highlighting awesome faculty and staff and providing encouragement to teachers in your school. They can print the publication and post it in the teacher's lounge and high traffic areas in the school.

Project Needs

Paper for printing.

Preparation

Gathering articles to share and choosing a teacher to highlight each month!

Tackle Hunger

The Problem

Facing increased unemployment and isolation as a result of COVID-19, millions more Americans are facing “food insecurity,” which means their household cannot provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life. This issue is especially impacting Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and immigrant households, who are at least twice as likely as white adults to report that their households did not get enough to eat.

The Solution

Local food banks and meal providers need donations now more than ever to continue supporting our communities as we overcome this crisis together.

Project Needs

Publicity
Collection Bin

Preparation

Collect and donate non-perishable food items.

Elementary Reading Mentors

The Problem

High schools aren't engaging seniors with fun projects before they graduate. As if senioritis wasn't bad enough! lol! Let’s Do Something about it. (Note: this can be done with any age group - middle and high)

The Solution

Fight senioritis by taking friends to a kindergarten classroom.

Out-of-school projects that engage real-life skills like working with a team, communicating, and building programs prepare seniors for college curriculum and job experience. Niiice.

Help your friends avoid senior slide by guiding them through this super fun (and adorable) project: creating a silly story with young kids in your neighborhood. It'll help your friends stay engaged AND the kids'll love it. (Win-win!)

Project Needs

Printouts of clipart photos (to inspire your silly story creation)
Poster board, markers, and other craft supplies to decorate your book cover
Hole punch
Yarn

Time and Place : You'll have to find an elementary school and get permission from the teacher. Your former kindergarten may be a good place to start.

Preparation

1. Break Em' Up!: Start by dividing the classroom into groups of three or four students. This will make creating the story a bit less chaotic.
2. Show the Pics: With your small group, lay out the pictures you brought and have one student select two of them. They will serve as the basis of your story.
3. Create the Story: Ask each of the kids in your group to tell a story in a sentence about the two characters you selected. Make sure you're writing down their literary brilliance!
4. Stay on Track: Try to lead your group to making the story cohesive by asking leading questions like, "After the lion ate the ice cream, did he need to take a nap?" (Of course not -- he probably wanted MORE ICE CREAM (but that's beside the point).
5. Snap a Pic: Take a photo of your group with pics of the characters you selected.
6. Make the Book!: Type up the story the kids came up with, and draw pics (or, better yet, have kids draw them!) to accompany each page.
7. Create a Cover: Using the poster board, create a cover for your story. Make sure you include each kid's name in the byline. After all, this'll probably be a worldwide bestseller.
8. Bind It Up: Using the hole punch, create a line of holes spaced about on inch apart down one side of the cover and pages. Use yarn to weave in a spine to create a storybook.
9. Gift It: Revisit the classroom to gift them the storybook you all wrote together.

Educate and Equip: Educational Local Election Guides

The Problem

Many voters are not educated about the details of local elections and therefore may not vote!

The Solution

Have your students research and create nonpartisan, educational resources tied to these elections. For example, for a TSPLOST vote, your students would research and explain what TSPLOST is and how it would affect their area. Or for a mayoral race, they would create a page that explains what a mayor does and will list the polling locations in their area. These flyers can be sent home with students so they can educate the voters in their lives.

Project Needs

Research capabilities and paper(if printing the flyers).

Preparation

Research into the upcoming local elections.

Serve Your Community

The Problem

Many local service organizations and nonprofit need volunteers for their daily function and events.

The Solution

Organize your students and choose a local organization to volunteer with. For example, every month your group can volunteer at a local soup kitchen or read to students in an after school program.

Project Needs

Only what is needed by the local organizations!

Preparation

Organizing and choosing a local organization to volunteer with.

Social Media Makeover

The Problem

Almost 1 in 4 students reports being bullied at school

The Solution

Teach friends how to avoid bullies and stay safe online by revamping their social media profiles. Chances are, there's a lot to revamp, so use the guide below! Host an event for underclassmen where they can learn Internet safety tips to revamp their social media profiles. Chances are, there's a lot to revamp.

Project Needs

1. Safe Space Social Media Guide
2. Internet Access

Preparation

1. Reserve a location to meet
2. Secure a guest speaker (if needed)
3. Ensure there is internet and/or computer access
4. Invite attendees

Backpack Attack

The Problem

22% of US children grow up in poverty, making it hard to afford items like backpacks and other school supplies.

The Solution

Collect gently-used backpacks in your neighborhood to help make sure every student is ready to head back to school. Let's round 'em up and donate them to your local Boys & Girls Club or elementary school.

Project Needs

For safety, use the buddy system and bring a friend along! Follow your parents' rules about going door-to-door.
A backpack collecting buddy
Your sweetest smile

Preparation

Raid Your House! When your neighbor opens their door, introduce yourself, and explain what you're doing, why it's important to you, and how they can help.
Prep Your Pitch: Make sure you know the name and a little bit about the organization you're donating to so you can share the info with donors.
Make a Pit Stop: You might want to drop collected bags off at home before continuing 'round your hood, but carry a few backpacks around to encourage people to donate theirs!
Thank 'Em: If a neighbor donates, don't forget to say thanks. If they don't, thank them for their time and continue on to conquer your hood.
Snap a Pic: Try to put on all the backpacks you and your buddy collected. Then, take a pic with your backs to the camera!
Donate the Backpacks: Drop the collected backpacks off at the organization at the time you agreed on.

Trash Scavenger Hunt

The Problem

Trash. It's everywhere. And it's bad news.

The Solution

Cleaning up trash in an area makes people less likely to litter there in the future. NICE.

This ain't your grandma's trash cleanup -- it's a down-and-dirty group challenge! Split into teams and see how many items each group can check off our scavenger hunt list.

Project Needs

Plan It - Bad news: The planet is littered with, well, litter. Good news: That's more for you to hunt down and pick up!

Stuff You Need
Garbage bags
Gloves
Trash talk ("Your team is GARBAGE!") (optional)
This Trash Scavenger Hunt list (https://bit.ly/3mAyUiK)

Preparation

1) Start Your Hunt! - Print out the scavenger hunt list and review it with your crew. Got trash in the bag? Mark it in the box!
2) Separate Recyclables - Every recyclable item on the list has a recycle symbol next to it. Guess what you do with those items? You've got three guesses...
3) Set A Time Limit - Newsflash: Trash is destroying the planet -- and quickly! So get on it ASAP: Pick an end time and see who can pick up what before then.
4) Snap a Pic - Take a picture as a group with the weirdest thing you found. Gross! (But thanks!)
5) Toss It - Dispose of all trash and recyclables you picked up! See our FAQ for tips on where to chuck it.

SUIT UP: Creating a School Professional Wardrobe

The Problem

Some students lack the resources needed to have a professional wardrobe. This can create a barrier to some opportunities for these students!

The Solution

Encourage your school to clean out their closets and donate gently used professional clothes. This includes (but is not limited to): collared shirts and polos, ties, blazers and sports coats, slacks, skirts, blouses, and shoes.

Students can rent or purchase these professional items as they are needed throughout the year.

Project Needs

Space at school to house the closet.

Preparation

Communicate the project to students and teachers and organize a day to begin accepting donations!

Voter Registration Drive (Get Out the Vote)

The Problem

There are times when citizens do not vote, because they feel it doesn't make a difference. By educating and equipping citizens by registering to vote, we hope to create a more engaged citizenry. - “The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, Former U.S. President

The Solution

To utilize the resources of the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State and local Boards of Elections to encourage citizens to register to vote, and then to partner that with information regarding upcoming elections. By encouraging citizens to register and then equipping them to exercise their right to vote, we hope this will encourage members of local communities, our state, and nation to be more informed and active citizens.

Project Needs

Access the online resources through the Georgia Secretary of State's Office in conjunction with local Boards of Election. Groups will encourage people who are not registered to vote, to access voter registration forms via QR codes and online platforms. Then print some voter registration forms for those that are not savvy with technology.

Preparation

Virtual Flyers with information
Paper voter registration forms

Let your voice be heard in politics.

The Problem

Many citizens feel their elected officials are disconnected from them.

The Solution

You know how everyone always says “write a letter to your senator or representative?” Let's do it! Find out when your senators or representatives are holding public meetings; attend them. It’s one of the easiest ways to make sure the issues you care about get to the ears of the people who can fix them.

Project Needs

1. Address of your elected officials (can be found at https://myreps.datamade.us/)
2. Pen, paper, and envelope
3. Stamps

Preparation

You can write your elected official about an issue (always propose a solution) or to thank them for their service.

Donate clothes that you no longer wear

The Problem

In every school and every community, there are individuals who do not have needed basics such as food, clothing, and shelter.

The Solution

Students can go through their closets and search for items in good condition that they have outgrown or don’t wear anymore. Take them to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or shelter. It’s also worth a call to schools and shelters in your area—most plan several clothing drives throughout the year.

Project Needs

Publicity
Collection Bin(s)

Preparation

N/A

School Board Tweeter

The Problem

Students rarely voice their opinions to those who make decisions that affect their everyday lives, like school boards.

The Solution

Tweet at your school board about decisions that impact students. Tweet students' opinions at your local school board to make sure your voices are heard!

Project Needs

Twitter account
Unique hashtag so peeps can follow your tweets
List of your peers' opinions to tweet about

Preparation

Time and Place
Find out when your school board's next meeting is (posted on their website) and blast their feed during the days leading up to it.
Your school board or city's twitter (or facebook) account. Their social accounts are linked to their website!
Tweet in advance to stir up interest. Tell your followers what time to be on Twitter and what topics you'll be live tweeting.

Tweet the Deets! - Tweet about important decisions that impact your friends. Make sure you include your #hashtag in every tweet.

Gather Opinions - In the week leading up to the meeting, talk with friends to hear what issues matter most to them. Check our FAQs for huge topics being discussed at these meetings!

Blast their Feed - Make sure your School Board takes notice by sending a bunch of varying thoughts and opinions in the days leading up to the meeting.

@Mention Friends - Give shout-outs to friends to get them involved. Your buddy in the band who's upset about music funding cuts? Give her a mention!

Snap a Pic - Take a screenshot of all the #civicengagement action you're getting trending on Twitter.

Follow Up in Person!

Take it to the next level and actually attend the school board meeting so you can live-tweet how the school board is (or isn't) taking your opinions into account.

Blessing Bags

The Problem

Every year, MILLIONS of people find themselves without a home and access to basic items.

The Solution

Make Blessing Bags by collecting important day-to-day items. Then deliver them to your local homeless shelter.

Project Needs

Plastic or paper bags to hold all your items.
Toiletries (like toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, wet wipes) and nonperishable food (chips, beans, granola bars, etc.) for the bags.

Preparation

Use these tips to make the best Blessing Bags!

Tell people why. As you put together your Blessing Bags, make sure you tell people why it is important.
What your bags should contain. Fill your blessing bags with toiletries or nonperishable food. Even a pair of new socks might be good!
Getting the items donated. You don't have to spend money: You can gather many items for free.

Here are some other tactics:
Run a drive in your school. Set up a bin in your school to collect items. Make sure you let people know a list of what items you need. Create a flier that lists all the items and give it to interested people. Make morning announcements, too!
Go door to door. Walk around your neighborhood, ring doorbells, and ask for donations. Tell them why you're doing this and what items you need.
Ask a local business for donations.Go to local businesses and ask them if they'd like to donate items for the Blessing Bags. You'll have better luck at small stores than national chains, but it is worth trying both!

Make the Bags!
Let's do this! Start at Home Before you go out into the community, see what you can scrounge up and donate from your own house.
Be Consistent You want all of your Blessing Bags to have the same items.
Make 'Em Purdy If you have time, decorate the bags so so they look nice, kind of like your face.
Snap a Pic. Upload a pic of you and your Blessing Bags. We'll feature it in our gallery to inspire other members!
Drop 'Em Off. Drop your bags at the homeless shelter at your arranged time.
Call Before Some shelters have specific times they accept donations, so make sure to call in advance to find out when is best.
Say Thanks. Thank everybody who contributed to your Blessing Bags! It feels good to know you've done good.

Take Back the Prom: Anxiety Textline

The Problem

Prom is supposed to be magical and memorable, but it can also be suuuuper stressful. Chances are, you or someone you know is worried about finding a date, affording the dance, how you’ll look, socializing in big crowds, dancing, or hooking up. If so, you’re not alone!

The Solution

But no worries. We’ve got you! DoSomething created the first-ever Prom Anxiety Textline, which you can use by texting PROM to 38383. Post flyers (or make your own!) sharing the keyword to the textline in your school or community.

When you or a friend texts PROM to 38383, you’ll have access to the Anxiety Textline and anti-stress guides around:

- General anxiety
- The cost of prom
- Body image and confidence
- Finding/not having a date
- Dancing
- Peer Pressure

Project Needs

These flyers (https://georgiacivics.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/ANXIETY_TEXTLINE_POSTER.pdf)
Materials to make your own flyers!
A way to post the flyers (like tape or a stapler)

Preparation

Print (or make) and Post Flyers

#SuperStressFace

The Problem

97% of American teens report being stressed during back-to-school season. Yikes!

The Solution

There are a ton of simple, proven ways to cope with stress, and we've compiled the best ones for you and your friends.

Take a selfie of what you look like when you’re stressed -- your #SuperStressFace! Then share it on Instagram along with one of our stress-busting tips.

Project Needs

Camera or phone
Stressed out face
Instagram (or Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter)

#SuperStressFace Tips
Caption Format and Example

Format: This is how [insert stressful school thing here] makes me feel. If you're stressed about school, [insert tip from list below]. #SuperStressFace

Example: "This is how finding out my schedule makes me feel. If you're stressed about school, listen to music! It can trigger stress reducers in your brain. Just groove the stress away!" #SuperStressFace

Tips to Include

-Take deep breaths. Taking a deep breath has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. #SuperStressFace
-Listen to or create music. Listening to or creating music can trigger stress reducers in your brain. #SuperStressFace
-Exercise. The post-exercise endorphin rush is proven to seriously take down stress levels. #SuperStressFace
-Chew gum. Poppin' bubbles reduces cortisol levels, which helps reduce stress and anxiety! #SuperStressFace
-Hug it out. Hugging friends and fam causes a release of peptide oxytocin, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. #SuperStressFace
-Watch a funny video. Laughter can reduce the physical effects of stress. Bring on the cat vids! #SuperStressFace
-Journal. Write it out! Keeping a journal has meditative and reflective effects, which can reduce stress. #SuperStressFace
-Nap. Taking a quick snooze has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which then reduce stress and anxiety. #SuperStressFace
-Hang with a pet. Spending time with a furry friend can reduce tension and improve your mood. Meoww. #SuperStressFace
-Volunteer. Helping someone else out can actually reduce your own stress. #SuperStressFace

Preparation

Make Your Best #SuperStressFace- Show us what you look like when you are super stressed.

WERK-Strike a silly stress-y pose for your selfie. Say that 10 times fast! Jkjk.

Pick a Tip-Pick any of our tips (found in Project Needs) and use it in your caption.

Post It- Post your #SuperStressFace to Instagram (with the caption) so that all of your friends can start de-stressing.

Mirror Messages

The Problem

Self-esteem issues are a huge deal.

By age 13, about 53% of American girls are unhappy with their bodies. By 17, it's 78%. And it’s not just girls either -- new research shows that close to 1 in 4 boys experience body dysmorphia, an anxiety disorder that causes a person to have a distorted view of how they look and causes them to spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance. This unhappiness can lead to serious issues like depression and skipping school.

The Solution

Little moments can have a big impact. Complimenting someone can turn their whole day around.

Posting encouraging notes in bathrooms (a place that can trigger low self-esteem) can improve someone's self-esteem. Create and post encouraging notes in your school bathrooms to brighten your classmates' day!

We want to do that on a massive scale by starting a movement to post encouraging notes in places that can trigger low self-esteem, like school bathrooms. Let’s Do This!

Project Needs

School Administration Approval!
Sticky notes or paper and tape
Markers, pens, and/or crayons
Glitter (if you want to get really fancy)

Time and Place: Sometimes people feel bad when looking in the mirror, so your note can cheer them up! Post your notes up during lunchtime or after school.

Preparation

Create and Post! Get kind! Get creative! The more notes you write, the better you will feel...and the better others will feel.

Pro Tips:
1)Be Bold: Make your notes pop. Use color, glitter, and bold lettering to draw people's attention.
2)Be Inclusive: Write generic messages that apply to everyone. Try, "You’re doing GREAT!” or “You’re beautiful inside and out."
3)Respect the Space: Leave enough room so people can still use the mirrors. Otherwise you'll see more notes on the floor than next to your reflection. Oh, and be sure clean up any stickies that fall down.
4) Take a Photo Take a photo of all the thoughtful messages you posted!

Crisis Crew

The Problem

70% of young people with mental health needs don't receive the care they need.

The Solution

Crisis Text Line (CTL), a 24/7 crisis text-messaging service, provides real-time, anonymous counseling specifically to young people.

People experiencing crisis don't always tell others about it and don't get the help they need. Place a sticker with contact information for Crisis Text Line in bathroom stalls around you -- you could save a life.

Project Needs

Tape (if you don't use sticker paper)
This PDF of the sticker design (https://georgiacivics.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Crisis_Crew_StickerSheet.pdf)

Time and Place
The hope is that the stickers stay up forever.

Preparation

Stick 'Em Up! Bathroom stalls are the best place to post your stickers since they're a common a place to go in a crisis situation.

Cover Your Ground - Put stickers in every stall in every public bathroom around you.

Keep It Clean - Only put the stickers in the stalls, not on mirrors -- they're harder to clean off if the stickers get ripped or taken down.

Snap a Pic - Take pictures of the stickers in a bunch of different stalls and bathrooms.

Get The Filter Out

The Problem

With 4.5 trillion discarded each year, cigarette butts are the most-littered item on the planet and the single greatest source of ocean trash. They’re also toxic to aquatic life, dangerous to humans, and have been linked to deadly wildfires.

The Solution

Cleaning up cigarette butts protects humans, animals, and the environment.

Project Needs

Plastic bag or bottle for storing butts
Gloves
A mask
These safety tips for discarding the butts (https://bit.ly/3dS2xZ5)
Marker or art supplies to decorate your bag or bottle (optional)

Time and Place

Bad news: cigarette butts are everywhere.
Good news: they should be super easy to find. Look for butts in places like beaches, parks, and outside restaurants.

Preparation

1) Meet at your designated location
2) Collect those butts - Find cigarette butt litter and kick it to the curb! (Actually, curbs might be a good place to start looking. Also, don't actually kick it to the curb: throw it out.) And remember, don’t touch them with your bare hands. Make sure you're wearing gloves whenever you touch the cigarette butts. You don't know where those things have been...besides someone else's mouth.
3) Snap a Photo - Take a pic of the litter you collected. (Bonus points for creativity!) You’ll earn verified volunteer hours, enter for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship, and inspire others to join our movement.
4) Safely Throw Them Out -
As the National Park Service recommends:
Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out before throwing them in the trash can.
Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away.
Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash.

Don't Be a Sucker

The Problem

Americans lose $5.8 billion and produce 8.7 billion pounds of carbon pollution annually just by leaving unused devices plugged in.

The Solution

Slay these "energy vampires" -- electronics that suck energy (and money!) even when they're not in use. Unplug those suckers and prevent unnecessary carbon dioxide pollution.

Unplug stuff like computers and phone chargers even when they're turned off. Then write a sticky note next to the outlet to remind others not to let energy vampires suck 'em dry.

Project Needs

Plan It - It takes just 2 minutes and 1 sticky note. Ready to slay these suckers? LET’S DO THIS.

Stuff You Need
-Sticky notes and a pen
-Electronic device that's not being used but is still plugged in
-Lists are always better in threes, but this action is so easy that we couldn't even think of a third thing

Time and Place
Slay energy vampires TODAY! In the Prove It section below, upload a photo of the vampires and the sticky notes you posted.

Preparation

Find the Suckers! TVs, computers, printers, game consoles, DVD players: all energy vampires. Pull a Wesley Snipes and slay them. (Is that "Blade" reference too outdated?)

Label Those Suckers - Put sticky notes up near the vampires so people know to unplug them when they're not in use.

Use These Examples Write messages like, "Even when devices are off, they still consume energy if they are plugged in. Don't be a sucker! Unplug anything not in use!" or "Leaving unused devices plugged in still sucks energy. Unplug those suckers when you're not using them."

Snap a Pic - Snap a photo of the electronics you unplugged and the stickies you posted.

Shower Songs Playlist

The Problem

Americans use more than a TRILLION gallons of water for showering each year. That's enough to supply all the water needs of New York and New Jersey.

The Solution

By reducing shower time to 5 minutes, the average person can save more than 1,500 gallons of water a year.

Make a 5-minute-long shower playlist. Then send it to friends so they can track the time and take shorter showers. Bonus points if you shower with a friend, the ultimate water saver (jkjk).

Project Needs

Plan It - Conserve water by making a 5-minute shower playlist. Share your playlist with friends as a reminder: when the music goes off, so should the water!

Stuff You Need
-Phone, iPod, MP3 Player, computer, boom box, whatever -- something to play music
-Good music taste (optional) 😉

Preparation

1) Make the Playlist! - Make a few playlists of two or three songs, depending on how long they are. You can customize your playlists by theme or by your friends' favorite artists!

Try a Power Minute (Optional) - If you're using a music player that lets you choose start and stop times, you can choose to play one minute of five different songs!

2) Pick the Songs - Choose songs your friends enjoy so they'll be likelier to listen to the playlist while showering.

3) Snap a Pic - Take a screenshot of your favorite playlist!

4) Share the Songs - When you send the songs to friends, explain why you made the playlist for them and why taking shorter showers is key for saving water.

5) Keep It Safe - Eek! Remind your friends to be careful with electronics in the bathroom. Tell them to put the music player in a safe, dry place so it doesn't get wet.

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