Have you ever thought of all of the national holidays, really I mean ALL of them? Sure we recognize Independence Day, Labor Day and National Teacher’s Day, but did you know that there are hundreds of other registered holidays on the calendar and more are added every year?
It’s true, people all over the nation submit their requests to Zoovio Inc. in North Dakota. They accept submissions, research the popularity of each proposal, and then select a handful of ones to be officially recognized each year. Some of these dates have fun and whimsical themes like popular food items, beverages or fun activities, while others recognize more serious and sobering matters. You can find almost anything and celebrate it according to their calendar by clicking here.
Maybe some of these registered days will leave you inspired to use them as a theme for your next school fundraiser. Or maybe you will be creative and come up with a novel way of recognizing great education. With a few ideas, do you think you can seize the day and cash in on a nationally recognized holiday?
Take Advantage of a Date Already on The Calendar
Consider Chocolate Covered Anything Day, which is indeed a real event, already registered on December 16. Maybe create a fundraiser built around dipping fresh fruit in chocolate? Or mark your calendar for National Kindergarten Day on April 21. Who doesn’t love kindergarten students? I’m sure you can create a crafty event around this little wonders. Then there is National Teacher Appreciation Day on May 5 and National School Nurses’ Day on May 6. You could combine both days and host a fundraiser dance or some other activity that pays tribute to both parties. For events that are closer to the beginning of the school year, consider National Read A Book Day on September 6, and National Family Health & Fitness Day on September 26. Book sales on the 6th and a school fun run on the 26th? Have something else in mind? Create your own event!
Register Your Own Uniquely Crafted Date
If you are looking for your own holiday and have a few thousand dollars to spend, and enough followers, you can register the day and use it as a perennial moneymaker for your school or cause. You just need to send in an application at least two weeks in advance of a particular date and have enough of a following to get it going. The competition may be steep and your event might not get chosen, but don’t despair. With a little creativity you can use an established calendar event and modify it to meet your goals and expectations. Check out the following examples of school success stories where children used an established day to their advantage.
Some Fundraising Success Stories
Students in Michigan at Hillside Elementary School turned to blowing bubbles on “National Bubble Gum Day” on February 6, to raise funds for school projects and supplies. The event was established by author Ruth Spiro, as noted in this Patch article.
Students at Wadsworth Prairie Trail School raised $2,500 towards fighting cancer, according to this Chicago Tribune article. Although not an officially registered holiday, they turned recess into a Relay Recess for a day, a spinoff of Relay For Life. The opportunity let kids participate in daytime relays, which worked to their advantage, as many Relays for Life occur overnight because “cancer never sleeps.” And the kids had a hand in creating real impact all while having fun utilizing their recess time.
Cautions and Caveats with Special Dates
Unfortunately, some days backfire do to controversy. For example, several students at Pennsylvania’s McGuffey High School allegedly created their own “anti-gay day” to harass LGBT members of their student body as a way to protest the nationally recognized Day of Silence event, aimed at protecting LGBT individuals from bullying. You can read about what happened in this Headline & Global News article.
What can you do? If it is a sensitive subject you are planning an event for, make sure to confer with other teachers and organizations that have experience, so that participants don’t feel victimized. Set clear rules and guidelines, especially when dealing with crowds and potential antagonists in order to make sure the event is a positive experience for all. With momentum and good publicity your event may draw sponsors and future classes may feel encouraged to keep the legacy going strong for years to come.
Digital Apps That Can Keep You On Top Of Upcoming Holidays
You can download a 99 cent app on iTunes to remind you of all of the upcoming “bizarre holidays,” or check out this free one for Android devices to keep up with “peculiar games and wacky days.” For a more traditional holiday calendar app for Android, click here. You can also find one that focuses on all things food by clicking this link. Use it to get your kids and students involved in the fun of planning food focused events.
Use Your Calendar For a Little Summer Fun of Your Own Before School Starts
If you are looking for immediate fun for you and your family, July is the month for anti-boredom, hot dogs, ice cream, blueberries and picnics. The month also contains National Parents’ Day, National Give Something Away Day, and Toss Away Could Haves and Should Haves Day. Check out some of these events and how they are celebrated and take some notes or write about them if you have a blog. They may inspire you, fellow teachers and parents to have your most profitable and unique fundraising event ever!
Teachers, do lesser known nationally recognized days have any meaning or use to you? Do you think they could germinate more fundraising ideas for the next school year? Or do they give you a little inspiration for more fun this summer? Share your great ideas with TeacherCents in the comments below.
Melissa Heule, Freelance Writer