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Staff community service or school service project


Individually, students will plan the different components of a community service or school service project and then as a staff they will choose one or more projects and actually complete them.

The public image of your publication is also developed in the Marketing and Audience Engagement module’s lesson Using theme and branding as marketing tools.


  • Students will plan a budget for a community service or school service project.
  • Students will research what other staffs and professional publications do as community service or school service projects.
  • Students will organize a community service or school service project.
  • The staff will execute a community service or school service project.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


Two 50-minute classes


Research from other staffs about how they develop community or school service projects

Access to internet and computers (1:1 if possible)

Rubric: Community service presentation

Lesson step-by-step

1. Building background — 10 minutes

Explore with students the reasons to plan a community service or school service project as a staff.  Allow them to suggest the importance of such an event and list ideas on the whiteboard or document camera for the entire class to see.

2. Group brainstorming — 30 minutes

Decide possible projects your staff could do. List them on the whiteboard or on document camera.  Discuss the merits of each.

Some examples might include:

– Community clean-up day

– Doing a fundraiser to raise money for a non-profit organization like The Student Press Law Center

– Doing a fundraiser to raise money for a disaster relief fund

– Doing a fundraiser to raise money for a research organization like the American Cancer Society

– Doing a blood drive

– Celebrating Constitution Day in your community

– Adopting a family through social services for Thanksgiving or Christmas

– Conducting a canned food drive to support a local food bank

– Conducting a slightly-used clothing drive for a local thrift store

3. Research project ideas — 10 minutes + homework

Research how other schools conduct community service projects by contacting advisers/editors around the country and getting a detailed description of what they do. Research how professional media outlets do community service projects. Create an individual proposal for a community service or school service project.

Your proposal should include:

– a budget: list everything you would need and how much each item would cost

– a list of materials needed and where you would get the materials

– a step-by-step list of things you would need to do

– a marketing plan to bring awareness to the project

– a list of goals you would want to meet and ways those goals will be measured

– a list of volunteers you would need to meet your goals and job descriptions

4. Individual proposal for community or school service project — 50 minutes

Students will pitch their proposals to the class and the class or editorial board will decide at the end of all presentations which community or school service project they want to do.

Divide the class up into committees to help plan the project.  Committees will include:

a.     marketing/publicity

b.     planning/set-up if needed

c.     clean-up if needed

d.     evaluation of project

e.     day-to-day execution of project

Have each group select a chairman, a secretary and a budget director.  The chairman will do any reports to the entire class, the secretary will keep minutes/notes of each group meeting and the budget director will keep costs of all items to make sure they stay within the publication’s budget and report to the adviser.

4. Homework

Students will research the costs of their particular area and will report back to the group so that a staff budget for this event can be created.

After a budget is created, the adviser will purchase necessary materials to plan for the community or school service project and the students will make any necessary items.  They will also develop a plan for carrying out the project.

Upon completion of the project, students can write a self-evaluation and can distribute an evaluation tool developed by that committee.