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Ice Cream (Teambuilding) Social

John Foster Dulles High School, TX

550 Dulles Avenue, Sugar Land, TX, USA
Fort Bend ISD
Director: Michael Isadore
Category: High School Retention Program
Award: Silver, 2019

Project Description

At Dulles HS we strive to create a family atmosphere with the common bond of music. Our very first social of the year is the only mandatory social require. Every orchestra student is required to attend and wear their DHS Orchestra shirt throughout the school day. The social takes place in the cafeteria and is a mixture of games and teambuilding activities designed to mix the six different orchestra classes and the four high school grade levels. This event is run by our student leaders who meet together before the event to plan the games. An outline of the social is as follows:

  • all students are assigned a group color mixing up orchestra class and grades
  • the groups play interactive games within their group and combining groups for approximately an hour and 15 minutes.
  • a guest speaker joins and talks with the orchestra about goal setting, core beliefs, or leadership
  • the officers and directors serve ice cream to the students and they have social time for camaraderie and pictures

Target Audience

All of the orchestra students, but the focus is placed on the 9th grade students to get them to join our program. We want them to view orchestra as more than a music class, but as a family and a place where they can belong, no matter which orchestra class they are in.

Overall budget


Specific Budget Breakdown

This is a budget friendly venture. Other than office supplies like markers and labels, the only expenditure is the ice cream and sundae toppings. We use the “activity” budget which is a campus budget, not the district supplied orchestra budget for instruction and repair. The campus budget is funded by our orchestra dues which cost $30.00 for each student and includes their t-shirt and helps supplement our fundraiser and is used for our socials and banquet.

How did you update/change this project from its previous occurrence?

This project began as just an after school social where the students were served ice cream. The project evolved as we tried to find ways for the students to interact with each other. The event started to have organization and became mandatory. The next evolution came when we had a guest speaker to discuss goal setting. This past year, FBISD replicated what we do on a campus level for the entire district. FBISD brought in a guest speaker to discuss student leadership and motivation inspired by what we do on our campus. I booked the district-wide speaker to then come the next day to our event.

Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?

This is an event the students look forward to every year. The student officers look forward to running the event and the current seniors are excited to finally be the first ones in line for ice cream. Over the years, the amount of conflicts have become fewer and we showcase what we are doing with the parents and at concerts and they realize the value to have the students involved more than just for a music class.

Our choir department came to our event this year with their officers and took notes on games, etc. They copied the event with their department to great success utilizing about 20 minutes for a student led sectional. Our choir teachers response was that she saw interaction between students she hasn’t seen before.

Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?

Initially start with more of the game/team building concept first. After a year then begin to add some goal setting activities.

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