OCG Community Service Project
This summer we engaged our color guard students to come up with a community service project to provide outreach to the community. Students could work alone or up to a group of 4. Each studentgroup had to present their project for approval, perform and document the activity, then present it to the rest of the team. Projects could not be just volunteering time, put coming up with their own unique service initiative that impact the lives of others. They were given a time line or 2 months to complete the process and present their projects to the group. We started with a meeting discussing our core values as a team. We called them our non-negotiables. What do we represent as a group, how do we represent ourselves to each other and the world, and what are our expectations towards the goal we want to reach individually and together. We found that our students are now more team oriented when they worked together outside of rehearsal in areas that didn’t involve a competitive environment per say. This project was a great success and we were so impressed with the variety and scope of service that the students engaged in. We witnessed the growth in respect of each unique students contribution by other students, we find them working more closely as a group, we find them being able to be more vulnerable and accepted by each other and we find their inner passion being exposed in their art because they feel safe to express. It was a fantastic experience for all.
The target audience was our students internally. We of course made our main focus geared toward our community outreach but it was to create an environment internally that showed how giving can be very fulfilling and gain a comradery amongst our students and their peers.
Overview of planning and execution process for this project
We started with our non negotiable core value discussion to define our group identity in May. What do we stand for, believe in, and represent. We then gave the community service project initiative to the students, first giving the 2 weeks to create the idea and approve it through our guard staff. They projects were denied if it was a volunteer situation for an established project by someone else. It had to be unique, created by the students, implemented, documented and presented by the students to the team. After the projects were approved, they had 2 months to carry out and present the project to the team. This was done during June and July so that we were completed by the start of band camp.
Sponsors/charities/volunteers/ other groups involved in the project and the benefits to each.
We had multiple groups involved as our project focused organizations: To name a few, 8th grade center project for teachers, Brookdale Senior Living Center, Logan (student) through Tulsa Youth Services, Sequoyah Point Living Center, Bring Your Own Dog of Owasso, Owasso Animal Shelter, Neighbors in Need, City Parks Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Owasso Community Resources, Claremore Veterans Center, New Heights Church Clothes Closet, St Frances Children’s Hospital, farmers land cleaning up pollutants, Lake Valley Community Park, Camp Quality, Ward Wiseman Animal Shelter and more.
Each project impacted our community in various ways. Examples are working with animal shelters by making toys, getting supplies donated and using social media to encourage adoptions as an ongoing project, hosting parties for our veterans and seniors, cleaning parks and posting signs to keep it clean to patrons, getting toy donations for children in the hospital and spending time with them, etc. So many impactful events and some are still ongoing as the kids have taken them on as a long term project on their own.
Specific Budget Breakdown
No budget was necessary. Some students did get donated items to help with their projects or created thing on their own to support the idea.
New or recurring project?New Project
Challenges/obstacles that were encountered
We found the students in the beginning just thinking of ways to give time, not coming up with their own unique ideas that were created, driven and executed by their own creativity. We handled this by reiterating the idea of the project, denying those that didn’t fit with the initiative and having them come back with a more idea-driven project for approval.
Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?
Each student had to present their project to their peers and took pictures to document the activities. The students were also asked how what they did impacted the lives of others, and how it impacted them as a person. The responses were moving and emotional for all. Our true measurement of success is now seeing the fruits of our labor come through how the kids interact as a team. It is definitely a different year. We understand what we stand for, what we represent, we have worked for a greater cause as a team, we see how we can impact lives, and how we can make a difference on and off the field.
Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?
I highly suggest this project to any group. It was created to give the kids a reason to work together, create connection and find an identity. But the rewards were far more than we expected.