Category Archives: Fund-raising

WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for all of your positive energy and good vibes! Very excited to announce that we were the GRAND PRIZE winners in the Aviva Community Fund Competition! Souris Consolidated School was awarded a cheque today for $135 000 to pay for our inclusive playground. It just goes to show that when parents, teachers, students and entire communities work together, amazing things can happen. Mountains can be moved. What may seem impossible, becomes a reality.

Thanks again, everyone! What an awesome, emotional and simply unforgettable day!


aviva cheque 2


Souris: A Playground for All (coverage about us begins at 20:50

Krystal Mills, Lessons From The Mille, Teacher Blog







A Playground For All! We need your help!

So if you didn’t hear, my school is in a competition to win $140 000 for an inclusive playground. I posted about it back in October. Well, you helped us to end the round in first place (thanks again) and catapulted us into the semi-final round. Yay you!

Poof! Semi-finals have begun today and guess what? We are in first place again – out of 92 projects! I’m not surprised – I really do believe that we’re going to win! However, just in case my enthusiasm isn’t enough…I mean, just for safety sake – if you could spare a moment perhaps you could register your email and vote for us? Maybe?

How cool will it be to find out in a month’s time that a $140 000 playground project to help children with disabilities and an entire community, has been made a reality and YOU were a part of it? I’m thinking super-cool! Incredible, even!

So, just so that you don’t feel left out when I post that amazing “WE WON” post, (because again, I really feel like we’re going to win…) how about you hop over to Aviva and register your email and throw your votes our way! You can vote once a day until December 11th. It’ll only take a few seconds of your time and we would VERY MUCH appreciate it!!!! I mean, I can’t even put into words what your votes mean to us. Okay, I’m done – it’s just that this a cause that is close to my heart. Obviously Wink 

Thanks so much and happy voting! Oh, did I mention that we’d love any shares, likes, tweets or pins also? We’ll take it all!

So again, “SOURIS A PLAYGROUND FOR ALL” thanks you!

A Playground for AllAviva



All Children Deserve a Place To Play, Don’t You Think?



Okay folks, I’m just going to lay this out there. We need a new playground. Ours, among other things, is simply not accessible to all of our students. We have a child in a wheelchair, who literally can’t GET to the playground. This, my friends, is not acceptable. It’s not good enough for him, nor for any other future students who may be in his position. Oh, but my community is not one to sit back and complain – we’re trying to shake things up and make things happen.

Barrier-free playground equipment is not going to simply fall from the sky – even if we wiggle our noses and say, “Pretty please”. It’s not. I’ve tried.

souris school needs a playground for all

Souris Consolidated School

We’ve taken matters into our own hands and have applied for the funding we need through the Aviva Community Fund program. It’s an awesome program, but what it all boils down to – is that we need votes! Can you guess where this is going….come on – think of the kids!

Yes, you’re right – we do need your help. If you could ever spare 60 seconds (or less) to vote for our school project, John, and our entire school and community would be forever grateful and oh, so appreciative. You can literally sign in with your Facebook account (or use your email address) and click “Vote” for our project. Your few seconds of selflessness and kindness could make the difference for our project. Voting is open for the next two weeks and you can vote every day. Did I mention that you can vote every day, for the next two weeks? I just wanted to make sure to get that in there. In case you needed a link to your curriculum (because you could get your students to vote for us too)  this would go along perfectly with an “empowerment” or “change the world” type of theme, or even a “random acts of kindness” theme in your classroom. Just think, if everyone reading this post voted each day for the next 2 weeks, and perhaps shared this post on his/her Facebook page or Twitter feed…we’d have our playground in no time.

Okay – that’s it. My shameless plea for your time and your votes. All children deserve a place to play, don’t you think? What if it was your child?

Thank you.

You can vote here!

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Positive Connections Between Home and School: Our Spring Carnival

We all know how important is it to have strong links between home and school. There are many ways that you can go about this. Consistent communication, inviting parents in to participate in celebrations (publishing parties etc.) math game night… are just a few ideas. There was an event at my school last week, that I just have to brag up, though. We had a spring carnival!

First of all, it was the parents who organized this spring carnival and it never would have happened without the strong, motivated and caring group of parents that we have. The goal of the carnival was to break down some of the barriers that often exist between home and school. Some parents actually become physically ill at the thought of having to enter the school, because of their own issues that they had in school as students. In addition to trying to promote the positive connections between parents, teachers and students –  the carnival was a fund-raiser for the school.

lessons from the middle, home and school connections, spring carnival, fundraiser

Spring Carnival Fundraiser: Toilet Paper Toss

There were carnival games in the gym that were run by the older students: Toilet paper toss, bean bag toss, a fish pond, basketball free throws…We even had a radar gun to see how fast students could shoot a puck or toss a ringette ring. Everyone who played got a small prize.

There was a cake walk every half hour and the 6 donated cakes were AMAZING! If you’ve never done a cake walk, there’s a grid of about 25 – 30 numbers on the floor (however many participants you want). Participants pay to play ($1.00 for us) and stand on a number. Then, the numbers are drawn out one at a time. The last person standing wins a cake of their choice! Our event was 6:00-9:00 in the evening and so there was a cake walk held every half an hour.

lessons from the middle, home and school connections, spring carnival, fundraiser

Spring Carnival Fundraiser: Cake Walk

We had face painting, a sundae bar – even a teddy bear clinic! The local EMTs came in with all of their gear, ambulances sitting in the parking lot – lights flashing, and helped to “fix” the sick teddy bears that our students brought in. That was a big hit with the younger kids!

We had a silent auction with hundreds of dollars worth of items that our Home and School got donated. Finally, each class in the school was responsible to bring in an item for a “basket”. Grade 7 had the “Kitchen Basket”. This meant that every student had to bring in one small item to go into our basket. Tickets would be sold for these baskets – again proceeds going to the school. There was a candy basket, a movie night, summer fun baskets, scrapbooking, writers’ basket and more.

lessons from the middle, home and school connections, spring carnival, fundraiser

Spring Carnival ~Gift Basket

I LOVE how they organized the gift basket giveaway. If you need a simple fund-raiser, you may want to think about this one!

If you wanted tickets for the gift baskets, you could buy an envelope of tickets for $2.00 (or three envelopes for $5.00). Each envelope had 20 tickets inside with the same number on them (the numbers and names were recorded as they were sold). So, if you bought envelope #73, all of your tickets had 73 on them and your name was recorded on our list as having bought envelope 73.

There were bins in front of each basket, and since the envelopes had 20 tickets inside – people could put a ticket in to each bin and have a chance to win every basket OR they could put all of their tickets into the bin of the basket that they wanted the most. It worked beautifully! One ticket was drawn at the end of the night, from each bin, and those lucky winners got the lovely gift baskets!

I have two young children and so after helping to set up the carnival after school, I went back up to the school with my own kids. We had a blast! The best part was seeing how laid back everyone was – just having a good time. It is, hands down, the most positively I have seen parents, teachers and students connect in this community where “school” is concerned. We all just got to have FUN! The carnival was huge success all around and we exceeded the original goals set. That one night brought in over $6 000. Our school is K-7 with just over 350 students, in a community of about 1 200. It was amazing!

I’d love to hear about how your school works to connect with parents. Also, what has your school’s most successful fund-raiser been?

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Lessons From The Middle