These projects involve much more time and careful planning. Much more can be raised if you involve the whole school in a project.
Last year, our school held a "Jogathon" in which the students gained pledges for donations depending upon the number of laps they would run in an hour. All of the billing, reporting and promotional work was supplied by a professional company. The event was a large success and raised over $38,000. gross. We investigated the data processing involved and decided that it was feasible for us to take on this project. In return for a complete 48K system with two drives, and printers for all the computers and necessary supplies, the school's development office agreed to have us run the 'Jogathon" this year.
Working with an exceptional programming student for about three weeks over the summer break, we were able to develop the programs necessary. We expect to be able to keep track of 900 runners, their number of laps, who sponsored them, what was the pledge amount (total or per lap), and which homeroom is to be credited with the income. At the same time, we are keeping track of around 5000 sponsors, their names, addresses, who they sponsored, amount due and amount received We have written a billing routine using specialized mailers that will notify each sponsor of his amount due for all runners he pledged. The development office will be given reports iistirig all sponsors, joggers, amount raised per homeroom (and by whom), totals received and amount outstanding.
The cost to the school is expected to be about one-half that of last year. For each succeeding year, we are charging the school $2000 plus 10% of the gross over $30,000.
We are concerned about the amount of keypunching needed and are spending time nowtraining reliable students on how to operate all programs. The reliability of data retrieval and processing time is also a concern, but we won't know for sure until the Jogathon has been run. if worse comes to worse, we plan on having all freshman math students address 20 mailers each before they pass Algebra!
Most students love to go to dances, and what would be better than having five dates at once? Students fill out a questionaire and are then paired with the five most compatible matches. Each participant gets a number and a list of five other numbers. At the dance, each person wears his or her number for identification. The last time we had this event, the response from the students was excellent A few people objected to being paired up with their brother or sister, and we have yet to figure out that situation. For many students it is a dance with a real "icebreaker". The questionaire includes many areas of interest and students spend as much time finding out what they have in common as they do dancing. Aiso, it isn't every day that a freshman boy gets to dance with a senior girl!
Plan on about one week for promotion and data entry. Income varies greatly depending on the time of the year, what band is hired, location, etc., but you should net a minimum of $2.00 per participant.
We are not unique in our fund raising activities. The computer dance and Jogathon are also being used at Sehome High School in Bellingham, WA. Each year, schools are sent proposals from professional promotional companies. With a little work and imagination most activities can be done with in-house equipment.
Besides the obvious benefits in being able to obtain hardware, there are many other intangible gains We find that the administration is more than willing to support activities which result in direct income without having to pay a percentage. At the same time, many more parents and students are made aware of our needs and facilities. In fact, lastyear an alumni donated a 4K Level II computer to our department. He chose to remain anonymous, a smart move, else we would have been back for more. We have also found that our programming students gain from our efforts Many more students understand what is really involved in data processing and what is needed to do a professional, real-life job. Students considering a career with computers are able to get a better feel for the profession while still in high school, and those involved with the projects gain real pride in their accomplishments.
There are many other sources for funds Federal monies are available under Title IV funding and your local Radio Shack dealer should have information available on it Plan on finding a good grant writer to help you We have noted that many companies donate appliances to home economics departments at or below cost, since the students trained on their equipment tend to become future customers. We have been trying to convince Radio Shack of the wisdom of such a policy. At the same time we have offered to become a demonstration school.
Many private foundations are willing to make one-time contributions for hardware. Check your local library for information on foundations and those which are applicable to your situation. Again, plan on writing many letters, rewriting proposals to fit unique requirements, and waiting for someone to nibble (or is it byte?).
In keeping with the spirit of this report, we are more than willing to discuss our methods with anyone interested. Contact Cameron Brown, Math Dept Chairman, Bellarmine Prep, 2300 South Washington, Tacoma WA 98405 •
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