How to celebrate the end of the school year using DonorsChoose
It’s nearly time to send off the most challenging, unpredictable, memorable, exhausting, story-filled school year ever. Wherever you’re teaching, there’s a fantastic way to wrap up the year on the right note, and you can get all the supplies you need on DonorsChoose. Read on for a few extra special ideas from your fellow teachers. The end of year countdown begins now!
1. Get this party started!
In your classroom, throw a themed party: from costumes to camping, beach day to outer space, you can request all the materials to throw a themed bash that fits your end-of-year-curriculum or is just pure fun (without having to travel!) Send students into summer with one more favorite classroom memory.
Glow Up Party, Ms. Ramirez, 3rd Grade
Light Up Unicorn Headband • Black Lights • Glow Sticks • Glow in The Dark Wall Stickers
“My students have been through so much emotional distress this school year. They definitely deserve to end the academic school year with an amazing glow in the dark party.”
Classroom Transformation (Camp Site), Ms. Casso, 1st Grade
LED Flashlights • Forest Scene Camping Backdrop • S’mores Granola Bars
“As school gets closer to the end of this crazy year, my team and I would love to transform our classrooms into a campsite for students. We have listed some decorations and camping play set to really transform our rooms for this special theme.We cannot wait to read some stories around our make believe fireplaces to students. They will be so excited!”
2. Go on an epic (virtual!) adventure.
Give your students one more exciting adventure to end the year: request a virtual field trip or class visitor! Especially if your classroom has continued distance learning, a class celebration is just a Zoom link away.
Virtual Field Day, Mrs. Richards, Grades K-5
Water Balloons • Foldable Flying Discs • Scrub Sponges • Ping Pong Balls
“Our goal of Virtual Field Day is to continue our work to get students moving. This year may look a little different but we are still working hard to provide fun student center lessons that they can do in the comfort of their own space at a time that is convenient for them. This project would allow us to send some basic items home to every student to participate in field day.”
Saving Up for an Unforgettable, Interactive, & Fun Experience, Mrs. Koenig, Kindergarten
“I can’t express how happy my students were when they saw Elsa and Spider-Man pop into our Google Meet the last two Wednesdays. My students love seeing and listening to our special virtual guest read us a story and do a little singing while she read. Next two Wednesdays, Ariel and Captain Marvel will be coming as our new virtual surprise guests. Thank you for your support and for helping me make our few weeks of school exciting!”
3. Commemorate instead of celebrate.
It’s been a tough year. Consider honoring students’ challenges and experiences by making time to reflect and find closure. Request arts supplies or other materials for your students to use in creatively expressing these past few months.
Painting Memories, Mrs. Gonzalez-Pasa, 5th Grade
DIYMosaic Kits (Sun, Butterfly, Hedgehog, Heart, Ladybug, Turtle)
“Usually at the end of the school year, we celebrate our accomplishments. This year is different in that I need to provide my scholars with a celebration we can all participate in since I have in-person students and virtual students learning from home. My students have worked diligently and I want to reward them with an art painting experience as an end of the year celebration. My goal is to also use this as a therapeutic strategy to help students cope with the many feelings of uncertainty brought upon by the pandemic.”
Celebrating the Successes!, Mrs. O’Connor, 9th-12th Grades
White Crew Neck T-Shirts • Tie-Dye Kit• Paper Flower Decorations
“The students will work together to plan and create their celebration including invitations, menu, and creating their own t-shirt representing their own uniqueness. Our end-of-the-year celebration will also be used to help provide closure for those students transitioning to other vocational training programs in the community. Our students have significant special needs and they often struggle with transitions and changes. We want to help our students by providing them a way to celebrate their individual accomplishments in a meaningful manner as well as provide closure as some transition.”
It Was Tough But We Made It Work!, Ms. Lee, 3rd Grade
Stretched Canvases • Acrylic Paint Assortment • Flat Paint Brushes Set“The candy will be used to award students during and after testing for their commitment to getting through the exam. The soda, chips, and cookies will be given to the students during our end of year party. The paint materials will also be used during the end of year party to give my students a chance to express their feelings toward the year that has passed. They will create a collage of the awesome memories we shared, as well as some experiences that may have been difficult for them.”
4. Make sure the basics are covered.
The need for warmth, care & hunger supplies doesn’t end just because the school year does. Request vital materials your students may need to carry them through the months ahead.
Food for Summer Break, Ms. Paden, School Counselor
Goldfish Crackers • Gatorade • Nutri-Grain Bars • Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup
“Over 95% of my students receive free lunches. They eat breakfast and lunch at school for free. We try to send food home with the students on the weekends so they have something to eat. The snacks and microwavable food items will allow my students some extra food during summer break.”
End of the Year Snack Bags, Ms. Berghorst, 9th-12th Grades
Water Tumblers • Nutella Snack Packs • Savory Cracker Variety Pack
“Help me provide a great send off bag for my students. I would like to send my kids off with a bag and tumbler filled with their favorite snacks for their summer vacation. It has been a different kind of year, I would like them to know that they will still be on our minds even if we don’t see each other every day.”
Send some sunshine.
In the absence of end-of-the-year hugs & high-fives, let your students know how much you care by sending home a handwritten note of congratulations. Request cards and postage to drop a little love in your students’ mailboxes.
To My Students, Ms. MacEntee, 9th-12th Grades
Staples First-Class Forever Postage Stamps • Gold Foil Design Graduation Cards
“As we close out the year many of my students will be graduating and moving on to their next adventure. I want to celebrate the accomplishments of each underclassmen and upperclassmen in a way that is as unique and personal as them. I am requesting graduation cards, farewell cards, and postage to mail each student a handwritten card at the end of the year. I first began this tradition last year after the sudden switch to distance learning. After realizing that I never had a proper “goodbye” with my students I wanted to ensure they knew how much they meant to our class and me. In an area where many students don’t receive mail outside of cards from family I want to leave them with one last surprise and memory.”
Memorable End of Year for Freshmen, Mrs. Hutton, 9th-12th Grades
Gel Pens • Colored Cardstock • Congratulations Cards Assortment • Postage
“As we finish out the year I want to make the last remaining weeks fun and memorable for my in person kids and also for my virtual kids. I want to make our review for state testing more fun by including fun puzzles and projects that look awesome on pretty paper. I will also send all of my students “congratulations” cards at the end of the year to celebrate them finishing out this weird COVID year. They are freshmen and I want to make their first year of high school memorable even if they haven’t stepped foot in our school this year.”
6. The sky’s the limit!
For many classrooms, getting together indoors isn’t an option, which leaves room for a few out-of-the-box ideas! Whether it’s moving the party outdoors, capturing in-class celebrations in photos to send to parents, or hosting a drive-through party supply pick-up, you can request all the materials you need so your class can stay safe and still send the year off right.
Let’s End the Year with Fun!, Mrs. Haynes, 4th Grade
Sidewalk Chalk • Jumbo Inflatable Beach Balls
“As we approach the end of the school year, I would like to provide my amazing students with an end-of-the-year gift. This project features inflatable beach balls and sidewalk chalk. The beach balls will be a “yearbook” where all students will get to sign each one and I will attach a note that reminds them to “Have a Ball” this summer and enjoy each moment of joy! These materials will help end the school year on a fun note and start the summer with fun new summer items.”
We Made It., Ms. Gumina, Pre-K and Kindergarten
Big Bubble Wands • Kids Sunglasses • Mini Watercolor Kids Paint Sets
“These materials will help [us] have a Pre-K and Kindergarten celebration! Unfortunately, parents will not be allowed to join us this year. Therefore, I have requested a photo backdrop and balloon arch so we can take pictures of each child in their cap and gown holding their completion certificate to give to parents! We want to spoil them with an honors ceremony and an exciting day outside chasing bubbles, dancing, and enjoying a bag full of goodies.”
Ending on a Good Note, Ms. G, Kindergarten
Beach Pails and Sand Shovels • Graduation Caps • Jump Ropes • Diplomas“I want to give my amazing students the gift of FUN for the end of this school year! I want them to remember that they are still kids, and even though things are a little different now, they can still learn and have fun. I am asking for items such as bubbles, sidewalk chalk, balls, jump ropes, etc. to put together a fun goody bag for each student to receive when they drive through. Every bag will come with surprises that are sure to put a smile on their face and keep them active, inquisitive, and imaginative (and learning) during the summer.”
Ready for the school year to end but want to keep the learning going? Check out this blog post for ideas to keep students engaged throughout the summer.
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