PI Day for Purpose=WOW what a success!

During the 5th grade poverty unit the boys expressed an interest in a bake sale to support the non profits they had discovered here in San Francisco.  As we continued our global unit, our glocal focus was never far from our minds and hearts.


Inspired by their commitment to make a difference, I looked ahead in the month of March and recognized that Pi Day was approaching.  Traditionally, in my classroom, Pi Day was a day of debauchery.  Chanting Pi Songs, Eating Pi, feeling sick and forgetting about it all the next day.  So what could we do?  Let's give it purpose?!

Announcement:  On March 14, 2013 (PiDay), we will be selling homemade circular treats throughout the afternoon. Having previously learned about the working poor in the United States, your boys investigated local charities and created commercials to advertise the need for these organizations using statistics. But, it doesn't stop there. Students are excited to bake and create circular treats on PIDay which will be on sale at designated times that afternoon. All proceeds will go to SF Food Bank, Glide Memorial, SF Food Runners, Project Night Night and a surprise global project.

The boys went home last week and gathered a recipe that they would be able to bake at home.  They then took trips to the grocery store or shopped online for their ingredients.  This led to discussions and lessons on unit price, organic vs non organic food options, and choices that fit our budgets and our values.  The lessons were endless and I was proud of the boys the whole way through.  

Parents expressed enthusiasm for baking with their sons.  "We bake all the time, but it will be fun to talk about the reason for these treats, " one mother said. Another smiled, "we used to bake so much together when he was younger, it will be nice to do it again".  And lastly,   "I am making him go to the grocery and seeing what things cost, it's important!"   


The boys came in this morning, goods in hand and smile on their face.  Shop was open to all 400+ Town School boys, as I coordinated time slots in the afternoon for each of the classes to visit our garage sale.  One baked good per student during the school day, choose wisely:)  Remaining goods were for sale afterschool.  

You can measure the success of the day by the smiles on faces, the laughter in the room, the line out the door after upper school dismissal and the eyes that were glaring into the garage all day long.  And likely, that would have made me happy.  They were so proud of themselves, and I was so proud of them.  But one of my favorite moments...  when the door was closed and only the 5th graders remained, and I was rushing them to clean up so I could get off to my next meeting, I heard a student say, "let's take a minute to give a round of applause to us for accomplishing this" ... oh and the $888.00 we raised.  That's pretty awesome too.  

So how do you wrap this up?  First, the boys estimated what they believed would be the revenue from the sale.  Then, they counted the funds.  After that the boys calculated what percentage of the funds came in from each of the sections, and then what percentage each of the boys treats brought in (just for fun-and math), and now we consider how we split up the funds.  This is fun.  

 Sf Food Runners, Project Night Night, SF Food Bank, and Glide Memorial will be happy... oh and that family with a Goat thanks to Heifer International.  

As I reflected with the boys, we popcorn shared one to two word about our day.  They reflected on the community spirit, money, two kinds of "dough", making money, helping others in need.  Baking, donuts, goods, etc... Most impressive to me was their reflections on the happiness that it brought to our community and then of course the happiness that our contributions will bring to others. 

So what's next... good question?